Press Releases

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July 23, 2015

WASHINGTON Rep. Sam Farr, D- Calif., released the following statement after voting against H.R. 3009, the Enforce the Law for Sanctuary Cities Act: 

“Local police make our communities safer by engaging and building trust with the public they serve. Sanctuary cities exist because of the federal government’s failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Pushing the burden of enforcing a broken immigration system onto local police makes it impossible for them to build community trust.

“We should not be asking police to fill that void by acting as federal immigration officers. If we truly want to make our cities safer, let’s leave public safety decisions to local governments who better understand the needs of their individual communities. Instead of punishing local jurisdictions by withholding funding, Republicans should be working with Democrats to fix our broken immigration system.”  

July 23, 2015

WASHINGTON – Rep. Sam Farr, D- Calif., Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture and chair of the Organic Caucus, released the following statement after voting against H.R. 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015: 
“Food is just like politics, it’s all local. This bill undermines local control. It strikes many of California’s strong organic standards, which were the model for the National Organic Program. It preempts state laws relating to the labeling of GMO food products and creates more confusion about what truly is ‘GMO-free.’ 
“Labeling is really important but this bill would make it a voluntary one-size fits all system. That is not how farming works and it’s certainly not what consumers want. People want to know their farmer and know their food. And they want to know what is in their food before it goes into their body. This bill leaves us all in the dark.”

June 11, 2015

WASHINGTON – Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., announced today that he will vote for the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), often referred to as “fast-track,” to give President Obama the tools necessary to negotiate strong trade agreements on behalf of the American people. Rep. Farr released his decision in a post to his constituents.
TPA is not a trade deal. Instead it determines the process that Congress will use to vote on future trade agreements.  Under TPA, any trade agreement negotiated by the President must meet certain environmental, labor and human rights standards. When an agreement is finalized and presented to Congress, it is made public and open to review for 60 days. After 60 days, Congress will hold an up or down vote on the trade agreement.
“TPA sets the strongest human rights, environmental and labor standards for trade in the history of our country, said Rep. Farr. “These are not ceilings but instead are floors that have to be met, giving President Obama the leverage necessary to push for even stronger standards when negotiating with other countries.”
The United States is currently negotiating with 11 other countries the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). A TPP trade deal has not been finalized. Rep. Farr is waiting until an agreement has been reached before deciding if he will support it or not. 

Amendment to 21st Century Cures Bill would encourage Marijuana Research

July 8, 2015
WASHINGTON  – Today, Democratic Congressmen Sam Farr (CA-20, and Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), and Republican Congressmen H. Morgan Griffith (VA-09), and Andy Harris, M.D., (MD-01), introduced the “Credible Research on Medical Efficacy of Marijuana Amendment” to the 21st Century Cures Act. The 21st Century Cures Act, or H.R. 6, is currently scheduled to be considered on the House floor this week.  
The amendment focuses on removing barriers that inhibit research on marijuana. This amendment encourages the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to work with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to initiate and collaborate on research about the medical risks and benefits of marijuana.  This does not change marijuana from a Schedule 1 drug, but does create a new subclassification within Schedule 1 – “Schedule 1R” for marijuana that would make research easier to conduct. 
“As more and more states pass medical marijuana laws, it is clear the federal government needs to rethink our federal policy. Both sides of this issue agree that debate needs to be centered on science and not rhetoric. Allowing research to occur will give policymakers the information necessary to determine the proper role of medical marijuana in our country,” said Congressman Farr.
“There has been little research into potential therapeutic benefits and risks of medical marijuana use. In many cases, research into specific relief it provides, how it can best be used, etc. has been obstructed by federal obstacles. This amendment is a responsible approach to increasing research and pursuing the answers to questions being asked by so many patients, doctors, researchers, and policy makers about medicinal marijuana,” said Congressman Griffith.
“Our drug policy should be based on sound science, which is sorely lacking on the medical efficacy of marijuana. We need science to clearly determine whether marijuana has medicinal benefits and if so, what is the best way to gain those benefits. This amendment encourages more research and more collaboration in the study of marijuana by removing barriers currently in place,” said Dr. Harris.
“Given the widespread use of medical marijuana, it is imperative that doctors better understand how it can be used to treat different people and conditions, as well as the risks involved. Our amendment shows members of Congress with widely varying views on marijuana policy are united in support of building a robust body of scientific information on medical marijuana.” said Congressman Blumenauer.
The 21st Century Cures Act was passed by the House Energy and Commerce Committee and will take bold action to accelerate the discovery, development, and delivery of promising new treatments and cures for patients, as well as maintains our nation’s standing as the biomedical innovation capital of the world.  


June 10, 2015
WASHINGTON – Reps. Sam Farr (D-CA), Don Young (R-AK) and Lois Capps (D-CA) today introduced H.R. 2717, the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring (FOARAM) Act of 2015 to expand NOAA’s ocean acidification efforts to provide the tools necessary to develop solutions to the growing problem. Increased ocean acidification threatens an estimated $350 billion blue economy that employees over 2.9 million people in the United States alone. 
This bill addresses the need for a greater understanding of the economic, social and ecological impacts of ocean acidification. It will expand the current NOAA program by creating an advisory board to increase communication and coordination between the public and private sectors.
“The strength of our economy is directly tied to the health of our oceans,” said Rep. Farr. “Ocean acidification is not just a coastal problem; it threatens our entire national economy. We need to develop solutions to the problem of ocean acidification right now to protect our greatest natural resource and the industries it supports.”
Ocean acidification occurs when carbon dioxide dissolves in seawater, leading to the water becoming more acidic. The oceans and Great Lakes have been absorbing carbon dioxide at an alarming rate resulting in a more than 30 percent increase in ocean acidity in just the past few decades. It is estimated that acidity could rise to 125 percent of historic levels by the end of the century.
Rising ocean acidity has drastic consequences for marine organisms that are the basis for our blue economy. Marine organisms with a hard shell are particularly heavily impacted. Under increasingly acidic conditions, the shells become thinner and even begin to dissolve, threatening many lucrative fisheries such as crabs, lobsters, oysters, clams and mussels. 
"The FOARAM Act has provided crucial funding for NOAA’s ocean acidification research efforts, including those housed at the University of Alaska Fairbanks,” said Rep. Young. “This research has increased our understanding of where changes are occurring, how they vary by region and the ways they impact marine life, particularly shellfish. Alaska’s shellfish industry has significantly benefited from this important NOAA research, which has allowed the industry to mitigate and adapt to our changing oceans.”
Ocean acidification also threatens coral reefs which provide shoreline protection and habitat for many species of fish. The estimated impact on coastal communities – from decreased tourism revenue to declining fish populations – is over $1 trillion due to coral reef loss.
“Ocean acidification threatens not only the health of our oceans and the marine organisms in them, but our local economies and industries that depend on the oceans for their livelihoods,” Rep. Capps said. “Rising ocean acidity is already having a tremendous impact on our oceans, which is why we cannot wait any longer to address it. I am proud to have co-authored this bipartisan update to FOARAM with my colleagues Rep. Farr and Rep. Young to help our nation better understand and mitigate the impacts of ocean acidification as well as support our costal economies.”
Created in 2009, NOAA’s Ocean Acidification program laid the groundwork for researching into ocean acidification. This reauthorization will provide a needed update to the program to allow our nation to respond quickly to new research and move toward identifying solutions to mitigate the effects of ocean acidification.