Press Releases

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August 13, 2015
 
WASHINGTON – Rep. Sam Farr, D- Calif., released the following statement on the Iran nuclear agreement: 
 
“Give peace a chance. After two decades in Congress, this is the first time I will be able to vote for peace, not just against war. Preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon is one of the most important decisions facing this Congress. With a vote of this magnitude, we have the responsibility to move past the rhetoric and look at the merits of the agreement.
 
“Before reaching this decision, I consulted with nonproliferation and security specialists at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and the Naval Postgraduate School, as well as Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Energy Ernie Moniz and Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew. After listening to the experts, my constituents and my heart, I believe that this deal is the best way to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. 
 
“Like any negotiation that involves compromise, this deal is not perfect. I hold no illusions that enforcing this deal will be easy. Along with the international community, we will need to keep close tabs on Iran to make sure that every aspect of the agreement is honored by the Iranian government. But at the end of the day, this deal is the strongest nonproliferation agreement that has ever been negotiated. It is a good diplomatic alternative to another costly and potentially disastrous conflict in the Middle East. 
 
“The Administration, along with our international allies, should be commended for achieving this historic deal. No other option stops the bomb and allows the world to give peace a chance.”
 
 


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.”  
 
 


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.  
 


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.