Rep. Steve Knight: Reflection on first 100 days of the 115th Congress

Rep. Steve Knight (R-Palmdale)
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As we reflect on the first 100+ days of the 115th Congress, I am proud to report on the important progress we have been making for our nation and specifically the 25th District.

Nationally, Congress has passed 103 bills since Jan. 3, surpassing the 111th Congress as the most productive during the first 100 days of a new presidency since George H.W. Bush.

The president has signed 30 pieces of legislation into law, 11 more than the average under the past five administrations. The 14 Congressional Review Acts signed into law will save $3.7 billion in regulatory costs and 4.2 million hours completing bureaucratic paperwork.

Focusing on issues important to our community, I have sponsored or co-sponsored 98 bills in the 115th Congress thus far. Each of these bills would directly benefit our district and our families.

On Tuesday, May 23, The No Hero Left Untreated Act, H.R. 1162, passed the House unanimously. I authored this bill to help veterans recover from post-traumatic stress (PTS), traumatic brain injury (TBI), military sexual trauma (MST), chronic pain, or opiate addiction through magnetic EEG/EKG-guided resonance therapy, also known as Magnetic eResonance Therapy (MeRT).

We owe it to our veterans to ensure they have access to the most innovative treatment methods. This bill is now on its way to the Senate for consideration and holds great promise to change the technological curve with which we treat our selfless service members.

The St. Francis Dam Disaster National Memorial Act, H.R. 2156, authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a National Memorial at the site in San Francisquito Canyon to honor the victims of the Saint Francis Dam disaster.

More than 425 people died when the St. Francis Dam collapsed; many were members of the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians who are indigenous to the area. I have been working with Congress to commemorate this terrible disaster as a sign of remembrance for those lost in the community.

H.R. 69 establishes May 17 as DIPG Awareness Day and encourages research into cures for the terminal childhood brain cancer. This resolution renews an effort that I led last Congress with Janet Demeter, an Agua Dulce resident who lost her son Jack to DIPG in 2012.

This bill also encourages the National Cancer Institute and other research funders to elevate their consideration of the mortality rate of a type of cancer as well as the life years lost as factors considered during the grant application process.

Established in 1988, the Women’s Business Center Program provides grants to nonprofit organizations to promote women-owned small businesses through training and support. There are more than 100 educational centers throughout the United States specifically designated to help women start and grow small businesses.

While well intentioned, the current program requires clarification in its oversight and accreditation process. Legislation that I introduced, the Women’s Business Centers (WBC) Improvements Act of 2017, H.R.1680, aims to address these problems and increase funding for the program so that it can expand and improve service quality.

According to the U.S. Small Business Association, there are 63 women-owned small businesses spanning across the Antelope, Santa Clarita and Simi valleys.

The Valley Economic Development Center-WBC of Santa Clarita has served many women entrepreneurs in our community and continues to promote programs that assist women business owners expand in our district. We are fortunate to have such a wonderful WBC in our district and must continue to expand the opportunities available for these women through H.R. 1680.

Although there are many protections in place for our employees, there is not enough focused on clarifying terms of retaliation, especially based on gender. I introduced the Workplace Advancement Act, H.R. 1890, which would add a clause to the Labor Standards Act to make it unlawful for employers to retaliate in any way against employees who seek wage information to determine whether their employer is compensating in a manner that provides equal pay for equal work.

This bill also expresses the sense of Congress that gender-based wage discrimination is illegal and recommits to the principles of equal pay for equal work.

The Soledad Canyon Consistency Act, H.R. 1557, withdraws 640.16 acres of the Soledad Canyon Sand & Gravel Mining Project Site (California) from entry, appropriation, or disposal under the public land laws; location, entry, and patent under the mining laws; and operation of the mineral leasing, mineral materials, and geothermal leasing laws.

The mine has been delayed for a decade, and various leaders in the community have led efforts to block it including Santa Clarita City Council members, environmentalists and other elected officials.

It is now my focus to completely and finally block mining on this land, and this bill will do just that.

The bills listed above are just a few examples of the work that I am doing to advance and protect our community. These bills are products of your direct communication with me and my staff.

I am proud of the first 100 or so days of the 115th Congress and the progress we have made on behalf of California’s 25th District and the American people.

I am grateful for the opportunity to represent you and look forward to hearing more from you to see how I can better represent you in the years to come.

Congressman Knight, an Antelope Valley Republican, was re-elected to Congress in November last year.

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