Delivering for the Central Valley, so says Central Valley Congressman TJ Cox

By Congressman TJ Cox
Rep. TJ Cox
Rep. TJ Cox
Gary Feinstein/Feinsteinfotos

One of the most pressing and chronic issues we face in the Valley is a reliable and resilient supply of clean water for our ranchers, farmers, and, most importantly, our rural communities. Since you elected me to Congress, I’ve worked every day with my colleagues on the Natural Resources Committee to make an increased investment in water storage, both surface and subsurface in the Central Valley to deliver water for our farmers and clean drinking water for our working-class families.

Annually, the Central Valley faces a surface water supply shortfall of 2.5 million-acre feet (an acre-foot is the amount of water to cover one acre of ground with one foot of water & a typical family uses between ½ to 1 acre-foot of water per year). This shortfall in surface water has led us to rely on groundwater pumping to meet our overall demand – and that over-reliance on groundwater has led to all sorts of other issues, none of them good.  
This past week I invited Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03), Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, to visit the 21st Congressional District. I knew he needed to see, firsthand, the water resources challenge we’re facing here at home. We met with the local communities, heard from our farmers and ranchers, water districts, and community advocacy groups. We also toured the Friant-Kern Canal and Del Bosque Farms in Firebaugh.

Rep. TJ Cox with Rep. Raul M. Grijalva (AZ-03), Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee on a recent visit to the Central Valley.
Rep. TJ Cox with Rep. Raul M. Grijalva (AZ-03), Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee on a recent visit to the Central Valley.

Finishing the tour, the Chairman remarked that getting the face-to-face time with our community provided him with a better understanding of our water infrastructure needs and the sense of urgency we must take in Congress to preserve and improve water access for our Valley.  

 Hill Highlights

Voted YES on H.R. 1500, the Consumers First Act

In 2010, Congress created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in response to the 2008 financial crisis. Since its creation, the agency has returned nearly $12 billion to 30 million consumers who were victims of fraud and abuse by financial institutions. Unfortunately, under President Trump, the Administration has systematically weakened the CFPB and reduced oversight of the financial industry, dismantling these protections for our servicemembers, seniors and college students, and refusing to hold bad actors accountable for predatory practices.

The Consumers First Act reverses the many anti-consumer actions taken under the Trump Administration and returns the CFPB to its intended role as a nonpartisan consumer watchdog. Among its many provisions, the bill:

  • Helps protect 44 million student loan borrowers against predatory practices;
  • Re-empowers the CFPB to fight discriminatory lending practices; and
  • Restores protections for active duty servicemembers and their families.

Voted YES on H.R. 1994, Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement  Act of 2019

Many Americans are facing a retirement income crisis, with too many people in danger of not having enough in retirement to maintain their standard of living and avoid sliding into poverty. According to two recent studies, one-third of American workers believe they will either face significant financial hardship during retirement or will never retire, and almost two-thirds of workers have no retirement account assets at all.

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019 addresses critical retirement security issues and includes numerous provisions making it easier for American workers to save for retirement, expand opportunities for them to increase their retirement savings and ensures that all Americans are paying their share in taxes, including:

  • Closing down the Stretch IRA loophole used by the wealthy to obtain beneficial tax status on inherited income;
  • Providing relief to Cooperative and Small Employer Charity pension plans;
  • Allowing long-time, part-time workers to participate in 401(k) plans;
  • Helping provide retirement benefit opportunities to home care workers; and
  • Making it easier for small businesses to offer retirement plans to their employees.
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