2011 Press Releases

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Washington, DC Congressman Sam Farr (D-Carmel) today released the following statement after the House Republican Majority refused to allow a vote on the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act, and instead voted to conference the bipartisan Senate bill:       


“I am beyond disappointed that once again Congress has been derailed by extreme Tea Party politics at the expense of middles class families. The stakes for our nation are too high to get drawn into these games of political brinksmanship.


When they are done tallying their political points, Tea Party Republicans will realize that middle class families, unemployed workers and our economy cannot afford to take on average a $1,000 tax increase and a lapse in unemployment benefits. The lack of action will also severely affect doctors who will see Medicare reimbursement rates drop, a result that will ultimately affect patience on the Central Coast and across the nation.          


Today House Republicans had an opportunity to prevent this, and support the bipartisan Senate bill that would have given families the piece of mind they need heading into the Holidays.”

Washington, DC Congressman Sam Farr (D-Carmel) today hailed the decision by the Surface Transportation Board to allow the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (SCCRTC) to purchase the Union Pacific rail line along the proposed route of the Santa Cruz portion of the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Trail. The decision paves the way for the RTC to purchase the rail line for the trail and to increase transpiration alternatives for the region.    


“Today’s decision brings us all one step closer in realizing our long-standing dream of providing greater access and use of this transportation corridor that connects Santa Cruz and Monterey counties around the Monterey Bay,” said Congressman Sam Farr. “This transportation project will not only offer our region an environmentally friendly and healthy form of alternative transportation, but it has the potential to spur economic activity and educate residents and tourists about the value of the Monterey Bay Sanctuary.  I have championed this project for a long time, but it is days like this that we are reminded of what is possible when communities come together.”


"Today's decision is a milestone event in our long journey to secure the Santa Cruz Branch Line as an infrastructure asset for the community.  Future generations will benefit from the transportation and trail opportunities that this purchase will provide," said Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission Chair and Chair of the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors Mark Stone. "Congressman Sam Farr has been a vital proponent of this project every step of the way, and we are grateful for his leadership in aggressively seeking viable alternative forms of transportation for the Monterey Bay region."


"Once in a while, when you've just about given up hope, miracles actually do happen.  But in truth, luck is made out of people, and a lot of people worked to make this happen.  We at FORT are looking forward to an exciting new chapter working with the RTC to get a coastal rail trail built as the centerpiece of the Santa Cruz County portion of the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network while preserving the rail functionality of the corridor for potential future uses," said the Chair of Friends of teh Rail & Trail Bruce Sawhill.



Gabriel Zimmerman is the first staffer to be murdered while in the line of duty; the legislation

passed the House with a unanimous vote


Washington, DC Congressman Sam Farr (D-Carmel) today voted in support H.Res. 364, legislation that will name a meeting room in the U.S. Capitol in honor of Gabriel Zimmerman, a UC Santa Cruz graduate and staff member of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords who was killed in the January 8th shooting in Tucson, Arizona. H.Res. 364 designates room HVC 215 of the Capitol Visitor Center as the “Gabriel Zimmerman Meeting Room”.  


“The ‘Gabriel Zimmerman Meeting Room’ will honor the legacy of Gabriel Zimmerman and the thousands of congressional staffer that work in our communities across the country,” said Congressman Sam Farr. “By all accounts Gabe was a person dedicated to making a difference in the lives of the people around him, and now that spirit will be echoed by the people who visit this room and the staffer that use it everyday.”


Zimmerman graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 2002, where a Scholarship Fund has also been established in his honor to celebrate his dedication to public service. Gabriel Zimmerman is the first Congressional staff member to be murdered while in the line of duty.


Congressman Farr is cosponsor of the bipartisan legislation, H. Res. 364.



The Pinnacles National Park Act would upgrade the area to recognize its diverse ecosystems, geology and cultural history


Washington, DC Congressman Sam Farr (D-Carmel) today introduced H.R.3641, the Pinnacles National Park Act—legislation to upgrade the Pinnacles National Monument in San Benito County to ‘National Park’ status. The status upgrade of the area would recognize and preserve its diverse ecosystems, geology, and cultural history, and would place it under the National Park System. The bill was previously introduced in the 111th Congress as H.R.3444.  


“The Pinnacles Monument is home to diverse ecosystems and an important part of our state’s cultural heritage,” said Congressman Sam Farr. “It is time to raise Pinnacles to a National Park that more accurately defines this jewel of Central California, and all it has to offer. It is a critical refuge for many species including the California condor and it offers another great potential for tourism revenue in the area.”


National Monuments, smaller than National Parks, are centered around a specific resource and lack diversity. The Pinnacles region, at 14,500 acres, is home to 32 floral and fauna species that hold special federal or state status, is the only remaining home of the California Condor and encompasses a unique blend of California heritage. The area is far more than rock formations, and currently its rich diversity is not recognized in its current status.


The legislation also allows the U.S. Interior Secretary to acquire land within the boundaries of the park as deemed necessary.


The Pinnacles National Park Act was introduced consecutively with Congressman Jeff Denham’s (R-CA) legislation to acquire 18 acres of land in Mariposa County to build a visitor center and an administrative facility for Yosemite Park. The administrative and visitors facility would help ease growing traffic and the increasing carbon footprint in the park, as employees would not have to drive into the park for work everyday.


The introduction of the two California bills will help preserve the state’s natural resources and play a key role in ensuring they both receive bipartisan consideration.      



Washington, DC Congressman Sam Farr (D-Carmel) today released the following statement after President Barack Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress regarding job creation:


“Jobs, jobs, jobs. That is the only thing on our nation’s mind, and tonight President Obama presented clear ideas to get our economy moving and creating those much needed jobs. While these ideas of investing in our infrastructure, communities and people might not seem revolutionary, they are the most basic and surest way to get people working today and well into the future.


The American Jobs Act now stands in stark contrast to the Republican cut, trim and squeeze agenda, that has failed to create any jobs. With a clear plan on the table, I hope Republicans are ready to answer the calls of our nation and drop partisan politics for the greater good of our country.”