For the past month and a half I have been busy not only setting up my offices and getting the lay of the land in this crazy place called Washington DC, but also figuring out how I can best represent the 25th Congressional District. Here's a quick recap of my first fifty days in office.
Letter from Congressman Knight: My first 50 days in Congress
Currently, I have offices in Palmdale, Simi Valley and Washington, DC. A Santa Clarita Office should also be up and running soon. My staff is working hard to ensure that my constituents have a voice in Congress and that any questions you may have are being answered. For more information please see the Around the District section below.
I serve on three committees: Armed Services, Science Space and Technology, and Small Business. I am very excited about each committee and through them I can look after the needs and interests of families and businesses in our communities. In Armed Services, we are holding hearings on a number of topics related to pay and benefits for military personnel as well as the arms acquisition process. In Science, Space and Technology, we are focusing on the many exciting recent developments in aerospace and space exploration, including integrating unmanned systems into civilian airspace as well as the commercial space exploration ventures that are operating not too far from where you sit right now. In Small Business, I am happy to report that we have already passed legislation through committee and out of the House that would grant regulatory relief to smaller companies who are struggling due to burdensome federal agencies.
There were a number of bills that came to the House Floor that I was happy to vote for such as legislation that will incentivize charitable donations by families, prevent veteran suicide, and allow the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to continue to pass legislation that will help put Americans back to work.
My goals here are more or less the same as they have always been: revitalize California's aerospace industry, protect American citizens at home and overseas, and support families and businesses by getting government out of their way as much as possible. Currently, I am working on drafting a few pieces of legislation. One will help foster a deal with CEMEX to prevent them from building a mine in Santa Clarita, something the city has been working on for quite some time. Additionally, I am looking into bills that will help support the veteran community and small businesses across the country.
My job in Washington, DC is the same as it is when I’m in California, which is to serve my constituents and I take that job very seriously. I look forward to hearing from you in the future, so feel free to contact any of my offices if I can be of assistance.
United States Member of Congress
California, 25th District
On the Floor- Vets Suicide Prevention Bill
In my first week in office, I had the opportunity to vote on H.R.5059- the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act, or SAV Act. I believe that it should be a top priority of Congress to provide support for the people who have risked their lives for our country, and this bill is a good step in that direction. A 2012 report from the Department of Veterans Affairs noted that an average of 18-22 veterans have committed suicide each day for more than a decade, which to me is deplorable. The SAV Act aims to help turn the tide against this epidemic by increasing access to mental health care and capacity at VA, improving the quality of care and boosting accountability at VA, and developing a community support system for veterans. As a son of a veteran and veteran myself, I believe Congress has a lot of work to do in terms of providing services to our veterans.
Taking Care of Business
I’m proud to say that earlier this month I co-sponsored my first bill, which will alter the way federal agencies create and enforce regulations on small businesses. The bill, HR 527- the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act- requires agencies to analyze the economic impact that regulations would have on small businesses before they go into effect. Additionally, it gives small businesses more opportunities to offer input in the rulemaking process and requires agencies to periodically review and reduce existing regulations.
Americans want to work. The best way Congress can help is cutting burdensome red tape and letting job creators do what they do best. Instead of making small businesses spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours trying to understand and comply with regulations, we should let them focus on putting Americans back to work.
HR 527 passed the House Floor on a vote of 260 to 163. The bill will now go to the Senate for consideration.
Armed Services Recap
I am happy to represent my constituents through my seat on the House Armed Services Committee and support the Antelope Valley’s legacy in aerospace Research Development Test & Evaluation. The committee has already held several hearings on important issues including how the US will respond to the ongoing threat posed by the Islamic State. I will give careful consideration to such issues and look forward to your questions, comments or concerns as the committee continues to deliberate on such affairs.
Science, Space & Technology Recap
The Science Committee compliments my position on the Armed Services committee in that I get to also work on the non-military aspect of aerospace regarding NASA, commercial space, and unmanned systems in the National Air Space. NASA aeronautics has done much for our country and our community and I will ensure it continues to do so as well as supporting the commercial space industry that continues to demonstrate America’s innovative and pioneering spirit. Also of importance to me on this committee is my commitment to promoting STEM education and I will do what I can to make sure our students get the proper STEM education so that America continues to lead the world in innovative technologies.
Keeping In Touch
I love hearing from my constituents about all sorts of things, from bills you’d like to see me introduce to legislation that you think I ought to know about so I can support or oppose it. There are a number of ways you can contact me, but the easiest is to shoot me an email through my website at https://knight.house.gov/contact/email. I also like to keep the people I represent in the loop on everything I’m doing both in the Capitol and out in the district. For daily updates, please Like me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RepresentativeSteveKnight and Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SteveKnight25. I look forward to hearing from you.
Local Business of the Week
I believe local businesses are the heart and soul of any good community. That is why every edition of Knight Vision I’d like to recognize one business in the community that has shown outstanding service and integrity.
This week, I’m proud to name The Shop in Quartz Hill as the Local Business of the Week. Its co-owners, Ray Estrada and Patrick Deybarrondo, have been providing automotive repair services to the Antelope Valley for two years now. For folks who have been around the AV for a little while, you may remember that there was a place called The Shop in Quartz Hill about ten years ago. That was the same business, but a few years back they shut down and flirted with the idea of moving out of state. Thankfully, Ray and Pat decided against this, reopened in February of 2013, and have been going strong ever since. Their specialty is diesel repair, though they work on literally any make or model you bring in. Between Ray’s Grade-A customer service and the team of highly trained mechanics, it is no wonder that The Shop is quickly becoming an institution in the High Desert Region. You can find them at the corner of M & 50th St. West or online at http://theshopqh.com/.
First District Office
In January, I opened my first Congressional District Office. It is located at 1008 West Avenue M-14 in Palmdale. There is staff there that can help constituents with all sorts of things, from issues with federal agencies like the VA and Social Security, to getting letters of congratulations for Honor Roll students and Eagle Scouts. Go ahead and give them a call at (661) 441-0320 or stop by any time from 9am to 5pm and chat with my staff. Additionally, I’ll be hosting an Open House in March, so stay posted for details on that.
Crustaceans and Installations
It’s a new year, which means various civic organizations have to say goodbye to officers and elect new ones. On February 6th, I was happy to attend the Palmdale Chamber of Chamber's 74th Installation & Crab Crack, a time-honored tradition in the AV. There, my wife and I cracked some delicious shellfish while we honored Caroline Rodriguez as Outgoing Board Chair and installed Laura Gordon as 2015 Board Chair as well as the 2015 Board of Directors.
Santa Clarita Valley
In some places, wintertime is an excuse to stay inside all day to stay warm. In the Santa Clarita Valley, it’s prime time for a nice, cool run. On February 14th, I spoke at the Santa Colorita 5k Fun Run, which was a fantastic event for a great cause. Runners showed up at the Castaic Lake State Recreation Center early in the morning to run over three miles while being bombarded with colored powder, and believe me it was quite a sight. The event was raising money for Jack’s Angels, a local group that raises awareness for the urgent need for research in pediatric brain tumors. For more information on Jack’s Angels, please visit their website at http://jacksangelsfoundation.com/
Passing the Torch
On January 23rd, my wife and I attended another Chamber of Commerce Installation, this one in the Santa Clarita Valley. We recognized outgoing Chairman Jim Backer, Owner of JSB Development and installed incoming Chairman, Sue Nevius, General Manager at La Quinta Inn & Suites as well as the returning board members. We also honored the Business of the Year, Ambassador of the Year and Special Achievement winners.
Remembering Our Fallen
While it is very important to support our veterans, it is equally crucial to honor and remember those that have made the ultimate sacrifice to our country. That is exactly the goal of the Remembering Our Fallen Memorial Wall, which was unveiled at the Reagan Library on January 31st. At the unveiling I had the opportunity to speak with Gold Star Moms and Dads, for whom I have the utmost respect for. It was an incredibly moving experience that gave me an opportunity to reflect on how amazing our men and women in uniform really are.
Hats Off to Local Businesses
As a Congressman, I believe it is my duty to help small businesses grow and provide jobs. But equally as important is taking the time to recognize those very businesses that make up the backbone of the economy in our district. That is why I attended the Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce “Salute to Business” Luncheon on January 23rd. I had the pleasure of recognizing City Auto Body as the 2014 Business of the Year, Terry Marvin as the 2014 Business Person of the Year, and Jim Lowry as the recipient of the Strathearn Lifetime Achievement Award. We also honored Outgoing Board Chair, Dan Jaeger and welcomed 2015 Board Chair, Michelle Foster.
|Things to look out for around the district in the coming weeks:
Mardi Gras Madness 1K / 5K / 10K benefitting Students Off And Running of Santa Clarita
Sunday, February 22, 8-10am
24201 West Valencia Blvd, Valencia
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org
Antelope Valley Board of Trade Business Outlook Conference
Friday, February 27, 9am-4pm
Antelope Valley Fairgrounds- Turf, 2551 W Avenue H #102, Lancaster
For more information call (661) 947-9033 or visit http://www.avbot.org/
Valley Con 2015 Model Building Contest
Sunday, March 1, 10am-4pm
Reagan Library’s Air Force One Pavilion- 40 Presidential Dr, Simi Valley
For more information visit https://valleycon.wordpress.com/
Congressman Knight’s Palmdale Office Open House
Tuesday, March 10, 5-7pm
1008 West Avenue M-14, Palmdale
For more information call (661) 441-0320
Have a community event you’d like to feature in Knight Vision? Email us at Knight.Media@mail.house.gov and let us know!