Around the World
From February 17 to February 24 a few of my colleagues and I traveled to Germany, Afghanistan, and Iraq to visit our troops and get a firsthand account of the state of our military. The trip was intense and enlightening, and I walked away with a deeper understanding of where our national defense stands today.

The trip began in Germany, where we attended the annual Munich Security Conference. This is a forum for ministers, defense secretaries, and experts from all around the world to provide an update on the state of their country’s defenses. We listened to leaders express their views on their security outlooks and received valuable insights on where the US stands in the world right now.   I especially enjoyed hearing from Vice President Pence, who provided an astute evaluation of the United States’ role in global security and the challenges we will face in the future.
Discussing defense priorities with Vice President Pence

From Germany we departed to Afghanistan, where we met with a four star general to discuss his experiences and had dinner with troops. It is always such a thrill to sit and talk with young people who are serving our nation; in this case, I got to break bread with three young soldiers from Santa Clarita.  I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them, swapping stories about our service, and chatting about their lives.
Enjoying dinner with soldiers from Santa Clarita

The last leg of our trip was spent in Iraq, where we toured bases and operations in Baghdad and Erbil and continued to meet with service members, including special ops and air operations units, to get their perspectives and experiences.  We also had the opportunity to eat lunch with the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Kurdistan, who provided us with their outlook on the situation in Iraq in the context of their history in the area. I walked away with a greater appreciation for the complexity of the region and the challenges we face in promoting stability there.

Around the District
Chumash Park
On February 27 my office attended the Grand Opening and Dedication Ceremony for Chumash Park in Simi Valley. We are very excited to welcome this gorgeous space into the community. 
Looking forward to having Chumash Park in Simi Valley

Ribbon Cutting in SCV
On March 1 my office attended the Bunker Hill Bar & Grill Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony in Valencia. We presented them with a Certificate of Recognition and wished them success in their new venture.
Welcome to the neighborhood, Bunker Hill!

Read Across America
My staff enjoyed reading on Thursday at Gregg Anderson Academy for the Annual Read Across America Day. This year-round program focuses on motivating children and teens to read through events, partnerships, and reading resources. Thank you to Mrs. Diaz and the other amazing teachers that give of their time and resources to impact the students of the Antelope Valley.
My staff participating in Read Across America last week

Town Hall
This weekend I held a live town hall at the Chimbole Cultural Center in Palmdale. Thank you to everyone who made it, we had an excellent discussion about a wide range of important topics. A special thanks to the City of Palmdale for renting us the Chimbole Center and to the brave men and women from Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department who made sure everyone was safe. 
Answering questions at our town hall

Around the Capitol
Flood Recovery
On February 27 I sent a letter to President Trump requesting emergency funds for Los Angeles County to help communities recover from damages from the recent storms and floods. While we are grateful for the rain, it is causing hardship for many in our community. We look forward to working with the President as well as state and local officials to ensure the cleanup and rebuilding processes are successful. More info here.

Disabled American Veterans
We had a great meeting last week with local members and representatives from DAV California, who were in town for the Disabled American Veterans annual Mid-Winter Conference.
Discussing important legislative issues for disabled veterans

Enhancing Cybersecurity
Last Wednesday I participated in a House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology markup in which we passed H.R. 1224, the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, Assessment, and Auditing Act of 2017. This legislation would protect the information of our government personnel and projects from foreign cyberattacks by requiring federal agencies to meet the highest standards in cybersecurity software and protocols. Watch the whole thing here.

Local Credit Unions
On March 2 I had a chance to sit down with representatives from some of our local credit unions to discuss important issues like enhancing data and payment security. Thank you to the California Credit Union League for arranging the meeting!
Meeting with local credit unions in my Washington, D.C. office

Debut As Chairman
On Thursday I led my first hearing as Chairman of the House Small Business Committee Subcommittee on Contracting and the Workforce. We discussed the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone Program or Program,) which seeks to provide federal contracting opportunities to small businesses in economically distressed areas. It was great to hear from my colleagues and our witness about how we can strengthen and modernize this important program to encourage economic growth and job creation in economically distressed rural and urban communities. You can watch the whole hearing here.
Serving as Chair of the House Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting

Around the Corner
Antelope Valley Ballet Contemporary Dance
March 10, 7:00-10:00pm
Lancaster Performing Arts Center, 750 West Lancaster Boulevard, Lancaster

Family Storytime and Irish Dancing
March 11, 11:00-11:45am
Simi Valley Library, 2969 Tapo Canyon Road, Simi Valley

Haydn and US 
March 13, 8:00-10:00pm
California Institute of the Arts, The Roy O. Disney Concert Hall, 24700 McBean Parkway, Valencia

Think Shop STEAM Night
March 14, 5:00-6:30pm
Palmdale City Library, 700 E. Palmdale Boulevard, Palmdale

SENSES Block Party – Luck O’ the Irish
March 16, 7:00-10:00pm
Main Street, Newhall