Press Releases

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WASHINGTON – Rep. Sam Farr, D- Carmel, released the following statement after the House passed a clean bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security:
“Our national security will not be shutdown. Thankfully enough Republicans put their country before their party and joined with the Democrats to pass a clean DHS bill. Funding for our national security should never be held hostage in a political debate. Those upset by the President’s immigration plan should instead work with us to fix our broken system.”
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WASHINGTON – Rep. Sam Farr, D- Carmel, released the following statement after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to a Joint Meeting of Congress:
“I attended today’s speech because it’s important that we listen to all sides of any discussion. It is unfortunate the Speaker, without consulting the White House, choose to extend an invitation at this time. The Prime Minister’s remarks could have been heard on substance rather than politics if the address had occurred at a different time with the Administration’s support.   
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WASHINGTON – Rep. Sam Farr, D- Carmel, released the following statement in remembrance of the two Santa Cruz police officers, Detective Sgt. Butch Baker and Detective Elizabeth Butler, who gave their lives in the line of duty:
“Two years ago, the House of Representatives stood in silence in honor of two fallen Santa Cruz police officers. We vowed then to never forget the bravery and courage of these two fine officers. Today, we renew that commitment. On Baker-Butler Memorial Day, I remain humbled by the sacrifices of Detective Sgt. Butch Baker and Detective Elizabeth Butler and I am grateful for all of the brave men and women who protect and serve our community.”
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WASHINGTON – Rep. Sam Farr, D- Carmel, released the following statement announcing that he would attend Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress next week:
“It is upsetting that the Republican leadership has invited a foreign leader to deliver a politically motivated speech to Congress. The U.S. Capitol should never be the backdrop for the leader of another country to deliver a rebuke of our foreign policy. Furthermore, Speaker Boehner should not have extended an invitation this close to the Israeli election and the Prime Minister should not have accepted that invitation. The House chamber is not a venue for hosting foreign campaign events. 
“Despite my serious concerns for the motives of all involved, I have decided to attend the speech. Israel is one of our closest allies and the office of Prime Minister deserves our respectful attendance – the same respect we expect to be shown to our President while visiting another nation.” 
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WASHINGTON – Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., announced today that the Army Corps of Engineers will spend $700,000 for flood control planning on the Pajaro River. The funds will be used toward the completion of the feasibility study necessary to apply for federal construction funds to update the levees on the Pajaro River. 
“Another major flood would devastate communities along the river’s banks,” said Rep. Farr. “An inadequate levee system has left the Pajaro River with the lowest levels of flood protections in all of California. These funds bring us closer to modernizing the Pajaro River flood control plan to provide security for our local communities and businesses.” 
Over the past few decades, the Pajaro River has severely flooded a number of times. In 1995, flooding caused one death and over $95 million dollars of total economic loss, including $67 million in damage to agricultural fields and $28 million in non-agricultural damage.  Floods in 1997 and 1998 caused additional damage and displaced hundreds of residents. The Army Corps of Engineers estimates there is an 82 percent chance of recurring floods within the next 10 years.
Santa Cruz County Supervisor Zach Friend was pleased that the federal government is joining local sponsors in a financial commitment to this important project. 
“The City of Watsonville and Town of Pajaro, as well as some of the most productive agricultural land in the world, deserve a level of flood protection that the Corps of Engineers originally envisioned for this project back in 1949,” said Friend, who is also Chair of the Santa Cruz County Zone 7 Flood Control and Water Conservation District. “Our community is grateful for the leadership of Congressman Farr, who has worked tirelessly to secure federal funding to bring this important project to the construction stage and protect some of the most vulnerable residents of our region.”
Since 1993 over $10 million in Corps funding has been appropriated for the project, but the feasibility study has not been completed. In recent years, non-federal sponsors have provided over $2 million in local funds toward to keep the project moving forward.
Santa Cruz County Administrative Officer Susan Mauriello also praised Rep. Farr’s leadership on the project. “Sam Farr has always been a determined advocate for those most in need in the region, and we are deeply appreciative that he has never given up on his goal to provide flood protection to these vital areas along the Pajaro River.”
The study is expected to be completed by 2016 allowing the project to apply for construction funds in 2017.
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