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January 03, 2023

Aguilar Issues Report to Constituents as the Year Comes to a Close

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Rep. Pete Aguilar issued a report to Inland Empire residents outlining how he fought for them over the course of the 117th Congress, which convened on January 3, 2021. Rep. Aguilar prioritized securing resources for the region, creating jobs, lowering costs and promoting economic opportunity.

“The past two years have been incredibly challenging for Inland Empire families, and my focus has been on providing our region with the resources needed to navigate unprecedented public health and economic crises,” said Rep. Aguilar. “As we enter a new year and a new Congress, I am committed to lowering costs for Inland Empire residents, tackling gun violence, strengthening our Democracy and protecting abortion rights. I’m ready to get back to work and representing our community in Congress.”

During the 117th Congress, Rep. Aguilar delivered for the Inland Empire by:

  • Helping 1,597 Inland Empire residents resolve outstanding issues with federal agencies, such as accessing the Social Security Administration, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
  • Returning over $400,000 that the federal government owed to CA-31 residents by federal agencies, including IRS refunds, veterans’ benefits and Social Security payments.
  • Announcing over $1.3 billion in direct federal funding in two years for the Inland Empire, including funding for local police and fire departments, infrastructure projects, affordable housing services, school districts and health care programs.
  • Announcing $6.9 million in Community Project Funding to raise the quality of life for Inland Empire families and create good-paying jobs for our residents.
  • Securing over $9.3 million for the Omnitrans Zero Emission Buses, Fueling and Workforce Development Project to improve air quality in our region.
  • Delivering over $7 million for the San Bernardino International Airport Authority’s Airport Improvement Program to help increase productivity and efficiency as they expanded their commercial flights.
  • Delivering over $24 million in American Rescue Plan funding for the City of Redlands to turn the Good Nite Inn into 98 affordable homes with case management services.
  • Delivered $26.1 million for the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) from the American Rescue Plan to create the West Valley Connector project which will utilize a fleet of zero-emission buses and 21 new bus stations to establish new public transit routes to key San Bernardino County destinations including Victoria Gardens and Ontario International Airport.
  • Secured over $18 million in funding to improve access to high-speed internet for schools and libraries across the Inland Empire.
  • Hosting press conferences, site visits and in-person constituent meetings to help residents and small businesses access critical information and resources.

Throughout the past two years, Rep. Aguilar fought for legislation to help San Bernardino County families by:

  • Passing the American Rescue Plan, which gave most Americans direct payments of up to $1,200, got COVID-19 vaccinations in arms, provided funding to help schools safely reopen and gave critical support to small businesses to keep their doors open.
  • Passing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to repair our nation’s roads, bridges and highways, expand public transit, provide clean water to communities, reduce smog pollution and create good-paying jobs for Inland Empire residents.
  • Passing the historic Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, that will lower the price of prescription drugs for hard-working families, reduce health insurance premiums for millions of Americans and make the largest investment in history to combat climate change.
  • Enshrine marriage equality by passing the bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act, which protects the right for same-sex and interracial couples to get married in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision.
  • Taking the first meaningful step to address our nation’s gun violence epidemic in 30 years by passing the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act for families who have suffered the horrific trauma and loss of gun violence. This bill will protect children, keep schools safe and reduce the threat of violence in communities in the Inland Empire and across the country.
  • Ensuring more gets made in America by passing the CHIPS and Science Act, which expands our nation’s capacity to manufacture semiconductors, addresses national security concerns and shores up global supply chains.
  • Ensuring access to abortion by passing the Women’s Health Protection Act and the Ensuring Women’s Right to Freedom Act which protect Americans from extreme state laws that criminalize abortion and restore the right to abortion nationwide.
  • Expanding health care benefits for veterans by passing the bipartisan Honoring Our PACT Act, ensuring more than 3.5 million veterans who were exposed to toxic substances during their military service have access to the health care benefits they earned.
  • Introducing 12 pieces of legislation, including 5 bipartisan bills:
    • Introduced the University Centers for Growth, Development, and Prosperity (GDP) Act to codify the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) University Center Economic Development Program, increasing the number of University Centers across the country to bolster regional economic growth.
    • Introduced H.R. 7149, the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Supportive Services Expansion Act, legislation to more than double the funding level of the Federal Highway Administration’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Supportive Services Program from $10 million to $25 million and create similar programs at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Federal Transit Administration.
    • Introduced H.R. 9482, No Hungry Kids in School Act, with Rep. Katie Porter. This bill would expand the Community Eligibility Provision to allow states to participate in the program, rather than just individual school districts.
    • Introduced H.R. 6923, Accelerating Small Business Growth Act, with Rep. Jimmy Gomez and Senator Alex Padilla. This bill would establish a grant program under the Department of Transportation for transportation agencies to assist underserved businesses apply for innovative procurement programs.
    • Introduced legislation to rename the Del Rosa Post Office to honor the late Dr. Margaret B. Hill, beloved educator and community advocate who passed away in December 2021.
    • Introduced the bipartisan Wounded Warriors Access Act to streamline the process for veterans to access their claims files at the VA. This bill passed unanimously out of the House of Representatives.
    • Introduced the REPORT, PREVENT, and PROTECT Acts to help the federal and local governments respond to incidents of domestic terrorism and prevent future attacks. The REPORT Act unanimously passed out of the House of Representatives.
    • Introduced the bipartisan FHA Fairness Act to increase access to Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans for homebuyers in the Inland Empire.
    • Introduced the bipartisan Jerry Lewis VA Clinic Act to rename the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) clinic in Redlands after former Congressman Jerry Lewis, who previously represented the city of Redlands in Congress.
    • Introduced the bipartisan Protecting Students’ Civil Rights Act to ensure that institutions of higher education address discrimination on college campuses.
    • Introduced a resolution to support US Citizenship and Immigration Services and reducing their case backlog.
    • Introduced the Shielding Our Military from Extremists Act to help prevent white supremacists and other domestic extremists from enlisting in the military and preserve the integrity of our Armed Forces.
    • Co-led the introduction of the Homeownership for Dreamers Act to ensure that DACA recipients are eligible for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) home loans.
    • Introduced the bipartisan National GIS Day Resolution to designate November 16, 2022, as National GIS Day and encourage the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to drive economic growth.
    • Authored a key amendment that passed the House of Representatives in the Protecting Our Democracy Act to protect election officials facing threats because of their work to support the democratic process.

Secured over $30 million for 15 Community Project Funding in the Inland Empire: 

Project Name: 3rd Street Corridor Project

Project Requestor: Inland Valley Development Agency Joint Powers Authority

Amount Secured: $3,000,000

Summary: The funding will support a much-needed infrastructure project that will enhance safety, mobility and access to the growing San Bernardino International Airport.

Project Name: Arrowhead Grove Community Resource Center

Project Requestor: Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino

Amount Secured: $3,000,000

Summary: The funding will create a resource center at the Arrowhead Grove housing community. This would provide easy access to services by establishing a multi-faceted health campus open to any San Bernardino resident.

Project Name: Funding for a New Master of Science in Physician Assistant (MSPA) Program

Project Requestor: California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB)

Amount Secured: $2,000,000

Summary: The funding will provide medical equipment to CSUSB’s new Master of Science in Physician Assistant Program and assist in the renovation of a facility for teaching and training students.

Project Name: Lake Rialto Habitat Management and Community Open Space Project

Project Requestor: City of Rialto

Amount Secured: $2,000,000

Summary: The funding will promote clean air and a healthier, more sustainable community in the city of Rialto while increasing access to nature for residents.

Project Name: Cucamonga Canyon Trailhead at Morgan Ranch, Rancho Cucamonga

Project Requestor: City of Ranch Cucamonga

Amount Secured: $1,000,000

Summary: The funding will create a trailhead to protect the natural resources of Cucamonga Canyon, enhance public access to the area and protect the safety of visitors and residents.

Project Name: Fontana Homelessness Prevention Resource and Care Center (Phase 1)

Project Requestor: City of Fontana

Amount Secured: $4,000,000

Summary: The funding will provide housing and support services for people experiencing homelessness in San Bernardino County.

Project Name: Little 3rd Street Project

Project Requestor: San Bernardino County

Amount Secured: $2,560,000

Summary: This funding will support an infrastructure project developing the Little 3rd Street area in San Bernardino. The project will expand access to transit, shopping centers and office space while improving safety for pedestrians and motorists.

Project Name: Mental Health Outreach Program for the Sickle Cell Community

Project Requestor: Loma Linda University Medical Center

Amount Secured: $542,597

Summary: The funding will create a regional mental health outreach program, coinciding with a coordinated system of care, for individuals with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) and Sickle Cell Trait (SCT) and for their caregivers. This program will connect individuals to wrap around behavioral health resources and services.

Project Name: Sustainable Communities Catalyst Project

Project Requestor: Neighborhood Partnership Housing Services, Inc.

Amount Secured: $1,000,000

Summary: This funding will allow a local non-profit to purchase and preserve affordable housing, while investing in neighborhoods and sustaining local businesses.

Project Name: Reche Canyon Rd. Realignment to Hunts Lane

Project Requestor: City of Colton

Amount Secured: $4,166,000

Summary: The funding will support a much-needed infrastructure project to relieve congestion at the intersection of Hunts Lane and Washington Street and Reche Canyon Road and Washington Street in the City of Colton.

Project Name: Restoration of San Bernardino’s Historic Roosevelt Bowl

Project Requestor: City of San Bernardino

Amount Secured: $1,400,000

Summary: The funding will renovate and re-open the New Deal-era outdoor performance venue. The Roosevelt Bowl is an important economic catalyst for the city of San Bernardino.

Project Name: Clean Energy Hybrid and Electric Vehicle (EV) Technician Program

Project Requestor: San Bernardino Valley College Foundation

Amount Secured: $1,500,000

Summary: This funding will purchase heavy-duty, zero-emission trucks and charging stations that will be used by San Bernardino Valley College students training for careers in the jobs of the future.

Project Name: Santa Ana River Enhanced Stormwater Recharge Project Phase 1B

Project Requestor: San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District

Amount Secured: $2,500,000

Summary: This funding will increase the amount of storm water from the Santa Ana River that can be captured from the Seven Oaks Dam. Roughly 400,000 people throughout the region rely on this groundwater source.

Project Name: University Village Development Project

Project Requestor: University of Redlands

Amount Secured: $750,000

Summary: This funding will support a mixed-use infrastructure project for the University of Redlands, including the construction of a transit plaza. The “University Village” will include affordable housing, creative live/workspaces, green space and public transit access that will spur economic activity within the community.

Project Name: Empowering Youth Resilience and Promoting Social Emotional Healing

Project Requestor: Youth Visionaries Youth Leadership Academy

Amount Secured: $733,533.26

Summary: This funding will provide support services and job training for young people in San Bernardino aimed at reducing recidivism rates of substance abuse, human trafficking, and domestic violence.

Hosting Federal Agency Officials in the District:

  • Hosted Vice President Kamala Harris to discuss the local benefits of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and how the law invested in wildfire prevention in California.
  • Hosted Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm in the Inland Empire to tour TEC Equipment in Fontana, the largest and first certified electric Mack and Volvo semi-truck dealership in the country, where they highlighted the Inflation Reduction Act’s clean energy investments.
  • Hosted Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in Fontana to highlight the City of Fontana’s $15 million Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Grant. This grant will fund a project that will spur development and growth in one of the city’s most distressed and low-income communities of color.
  • Hosted a roundtable for US Department of Commerce Under Secretary for Economic Affairs Jed Kolko with local businesses and stakeholders to highlight economic development in the region. Additionally toured ESRI to show Under Secretary Kolko their new advancements in data analysis and GIS mapping.

Secured WRDA funding in the NDAA:

  • $60 million for the Inland Empire for water and wastewater infrastructure projects.
  • $27.5 million for wastewater infrastructure in Rialto.
  • A feasibility study for flood risk management and ecosystem restoration for the City of Rialto the surrounding area.
  • $16 million for stormwater management infrastructure in Fontana

Secured report and bill language and funding levels in the FY23 minibus that passed the House of Representatives:

  • Report language in the FY23 Energy & Water bill to encourage the Army Corps to consider applying Forecast-Informed Reservoir Operations to the Seven Oaks Dam and to evaluate potential water control manual changes that may achieve water conservation benefits. Following this report language passing the full House of Representatives, the Corps announced in August 2022 that Seven Oaks Dam was officially selected as a FIRO pilot project.
  • Bill language under FY23 Financial Services and General Government to expand federal employment requirements to include recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
  • Report language in the FY23 Transportation and Housing bill to encourage HUD to use the highest possible median house price to calculate FHA loan limits for Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) that experienced a drop in FHA loan limits of 20 percent or more when the Housing Economic Recovery Act went into effect.
  • Report language in the FY23 Transportation and Housing bill to direct the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to work with HUD, HHS, and the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) to review the current state of affordable housing properties that provide wrap-around supportive services and provide recommendations on how these services can be improved.
  • $10,392,000 for the Salaries and Expenses Account for the National Museum of the American Latino under the Interior bill, which is $2,068,000 above the FY22 enacted level.
  • Report language in the FY23 Interior bill to reaffirm the Committee’ support for the National Museum of the American Latino will be located on or near the National Mall, to the maximum extent practicable. The language recommends $10,392,000 to continue recruiting and selecting personnel, especially in research, collections, education and communication through digital platforms while the Museum planning is underway.
  • $120,000,000 for the Facilities Capital account to support the planning, design, and construction of the National Museum of the American Latino.

Secured report language in the FY23 appropriations package that passed the House Appropriations Committee during full committee markup:

  • Report language in the FY23 Labor-HHS bill to establish a $3 million demonstration program to provide funding to owners of affordable housing properties for their residents, including after-school programs for children and teenagers; education opportunities for youth and adult residents; mental health, alcohol and addiction treatment; self-sufficiency resources; resources on future home ownership; financial literacy training; elderly care; assistance to residents with disabilities; and other community services.
  • Report language in the FY23 Labor-HHS bill to urge the Office of Community Services (OCS) to coordinate with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and State and local housing authorities to expand supportive services at low-income housing communities to leverage Federal funding sources to increase self-sufficiency and improve low-income individuals’ living conditions.
  • Report language in the FY23 Labor-HHS bill to encourage HHS to update the current Z code definitions and establish a national standard to review social determinants of health to ensure physicians nationwide use the same tools to analyze SDOH.
  • $500,000,000 for Title X Family Planning
  • $11,500,000 for Screening and Treatment for Maternal Depression and Related Disorders State Grants.
  • $7,000,000 for the Maternal Mental Health Hotline and report language in the FY23 Labor-HHS bill supporting a Maternal Mental Health Hotline. This hotline will provide 24-hour voice and text support for pregnant and new mothers experiencing anxiety, depression and other maternal health issues.
  • $12,400,000,000 for Head Start.

FY23 wins that passed committee:

  • $60,000,000 for the National Science Foundation to support undergraduate STEM Education at Hispanic Serving Institutions
  • Report language requiring the Department of Homeland Security to implement recommendations from its internal Domestic Violent Extremism Review to ensure DHS is appropriately addressing insider threats of violent extremism and can adequately identify and address threats of extremism.
  • Report language requiring the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to translate any mis-, dis-, or mal-information materials about election security in Spanish and other languages.
  • $20,000,000 for the NSA National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity (CAE-C) program. The Cybersecurity Center at Cal State San Bernardino is Center of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity. [we can link to the press release where Pete announced this here too]
  • $2,500,000 for the CISA Chief Learning Officer to support the existing National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity program.
  • $5,000,000 for the Cyber Halo Innovation Research Program (CHIRP) at Space Systems Command. In 2022, Cal State San Bernardino was selected to participate in this program to help CSUSB students gain cybersecurity experience in the DoD.
  • $6,800,000 for the Cybersecurity Education and Training Assistance Program within CISA to support K-12 cyber education.
  • $20,000,000 for the Strengthening the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Citizenship and Integration Grant Program.

FY23 wins that passed the House:

  • $247 million for Hispanic Serving Institutions, like Cal State San Bernardino and University of Redlands.
  • Increased the maximum Pell Grant to $7,395, $500 above the FY22 level

NDAA wins that passed the House:

  • Requires all computer-based counseling under Military Spouse Transition Program (MySTEP) to be in English, Spanish, Tagalog and the 10 remaining commonly spoken languages in the US to support service members’ spouses as they transition into civilian life.
  • Requires the Secretary of Defense to establish a risk-based survey that will provide greater oversight of schools that participate in the Tuition Assistance Program, which ensures servicemembers receive high quality education.
  • Requires the Secretary of Defense to report to Congress on how service branches an incorporate EMT national licensing into their medic training to make it easier for veterans to secure a job.
  • Requires the Department of Defense to update Congress on the implementation of recommendations regarding screening of domestic extremists who want to join the military. Rep. Aguilar introduced similar legislation on the floor of the US House of Representatives in 2021.

Miscellaneous Wins:

  • Worked to cut through red tape to ensure the Federal Railroad Administration approved the Quiet Zone application for the Arrow Train service in a timely manner.

In addition to legislation to legislation he’s introduced and authored, Rep. Aguilar helped the House pass hundreds of bipartisan bills over the past two years. This includes bills to expand access and increase affordability of health care, strengthen voting rights, protect our democracy and protect Dreamers and immigrant families across the country.

In November, Rep. Aguilar was elected by the voters of California’s 33rd Congressional District following the state’s decennial reapportionment.

Rep. Aguilar was elected Chair of the House Democratic Caucus and is a member of the House Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on House Administration and the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol.