By Congressman Brad Sherman
We need to eliminate waste and abuse so our scarce tax dollars can help provide quality education for our children and protect Social Security and Medicare. That’s why I helped lead the fight against bailing out Wall Street, and why I am currently helping to lead the effort to get all our money back from Wall Street and prevent future bailouts.
However, my chief priority is to get our economy moving again so there are quality jobs in the San Fernando Valley. Here are some ways I am working to improve the well-being of Valley families:
Fixing the Economy
Last year, Congress enacted the Stimulus Bill. So far, this legislation has saved or created 2 million jobs that would otherwise not exist today. Millions of dollars have flowed to the San Fernando Valley for transportation. Hundreds of teachers who were slated to be laid off in this economic crisis are still teaching our kids, paid for with Stimulus funds.
California faces a $20 billion budget deficit. I introduced the Zero Cost Economic Recovery Act. Under this bill, the federal government would guarantee state and local bonds, allowing California to borrow funds at low rates. This will cost the federal government nothing while allowing California to provide jobs by beginning important water, road and high-speed rail projects.
Improving Valley Transportation
The Stimulus Bill included millions in federal funding to help accelerate construction of a carpool lane and ramp improvements on both the 405 and 5 Freeways. The 405 Freeway Sepulveda Pass widening project, which broke ground last year, will benefit from $190 million in stimulus funds. Los Angeles will also use nearly $24 million from the Stimulus Bill to resurface streets, install new traffic signals and improve highway-rail grade crossings throughout the San Fernando Valley.
Fighting to Save Entertainment Jobs
A recent study has found that the motion picture industry loses $20.5 billion annually due to phony DVDs and other piracy. This costs nearly 150,000 new American jobs, many in the San Fernando Valley. I cosponsored and helped pass the PRO-IP Act, which is improving the enforcement of intellectual property laws and has increased the penalties for piracy.
I continue to believe that there are more good ideas in the Valley than in Washington, which is why I appreciate hearing from you. Do not hesitate to contact my San Fernando Valley office to share yours, (818) 501-9200.