After the August district work period, I am excited to head back to the Capitol next week, where the newly created Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction will begin its efforts toward addressing our debt crisis. The American people spoke loud and clear that they were sick of government overspending and drowning in debt, and this bipartisan committee was selected to judiciously reduce government waste and give businesses some economic certainty, allowing them to plan, grow, and put the American people back to work.
Moving forward, my GOP colleagues and I are committed to repealing job-destroying regulations to create middle class jobs. Regulatory burdens have for too long tied the hands of small businesses and prevented job growth. I highly anticipate the passage of three monumental pieces of legislation, the REINS Act, the Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act, and the Administrative Procedures Act, before the new year. This is exciting news for businesses looking to expand, or just to stay above water, as well as for unemployed workers looking for jobs.
A second initiative I am proud to announce provides immediate tax relief on the American public, which is designed to help American employers, small businesses in particular, create middle class jobs. One of the absolute worst things government can do is impose tax increases that prevent businesses from hiring. Instead, we will focus on ways to enable businesses, large and small, to unlock more capital and create new jobs.
This week I made good use of the last of the August district work period by meeting with constituents about how we can put Valley citizens back to work. I took a tour of the Kaplan College Campus in Salida, which is highly regarded for providing a technical education for students looking to enter the workforce with a valuable and marketable skill. The students were hopeful regarding employment prospects upon graduation, and I assured them that I will continue to support pro-growth policies so that businesses can create jobs for them to eventually fill.
I also met with the Stanislaus Medical Society about the unique needs and concerns of our community. Rural areas experience unique needs and concerns for healthcare delivery, and I am always looking out for ways to recruit and retain physicians and medical service providers of the highest caliber. I also met with the new CEO of Modesto's Doctors Medical Center, Peter Bastone, regarding ways that I can assist the 465-bed, multispecialty facility to best serve families and seniors in Stanislaus County and the surrounding areas. I am aware of the value of such a reputable hospital in a community, especially in more underserved and rural areas like Stanislaus County.
Overall, I believe the attitude and morale is hopeful in the 19th Congressional District. I believe that a lot of this hope is due to the passage of the Budget Control Act and the guarantee of a vote on the Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA). This topic came up at my meeting with the Modesto Tea Party Patriots, who are supportive of a BBA to tie legislators' hands from overspending in the future so that we never get into the mire of debt we are drowning in today. The BBA is a commonsense and workable long-term solution to federal deficits, and would provide the certainty that business plans thrive on, leading to long term employment and revenue growth.
Inevitably, the late summer months provide both water and fire concerns in the Central Valley. There was a notable pro-jobs water ruling this week that will put our agriculture community back to work. On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Oliver Wanger disapproved of actions planned by federal agencies that would have removed as much as 300,000 acre-feet of water from the system to protect the Delta smelt. Judge Wanger's decision found that Fish and Wildlife Service's biological opinion failed to explain why it is essential to undertake the proposed action that would inflict drastic consequences on California water users. The ability to store this water will provide for the creation of more jobs in the Central Valley, as well as relieving the stresses that arise during the inevitable drought years.
On the fire front, the Motor Fire burning near Merced River Canyon continues to burn over 5,300 acres, with nearly 1,000 fire fighting personnel and coordinators working to contain and quench the fire. As of today, the estimated containment date is Sunday, September 4th. I wrote an Op-Ed regarding the safety and management of our forests to ensure that the risk of wildfires is as low as possible. Much of the risk could be managed by having an increased ability to harvest timber within our National Forests. I believe that, instead of letting our forests burn, we should be creating jobs locally by cutting trees and utilizing the debris for renewable biomass energy, while reducing the fire risk. With increased timber harvesting, we can keep the temperature of wildfires lower and better manage the size of the fires so that they will not grow to such extremes that firefighters struggle to contain the blaze, threatening their lives in the process. This is one primary example of how federal regulation destroys jobs-- and has the potential to destroy much more, in the case of wildfires.
You can stay up to date with my activity in Washington and in the 19th District on my website, www.denham.house.gov, and on my social media sites: @RepJeffDenham on Twitter and Representative Jeff Denham on Facebook.
Have a happy and safe Labor Day weekend with your families and friends.