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March 05, 2015

Rep. Pete Aguilar Reflects on First 60 Days in Office

This week marks sixty days into Rep. Pete Aguilar’s first term in office. In just under two months, the former Redlands Mayor has been busy working with his Democratic and Republican colleagues on meaningful legislation to help small business owners, veterans, students, and working families. He also took on a prominent role in the call for immediate funding for the Department of Homeland Security, and he held a series of Jobs Roundtable Discussions to talk about job creation and economic growth throughout San Bernardino County. 

January 2015:

  • Rep. Aguilar co-sponsored the Protect Medical Innovation Act, introduced by Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN). This bill repeals the medical device tax that was implemented as part of the Affordable Care Act. It would help Inland Empire medical device manufacturers by alleviating them of a burdensome tax, which has forced business owners to slow investments in research and development, and cut jobs.
  • Rep. Aguilar co-sponsored the Small BREW Act, also introduced by Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN). This bill helps Inland Empire’s local brewers by lowering the federal excise tax on small brewers, leveling the playing field with large distributors.
  • Rep. Aguilar co-sponsored the All-Year ACCESS Act, which was introduced by Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA). This bill would restore access to full-year Pell Grants, and would help non-traditional and part-time students take summer and winter break classes.
  • Rep. Aguilar co-sponsored the Manufacturing Jobs for Veterans Act. Introduced by Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA), this bill would establish a pilot State Manufacturing Employment Program to support training, apprenticeships, and certification classes for veterans.

February and March 2015:

  • Rep. Aguilar fought to prevent the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from shutting down. He spoke on the House Floor three times, urging Speaker Boehner to bring a clean bill to a vote to ensure that DHS was fully funded through the end of the fiscal year. He co-authored a letter to the Speaker with Rep. Ruben Gallego (AZ-07) demanding a vote on DHS funding, and gained the support of 122 of his colleagues. After weeks of advocating, Speaker Boehner finally agreed and brought a clean bill up for a vote. It passed 257-167 and was signed into law by the President.
  • During the month of February, Rep. Aguilar held Jobs Roundtable Discussions across San Bernardino County with local business owners, community leaders, labor representatives, and veterans to talk about job creation and economic growth in the district. The forums were held in San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, and Redlands. 
  • Rep. Aguilar co-sponsored and voted for legislation to help local small businesses. He voted for the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act, which requires federal agencies to take into account the costs that small businesses may incur from new regulations. Rep. Aguilar also voted for America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act, which will permanently extend three different tax provisions commonly used by many small businesses.

“Since the day I took office, my primary focus has always been to support policies that grow the economy and strengthen the Inland Empire’s middle class. I have supported several bills that help small business owners, veterans, students, and seniors. I look forward to strengthening the relationships I’ve formed with my Democratic and Republican colleagues so we can continue to work together on behalf of San Bernardino County families,” said Rep. Pete Aguilar