Around the District 
Update on Porter Ranch Gas Leak
Last week I spoke at the California Assembly Utility & Commerce Committee hearing on the Porter Ranch gas leak. I discussed the need for accountability and responsible regulations to ensure that incidents like this one don't occur in the future. I also gave an update on the gas leak at the Porter Ranch Gas Well Blowout Town Hall Meeting in Woodland Hills. In case you missed it, please visit my website to learn more how my office can help.
Testifying at the California Assembly Hearing on the Porter Ranch gas leak

Youth Town Hall in Simi Valley
Last Friday I participated in Simi Youth Town Hall at the Reagan Library, which included Simi Valley middle and high schools that participated in a panel discussion where students submitted questions. I was very impressed with the discussion and the topics they presented. Events like these where I meet such bright young people in our communities make me very optimistic for the future of our nation.
Answering Questions at the Simi Youth Town Hall

Unitis Contractor Supply in Palmdale
Congratulations to Unitis Contractor Supply in Palmdale on your grand opening and ribbon cutting on January 26th. Welcome to the Antelope Valley, and best of luck!
Welcome to Palmdale, Unitis

For Veterans Sake
Earlier this week I had the honor of presenting an American flag and certificate of recognition to George Rios Ruiz, a terminally ill 9 year old boy from Antelope Valley who was made an honorary PTSD dog handler by U.S. Army Recruiters. Ruiz recently completely his first mission to train a PTSD dog who will be donated to a veteran with PTSD. Thank you to For Veterans Sake Foundation for arranging the ceremony, to PetSmart in Lancaster for hosting it, Katie the K-9, and to everyone else who helped make this happen. Congratulations George, and thank you for your service!
Congratulations George!

Santa Clarita Valley School Visits
This week I had the pleasure of visiting two schools in the SCV:  Albert Einstein Charter School in Agua Dulce and Castaic Elementary. I had a great time discussing the role of Congress the legislative process, and current events. 
Speaking with students at Castaic Elementary

Military Service Academy Nominees
I am very excited to announce that, so far, ten students from California’s 25th Congressional District were accepted into service academies after receiving nominations from my Academy Selection Board. All of them proved themselves to be exceptional in their academic achievements, leadership skills, physical aptitude, character and motivation. Congratulations to the following students:

Ian Caddow from Saugus, United States Naval Academy, United States Military Academy at West Point,and the United States Merchant Marine Academy

Nicholas Drinhaus from Palmdale, United States Air Force Academy

Connor Lewis from Valencia, United States Military Academy at West Point

Delaney A. Marbach from Stevenson Ranch, United States Military Academy at West Point

Tyler Moroso from Valencia, United States Military Academy at West Point

Zachary Aloma from Simi Valley, United States Military Academy at West Point

Marshall Shires from Simi Valley, United States Military Academy at West Point

Samantha Geere from Stevenson Ranch, United States Naval Academy 

Hyeveen Cho from Palmdale, United States Military Academy at West Point

Jonathan Ellery from Valencia, United States Military Academy at West Point

Best of luck to all of you, and keep making us proud!

Around the Capitol
A Look at The Year Ahead
Due to the blizzard in Washington, D.C. last weekend, I have no updates from our nation’s capital. Instead, I would like to give you my perspective on some of the national issues that I look forward to working on in Congress this year. 

A major issue facing our nation is our national deficit that continues to pile onto our national debt, which is approaching a historic amount of $20 trillion. In 2015, we cut government spending and took steps toward reducing the deficit, but allowing it to grow at its current rate will continue to burden our economy and even pose a threat to our national security. What I plan to do this year in Congress is advocate for a strategy that will turn our budget deficit into a surplus by the end of this decade so we can start paying down our debt. This will take strong fiscal responsibility and discipline to succeed.

We also must fund our national defense priorities that keep us safe. The world is not getting any safer due to mounting tensions with Iran, Russia’s aggressive posturing, and ISIS’ persistence in spreading their brand of terrorism around the world. At the same time, our military acquisition process is an area in dire need of reform so we have a lean and effective military that doesn’t cost more than necessary.  I have been very active on both issues as a member of the House Armed Service Committee, where I continue to promote a robust American aerospace industry that will continue to innovate new technologies and ensure America’s air superiority well into the future.

The third issue that we should continue to work on is easing the numerous regulatory burdens that hinder our businesses, large and small, making it harder for Americans to find jobs or start their own companies. Last year, Congress passed several bills to reduce bureaucratic red-tape so that people can more easily start new companies and create jobs. As a member of the Hosue Small Business Committee, I am taking an active role in ensuring that smaller firms have a chance to succeed, grow, and thrive. Small businesses are crucial to the economy of our valleys because they employ our neighbors and provide us with the products and services we need.

Finally, Congress needs to help ensure that our workforce is equipped to handle the challenges of today and compete effectively in the global economy of the future. This starts with strengthening our education system by boosting students’ abilities in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics or STEM as it is called. While in Congress, I’ve cosponsored numerous bills that have passed the House that would equip our children with the skills and resources they need to succeed in the competitive global economy of the 21st century.

Around the Corner
Santa Clarita Sandbag Give Away
January 30th, 10am-2pm
Santa Clarita Aquatic Center, 20850 Centre Pointe Parkway, Santa Clarita

10 by 10 Variety Night
February 4th, 7–10pm
The REP Theatre, 24266 Main Street, Newhall

HDMG Community Health & Wellness Fair
February 6th, 10am– 2pm
Antelope Valley Mall, 1233 Rancho Vista Boulevard, Palmdale

Computer Workshops for Children and Teens
February 6th, 12-2pm
Simi Valley Public Library, 2969 Tapo Canyon Road, Simi Valley

Coffee with a Sheriff Deputy
February 10th, 8-10am
Lemon Leaf, 653 West Lancaster Boulevard, Lancaster

Santa Colorita 5K Fun-Run & Skip for Jack!
February 13th, 8am–12pm
Castaic Lake Recreation Area, 32132 Castaic Lake Drive, Castaic