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Meet Darrell Issa
Congressman Darrell Issa currently serves on the House Judiciary Committee, where he is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet. In addition to Judiciary, Issa also serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Previously, Issa served as Chairman of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee, and as a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Foreign Affairs Committee, the Energy & Commerce Committee, and the Small Business Committee. As the holder of 37 patents himself, Issa has been vigilant about protecting the intellectual property rights of artists and other entrepreneurs to help protect America’s position at the forefront of innovation and creativity in the entertainment and technology industries. His successful efforts to fight human trafficking along the United States border has resulted in tougher laws, stiffer penalties, and more consistent enforcement. His watchful concern to guarantee that U.S. taxpayers receive the royalties they are owed from mineral interests on federal lands exposed fraud and mismanagement at the Mineral Management Service (MMS) in 2006.
Jobs and Economy
As a small businessman and entrepreneur, I’ve worked tirelessly in Congress to create opportunity for hard-working Americans and put our economy back on track. Here in California, we’ve seen first-hand how higher taxes and ever-increasing regulations have sent jobs everywhere but here. We need fresh solutions and unique approaches to bring jobs back to the Golden State.
In the wake of the financial crisis, I worked to get the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) signed into law. This piece of legislation was one of the most important investment reforms in a generation. The legislation made it significantly easier start-ups and small businesses to raise the capital they need to expand and hire new workers. As a result, companies can now use crowd funding platforms and other innovative tools to grow. The JOBS Act is now being utilized by businesses across the country, including by many right here in San Diego.
But that’s only one example. In my time in Congress, I’ve introduced and supported numerous piece of legislation to reduce regulations, provide tax relief, to train workers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math so we can support a modern workforce, and to support innovation in our new economy.
As your Congressman, I’ll continue supporting innovation and creating an environment where small businesses can flourish.
As a former Army captain, my highest priority is ensuring our nation keeps its promise to the men and women who our country every day. Unfortunately, bureaucracy, mismanagement, and insufficient accountability at the Department of Veterans Affairs have meant that, too often, our veterans don’t get the care they deserve.
We need to fundamentally reform the VA in a way that brings accountability, improves service, and ensures our veterans get the care they’ve earned. In Congress, I’ve sponsored legislation to bring accountability to the agency, to improve care, increase choice, and improve service for our veterans.
I’ve secured funding for more than 900 military families who serve at Camp Pendleton, worked to secure funding to help transition veterans into careers in high-demand fields, increased family leave for military family caregivers, and helped ensure our service members and their families have the support they need.
America must win the war against ISIS. The attacks in terrorist attacks in Orlando, San Bernardino and with our allies all around the world are desperate reminders that America is still at war against terrorist ideologies with the capacity to inspire and carry out large-scale attacks against us.
We must win this fight.
The last 8 years of the Administration’s failed foreign policy have allowed the world to become a more dangerous place. ISIS is spreading across the world. Dangerous deals with Iran are leaving the state closer than ever to a nuclear weapon. China, Russia, and North Korea are becoming increasingly aggressive. All while dangerous cuts to our defense department through sequestration have undercut our military’s readiness and failed to provide the resources our men and women in uniform need to keep us safe.
In Congress, I’ve fought the President’s plan to close Guantanamo Bay. Too many of the prisoners we’ve held there have been released only to quickly return to terrorism. I’ve also worked to authorize a temporary use of force against ISIS and to require the President to submit a plan to defeat these radical ideologies. I’ve also worked to ensure Camp Pendleton and our armed services across the world have the training, technology, and funding they need to keep us safe.
We cannot be scared of the future. Defending policies that maintain America's status as the world's leader in technological innovation has been one of the hallmarks of my tenure in Congress. Before coming to Capitol Hill, I was in the electronics industry and saw first-hand the importance of supporting America’s innovators. In Congress, I have fought hard for policies that encourage growth in the digital economy and strive to educate my colleagues on the importance of supporting our new economy.
Technology is not a partisan issue. Last year, I founded the Sharing Economy Caucus with fellow California Congressman Eric Swalwell. Together, we are working to protect and grow companies that use the internet to empower entrepreneurs and efficiently connect people with services to improve all of our lives. I also co-chair the Internet of Things Caucus with Democrat Suzan DelBene where we explore problems and opportunities related to the manufacturing and use of the devices that are changing how we live our lives.
A key part of facilitating smart technology policy is understanding the intersection of innovation and law enforcement. I am proud to serve on the bipartisan Encryption Working Group where my colleagues and I are busy crafting policies to help U.S. companies so that can make secure technologies protect our privacy in a digital age.
Energy and Environment
Energy independence is crucial to the future of our national and economic security. The United States needs to pursue an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy to reduce our reliance on imported energy and lower the cost of gas and electricity for consumers.
We must utilize ALL of our nation's energy resources – not cherry-picking winners and losers or politically-favored technologies. We need to maximize our ability to tap into renewable sources, alternative fuels, and fossil fuels in a way that lowers costs for Americans and improves our environment.
The closing of the San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station and Diablo Canyon also remind us of the critical need to open a long-term nuclear storage facility so we can get the nuclear waste from these shuttered facilities moved out of the communities and into a location for safe storage. In Congress, I’ve sponsored the Interim Consolidated Storage Act to get a temporary facility open as soon as possible in locations that want, and are ready, to accept the nuclear waste. I’m also working to get the Yucca Mountain facility open as soon as possible.
We all can agree that America’s immigration system is in dire need of repair. Failing to secure our borders poses a major national security risk and must be our top priority. We have to know who is coming into our country if we are going to be able to keep Americans safe. This has only become more evident as ISIS and other sophisticated, covert terrorist groups have continued to grow and presented new challenges to securing our homeland.
The current Administration has tried time and time again to circumvent Congress by implementing immigration reform unilaterally through executive order. This is unacceptable. Immigration reform needs to come through the regular legislative process in Congress and start with the principles that secure our borders, enforce the law, and make legal immigration easier for those follow the law and want to make America their home.
People from all over the world are drawn to our country as a place of opportunity to live and pursue their dream. We should encourage this by supporting legislation that streamlines and cuts red tape for legal immigration so those who want to come here, can do so legally.
Criminal Justice Reform
Over the past few years, there’s been a growing consensus among lawmakers of both parties that our criminal justice system is in desperate need of reform. From reforming civil forfeiture laws to ensure due process is protected, to updating our sentencing laws with common sense reform, to improving criminal procedure to protect Constitutional freedoms, and helping our nation change the way we treat the victims of sexual assault, I’ve made reforming our broken criminal justice system one of my highest priorities.
Criminal justice is about punishing wrongdoers, protecting the innocent, upholding Constitutional freedoms, and helping individuals reintegrate as productive, and law-abiding members of our communities. It’s one of the few areas of bipartisan agreement and one of my biggest hopes for being able to pass meaningful reforms. That’s why I’ve lead and supported important bipartisan legislation to rein in civil forfeiture abuse, to fix our federal sentencing laws, to improve protections for survivors of sexual assault, to ‘Ban the Box’ and give better opportunities for reintegration, and more.
The Affordable Care Act hasn’t worked. It’s failed to meet its goals of reducing costs and increasing access to quality, affordable health insurance programs. Here in California, costs are up. Major insurers are leaving the exchanges and many more are predicting skyrocketing premium hikes. At the same time, California has suffered crippling shortages of doctors in our hospitals leaving struggling to access the critical care they need.
We need to replace Obamacare with state-based healthcare reforms that actually put patients first. I support health reform initiative that would allow that purchase of health insurance across state lines, that increase the portability of insurance from job-to-job, that crack down on unnecessary lawsuits that increase the cost of care, encourage private sector solutions to drive down healthcare costs and cut out unnecessary and duplicative regulatory and licensing requirements.
The American people must be able to trust that the officials using their tax dollars do so responsibly.
While Chairing the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, I tirelessly fought to expose wasteful spending. The Committee exposed numerous instances of needed reforms, including overspending by the General Services Administration on extravagant conferences and time and attendance fraud at the Environmental Protection Agency.
Additionally, I sponsored The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act) with Senator Mark Warner, which was signed into law in 2014. That legislation, for the first time, mandated that all federal spending information be reported and made available online in an easily searchable format. This legislation makes is easier than every for the public to see how their tax dollars are being spent and safeguard against waste and abuse.
I also lead the fight to pass the most substantive reform to the Freedom of Information Act in more than 50 years. This important legislation says for the first time that the people actually have a right to know what their government is doing behind closed doors. It makes it easier for the public to request and receive documents, creates a single online portal for FOIA requests, and ensures the public receive information they request in a timely and efficient manner.