Press Releases

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WASHINGTONRep. Sam Farr, D- Carmel, released the following statement in response to President Obama’s State of the Union address:
“By almost every indicator, our economy has been growing steadily since the President first took office after the financial collapse. Unfortunately, not everyone has benefited from those gains. That isn’t the fault of this administration. Instead, several decades of trickle-down economics have stacked the deck for a wealthy few at the expense of the American middle class.
“I was pleased to hear the President propose a new direction that creates opportunity for all through middle class tax cuts, affordable education and investing in a modern infrastructure.  His proposals also cut directly to the one economic indicator that every American looks to: their paycheck. It is time to give the middle class a raise. The President’s proposals would reverse the growing problem of income inequality by putting more money in pockets of hardworking men and women. 
“President Obama got it right tonight when he said ‘this country does best when everyone gets their fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.’ I look forward to working with him and my colleagues in Congress to level the playing field so we can build an economy that benefits all Americans – not just a select few.”
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WASHINGTON Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., released the following statement after Senator Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., announced she will not seek reelection and will retire at the end of her current term:
“California is going to miss having Barbara Boxer in Congress.  Throughout her career, as a journalist, a Congressional aide, a County Supervisor, a U.S Representative and a four-term Senator, she used her voice to fight for equality and opportunity for all Californians. 
“Barbara was a wonderful representative for the Central Coast in the Senate. A fellow champion of the environment, she and I worked together to bring the White House’s first National Oceans Conference to the Monterey Bay, create the Ventana Wilderness  and establish Pinnacles National Park. Her efforts will leave a lasting mark on our corner of California. I will miss working with her in Washington but I look forward to our continued friendship.”
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WASHINGTON – Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., released the following statement after Rajiv Shah announced he was resigning as the head of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID):
“I join many in thanking Raj Shah for his service at USAID. For the past five years, Raj has been on the frontlines of the most pressing humanitarian issues of our time. From the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to the refugee crisis in Syria, Raj has helped bring relief, support and hope to millions of people around the globe. His role was not an easy one and I am grateful for the enthusiasm, commitment and heart with which he approached his job. It was a privilege to work with him.”   
WASHINGTON – President Obama signed into law a five-year extension of the Travel Promotion, Enhancement, and Modernization Act last night.  The legislation authored by Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus co-chair Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., and co-sponsored by co-chair Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., and caucus member Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt.,  strengthens the United States’ competitiveness in the global travel and tourism markets by reauthorizing Brand USA – a public-private partnership designed to encourage tourism to the United States. The act also enhances Brand USA by adding a number of accountability and transparency requirements.
"Tourism is an integral part of our economy – especially in Florida,” said Bilirakis. “Increased tourism means more American and Floridian jobs. My bill means job growth without utilizing a cent of taxpayer money. In fact, it lowers the deficit. Millions of Americans across the country are still struggling, and Brand USA reauthorization is a jobs bill with a proven track record. I am pleased my initiative is now law. It is a big win for all Americans in the service and tourism industries, and Floridians all across the state, including the Tampa Bay area. Common sense solutions like these to boost the economy and create jobs will spur our economic recovery."
“Marketing our tourism industry globally creates jobs locally,” said Farr. “Travel is our nation’s number one export, supporting one in nine jobs here in the United States. Bringing in more visitors will not only help strengthen our national economy but it will help create jobs in every single community throughout the country.”
Brand USA, which is completely funded by international visitors and private industry contributions, is the country’s first national Destination Marketing Organization and markets the United States as a premier travel destination to world. The program’s activities brought in an additional 1.1 million visitors to the United States, resulting in a $7.4 billion impact on the economy and supported the creation of over 50,000 new jobs in fiscal year 2013. 
The Travel Promotion, Enhancement, and Modernization Act was included in the omnibus appropriations bill that passed the House last Thursday. The Senate approved the bill on Saturday, sending it to the President’s desk for his signature. The language pertaining to Brand USA’s reauthorization can be found in Division B, Title VI of the omnibus bill.
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WASHINGTON – Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., released the following statement after learning that Alan Gross was released from prison in Cuba and President Obama’s speech about modernizing US-Cuban relations. Rep. Farr traveled to Cuba to meet with Gross in May and has pushed for normalized relations with Cuba throughout his career:
“It is long overdue for Alan Gross, his wife Judy and his family to be reunited, especially during Hanukkah. I met with Alan in May in Cuba and it is wonderful to see him back on US soil. His release is the first step towards a new era of US-Cuban Policy. 
“When I traveled to Colombia in 2012 for the Summit of the Americas with President Obama, it was clear that the United States stood alone in our antiquated policy towards Cuba. I applaud the President’s decision to join the rest of our neighbors in the hemisphere and develop a modern relationship with Cuba.
“Today the President outlined a bold path forward. After 50 years, our embargo has done nothing to improve the lives of the Cuban people. I have pushed for a new policy towards Cuba and was encouraged to hear many of the changes I have fought for included in the President’s plan. I was particularly glad to hear a renewed emphasis on people-to-people engagement; the American people are the best ambassadors for American values.  The President took historic steps today and I look forward to working with him and my colleagues in Congress to develop a mature relationship with Cuba.”  
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