Press Releases

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November 19, 2015

WASHINGTON – Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., released the following statement after the House of Representatives voted to amend the U.S. refugee admission process:
“The strength of our nation is found in our willingness to help those most in need. Turning our back on those fleeing terror and destruction would mean turning our back on the values that make this country great. America can stay true to those values without compromising our security.
“We already thoroughly vet anyone seeking refugee status. For most applications, it is a multi-year process that requires a stringent background check. If our security agencies cannot verify any detail of a refugee’s story, they are denied entrance. That is a higher level of security screening than we apply to immigrants and travelers visiting the United States.
“After the recent attacks in Paris, fear is an understandable emotion. However leadership requires us to not give into that fear. Syrian refugees fleeing their war torn country are not our enemy. They are grandparents, mothers, fathers and children who are only searching for safe haven for their family. As a humanitarian nation and the moral leader of the world, we have a responsibility to welcome them into our country.”

November 16, 2015

WASHINGTON – Reps. Sam Farr (CA-20), Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18) and Jackie Speier (CA-14) have received and released to the public the FAA Initiative to Address Noise Concerns that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has authored to address the unprecedented constituent complaints about noise from air traffic above San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Cruz and Santa Clara Counties. 
Farr: “This plan of action is evidence the FAA is willing to consider the changes proposed by the community. For months, the commercial aircraft noise in Santa Cruz and the surrounding area has been terrible. From the beginning, I have told the FAA that they created this mess so it is up to them to fix it. 
“This is only a first step but it is a good one. It shows everyone is committed to developing some real solutions. I hope the FAA will continue to listen to the communities it serves and work with them to solve any problems that arise from the switch to the NextGen flight plan.”  
Eshoo: “My colleagues and I have worked tirelessly to engage the FAA's leadership to take concrete steps to mitigate and address the noise from aircraft in our respective congressional districts. As a result of our collaboration, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and FAA Regional Director Glen Martin met with local elected officials, community groups and individuals from our congressional districts to discuss the impacts of the NextGen and additional issues prior to its implementation, including Surf Air at the San Carlos Airport.
“I welcome this important first step the FAA has developed. The FAA leadership will follow up with community meetings, coordinated through our offices, to explain in detail the FAA's plan to address the noise problems being experienced in our region.”
Speier: “My constituents have long been impacted by noise caused by aircraft operating at SFO and more recently at San Carlos and Half Moon Bay Airports. The FAA's Initiative to Address Noise Concerns is a compilation of the ideas that were offered by the public regarding SFO at the FAA's recent meetings in our three congressional districts, as well as requests made by the SFO Airport Community Roundtable. Some of these ideas may be deemed workable by the FAA and some may not.
“However, having previously been resistant to taking community suggestions, the FAA, for the first time in many years, has committed to studying ideas submitted by the affected communities. I am gratified that the FAA is rolling up its sleeves to come up with solutions. The health of those who live under constant bombardment of airplane noise is being seriously compromised and the FAA has a responsibility to take action to address it.”
The FAA Initiative to Address Noise Concerns can be viewed here.

October 28, 2015

WASHINGTON – Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1314, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015:

“The Republican Leadership finally listened to the adults in the room. For too long, we have watched the chaos on the other side of the aisle throw our country from one crisis to another. In his final days in office, Speaker Boehner let the cooler heads prevail and negotiated a bipartisan bill with the Democrats. 

“I have some concerns over the proposed changes to the crop insurance program that could reduce the types of polices available to Central Coast growers and will work to stop those changes in the upcoming omnibus.  

“While this deal is not perfect, it prevents a government default on our debt, removes the harmful sequester caps, protects seniors from a hike in Medicare rates and extends Social Security disability benefits. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I am excited to be able to do my job again and work on reasonable spending bills that invest in America’s future.”



Central Coast’s longest serving member of Congress will not seek reelection after 12 terms in office

SALINAS, Calif. – Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., announced today at speech a the National Steinbeck Center that he will not seek reelection in 2016 and instead will retire in January 2017 at the end of his current term in office. Farr is the Central Coast’s 20th district’s longest serving member of Congress and is the ranking member on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture.
During his 23 years in Congress, Rep. Farr has been a leading advocate for California agriculture, an activist for affordable housing, a champion of the oceans, a strong supporter of the Peace Corps and the author of legislation to establish Pinnacles National Park  
“For years my wife Shary has asked me to come home,” said Rep. Farr. “She's right. It's time. It's time to come home and spend time with her and with my daughter Jessica and my grandkids Ella and Zach.”
Rep. Farr was first elected through a special election to fill the vacancy when then Rep. Leon Panetta resigned to become President Clinton’s budget director. Prior to being elected to Congress, Rep. Farr spent 12 years in the California Assembly and six years as a Monterey County Board of Supervisor. His career in public service dates back to 1964 when he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Colombia.
“For over half of my life, I have been in elected office, the last 23 as a member of Congress,” said Rep. Farr. “I love public service and I am proud of what I have accomplished while in office. I'm proud to have followed in my father's footsteps, the late Senator Fred Farr, and I'd like to think between the two of us we have had a tremendous impact on this region, the state of California and the country we love so much”
Rep. Farr made significant contributions to improving the quality of life on the Central Coast. He secured funding for the nation’s first, built from the ground up, joint VA-DOD health clinic; the California Central Coast Veterans Cemetery; a state-of-the-art marine laboratory; California State University, Monterey Bay; and authored legislation to establish the 59th National Park.
“The Central Coast is stronger,’ said Rep. Farr. “As a region, we are well positioned to seize the next set of challenges.”
In addition to his work on behalf of the Central Coast, Rep. Farr was a strong supporter of the oceans and worked in Congress to protect our greatest natural resource and the blue economy that depends on a healthy ocean. He played an instrumental role in bringing the first White House National Oceans Conference to the Monterey Bay and authored many of the provisions included in President Obama’s National Ocean Policy. The founder and co-chair of the House Oceans Caucus, he passed the Marine Debris Act and is currently pushing legislation to combat the growing problem of ocean acidification.
At the end of his term, Rep. Farr will retire to his home on the Central Coast to spend more time with his wife Shary, their daughter Jessica, and his two grandchildren Ella and Zachary.
Additional information:

October 22, 2015

WASHINGTON – Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., issued the following statement after President Obama issued a veto of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016:
“This is not the Defense bill the Pentagon asked for. Rather than work with Congressional Democrats and the Administration to draft a bipartisan bill, Republicans refused to listen to the President’s veto threat and passed an irresponsible bill that fails to meet the needs of our nation’s security. 
“Republicans attempted to hide an additional $38 billion in non-emergency spending in the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) fund, which is not subjected to sequestration. Our troops deserve a better bill, not one filled with budget gimmicks and accounting tricks. 
“The American people deserve better too. That $38 billion could be better used here at home for investments in infrastructure, education or growing our economy. We need to have an honest discussion about our long-term budget priorities. This veto gives us the chance to have that discussion but only if Republicans will finally join us at the table.”