Jerry McNerney's Blog

August 11, 2020

Rep. McNerney Introduces Job Training Legislation to Help Americans Transition to Growing Clean Energy Fields

Stockton, CA – Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) – a former wind engineer who spent 25 years working in the energy sector – introduced the Grants for Renewable Energy Education for the Nation’s Workforce Act (GREEN Workforce Act), to help the next generation of workers train for careers in these fast-growing fields.



“Clean energy industries are expanding and have great potential to grow our economy and move us toward a sustainable energy future,” said Congressman McNerney. “Jobs in the solar and wind energy sectors have been among the fastest growing in our nation’s economy and pay well above the national median income. By creating partnerships in renewable energy fields, we will prepare young Americans to develop and operate clean energy systems of the future.”



As clean energy jobs are projected to continue accounting for the fastest growing occupations in the United States, the GREEN Workforce Act would assist in preparing workers for these careers by providing grant funding for educational and technical training programs in renewable energy fields. Specifically, the legislation would help fund programs to educate and train students in these fields, creating a bridge between secondary and postsecondary schools so students can transition to a postsecondary program with the fundamental technical knowledge that will allow them to better compete in today’s economy. It would also provide opportunities for technical schools to upgrade their own energy systems to serve as model training facilities. 



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Rep. Jerry McNerney proudly serves the constituents of California’s 9th Congressional District that includes portions of San Joaquin, Contra Costa, and Sacramento Counties. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work,  follow him on Facebook  and on Twitter  @RepMcNerney.

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Published on August 11, 2020 07:46

August 3, 2020

Rep. McNerney Secures Funds for Minority Business Development Agency

Stockton, CA – As a new study predicts that over 40% of minority-owned businesses are not expected to survive the COVID-19 pandemic, Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) is continuing to push for support for these business owners, including securing $52 million in critical funds for the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) within the House-passed H.R. 7617 – a spending package that would provide funding for the majority of the federal government for the next fiscal year. The MBDA is the only federal agency tasked with promoting and aiding in the success of minority-owned businesses, and its programs and services have helped secure more than $40 billion in contracts and capital over the past 10 years.



“Minority-owned businesses face unique challenges, which are only being amplified by the ongoing pandemic,” said Congressman McNerney. “The COVID-19 crisis has placed overwhelming financial strain on entrepreneurs – particularly within communities of color. I’ve long supported and led efforts to secure funding for this crucial program and am pleased these funds were included in this package. As we combat the virus and work to recover from its significant impact on our economy, the MBDA must have the resources it needs to succeed in their mission to help minority-owned businesses thrive and grow.”



Since 2017, when President Trump proposed defunding the MBDA, Congressman McNerney has advocated for fully funding the only minority-focused federal agency. The Congressman also led the charge to permanently authorize the MBDA.



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Rep. Jerry McNerney proudly serves the constituents of California’s 9th Congressional District that includes portions of San Joaquin, Contra Costa, and Sacramento Counties. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work,  follow him on Facebook  and on Twitter  @RepMcNerney .

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Published on August 03, 2020 10:43

Rep. McNerney’s Bipartisan AI Research Capacity Amendment Adopted as Part of House-Passed Appropriations Package

Stockton, CA – As co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Artificial Intelligence (AI) Caucus, Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) is pleased to announce the inclusion of his bipartisan AI amendment in the House-passed H.R. 7617 – a spending package that would provide funding for the majority of the federal government for the next fiscal year. The amendment would require the National Science Foundation to examine and publish findings on:



which universities are putting out significant peer-reviewed AI research, including research based on quantity as well as the number of citations;
what specific factors enable these universities’ AI research – including computing power, data sets and availability, specialized curriculum, and industry and other partnerships;
and how universities not included in this list can implement these factors to produce AI research, as well as case studies to be used as examples and potential pilot programs that the federal government could develop or support to help universities produce AI research.

“Our universities play an essential role in advancing our nation’s competitiveness in AI,” said Congressman McNerney. “It’s critical that we understand which of our universities are producing significant peer-reviewed AI research and what factors are enabling them to do this, so we can help replicate this at a larger scale. Our universities are also engines for local and regional economic growth. Efforts to help universities build out their AI research capacity will also help ensure more equitable benefits of AI across different communities and regions. I’m proud that this amendment received strong bipartisan support and that it was adopted in the second House-passed appropriations package.”



Co-sponsors of the amendment include Representatives Pete Olson (TX-22), Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18), Michael McCaul (TX-10), Mike Doyle (PA-18), Anthony Gonzalez (OH-16), Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Darren Soto (FL-09), Francis Rooney (FL-19), Suzan DelBene (WA-01), Randy Weber (TX-14), Bill Foster (IL-11), Don Beyer (VA-08), Haley Stevens (MI-11), Robin Kelly (IL-02), Michael Waltz (FL-06), and Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14).



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Rep. Jerry McNerney proudly serves the constituents of California’s 9th Congressional District that includes portions of San Joaquin, Contra Costa, and Sacramento Counties. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work,  follow him on Facebook  and on Twitter  @RepMcNerney .

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Published on August 03, 2020 10:41

Rep. McNerney Secures Funding for Critical Energy and Water Programs

Stockton, CA – Included in the $1.3 trillion spending package recently passed by the House of Representatives are a number of key provisions championed by Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) to tackle the climate crisis in addition to addressing the stability and modernization of America’s energy and water systems.



Among the funding secured by the Congressman are several national projects, including:



funding for the Department of Energy (DOE) to bolster their work to combat the climate crisis, including through robust investments in grid modernization and security;
funding for continued cloud aerosol research through the DOE, which will provide useful information for our carbon reduction plans, and for continued research through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to study atmospheric climate intervention modeling and technologies;
and funding to strengthen our water infrastructure and for authorized flood and storm damage reduction, navigation, and environmental restoration projects.

Congressman McNerney also secured increased funding for operation and maintenance of the Port of Stockton to help the port ensure that its shipping channel—which is also the largest flood conveyance channel to the Delta—continues to be operational for navigation purposes.



“Climate change is accelerating and poses a growing threat to our country and the world,” said Congressman McNerney. “That is why I secured funding in this bill to ensure that federal agencies work to prepare for the climate crisis, including through research into carbon reduction and water sustainability, and to address regional issues facing our community such as flooding and annual maintenance dredging at the Port of Stockton.”



Additionally, the legislation includes an amendment from the Congressman which would direct DOE’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) to gather more robust analysis and data collection from EIA’s commercial and residential surveys – specifically with regards to water consumption – and would make water consumption data for commercial buildings publicly available and broken out by principal building activity and region.



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Rep. Jerry McNerney proudly serves the constituents of California’s 9th Congressional District that includes portions of San Joaquin, Contra Costa, and Sacramento Counties. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work,  follow him on Facebook  and on Twitter  @RepMcNerney .

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Published on August 03, 2020 10:40

April 30, 2020

Reps. McNerney, Engel, Davis & Fitzpatrick Push for Blood Center Relief to Address America’s Blood Shortage

Stockton, CA –  As our nation’s blood centers face significant blood donation shortages, growing demand for plasma, and increasing financial strain, Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) co-led a bipartisan letter, along with Representatives Eliot L. Engel (NY-16), Rodney Davis (IL-13), and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), urging House leadership to include assistance for blood centers in the next COVID relief legislative package.



Joined by 42 of their colleagues, the Members wrote, “The U.S. blood supply faces serious operational challenges as thousands of blood drives have been canceled as organizations and businesses temporarily close. As a result, blood centers have quickly transitioned their operations to ensure a sufficient blood supply during the pandemic.”



The Members continued, “Protecting the health and safety of donors, patients, and blood center staff remains the top priority for the blood community. To ensure the safety of both staff and the healthy blood donors, blood centers across the country are undertaking extraordinary public health measures including social distancing, increased infection control procedures, acquisition of personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff, and more. These measures, in addition to the impact of cancelled drives, have added substantial costs to blood center operations, both directly and through decreased efficiency.”



In support of the 46 Members’ efforts to include funding for these critical facilities, Kate Fry, the CEO of America’s Blood Centers, stated, "Community blood centers have always ensured the availability of the nation's blood supply for the patients that rely on America's health care system. Now is no exception as community blood centers have mobilized to collect convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19 patients. Unprecedented financial challenges however mean blood centers need Congress to provide immediate financial assistance to ensure their vital work will continue."



According to the American Red Cross, someone in the United States needs a blood transfusion every two seconds. However, due to social distancing guidance and stay-at-home orders, thousands of blood drives have been cancelled, severely impacting organizations’ abilities to replenish blood reserves.



A full copy of the letter can be found here.



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Rep. Jerry McNerney proudly serves the constituents of California’s 9th Congressional District that includes portions of San Joaquin, Contra Costa, and Sacramento Counties. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work,  follow him on Facebook  and on Twitter  @RepMcNerney .

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Published on April 30, 2020 14:08

April 28, 2020

Rep. McNerney Applauds California Leadership Efforts to Uphold Strict Science-Based Policymaking

Stockton, CA – Today, Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) led a letter to California Governor Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Xavier Becerra alongside Representatives Jared Huffman, Raúl M. Grijalva, Alan Lowenthal, Mike Thompson, and Doris Matsui, expressing support for the State’s legal challenge to the Trump Administration’s scientifically unsound biological opinions for water project operations in the Bay-Delta.



In the letter, the Members wrote, “We strongly agree with your Administration’s determination that the Trump Administration’s 2019 biological opinions ‘are not scientifically adequate and fall short of protecting species and the state’s interests.’ That conclusion is consistent with the findings of independent scientific peer reviews of the biological opinions and whistleblowers from federal agencies who publicly disclosed the National Marine Fisheries Services’ July 1, 2019 biological opinion, which concluded that these proposed operations jeopardize the continued existence of endangered and threatened salmon and steelhead in the Bay-Delta.”



The Members continued, “Congress has previously empowered the State of California to require the operations of the [Central Valley Project] to comply with State law, which includes the requirements of the California Endangered Species Act. No one should be above the law. Exempting the CVP from these requirements is unfair to other water users and harms the environment – and the many California communities and thousands of jobs that depend on it.”



A full copy of the letter can be found here.



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Rep. Jerry McNerney proudly serves the constituents of California’s 9th Congressional District that includes portions of San Joaquin, Contra Costa, and Sacramento Counties. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work,  follow him on Facebook  and on Twitter  @RepMcNerney .

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Published on April 28, 2020 12:48

April 22, 2020

Rep. McNerney Statement on 6 GHz Band Proposal

Stockton, CA – Today, Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) released the following statement regarding the 6 GHz band proposal that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is expected to vote on at its Open Meeting on Thursday:



“This pandemic has made what was already a pressing need for additional unlicensed spectrum even more urgent. As we adjust to what is likely going to be the new normal—one in which our world moves increasingly online and we rely on Wi-Fi for teleworking, distance learning, telehealth, and participating in everyday life, it is even more important now that additional spectrum be allocated for unlicensed use. I am pleased to see that consistent with what I have called for in the past, Chairman Pai is moving forward with making all 1200 MHz of the 6 GHz band available for unlicensed use while also taking steps to protect incumbent users operating in the band from harmful interference. This spectrum will be critical for unlocking innovation, creating new opportunities for American consumers and businesses, and narrowing the digital divide.”



Earlier this year, Congressman McNerney sent a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai urging him to move forward with opening up the entire 6 GHz band for unlicensed use.



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Rep. Jerry McNerney proudly serves the constituents of California’s 9th Congressional District that includes portions of San Joaquin, Contra Costa, and Sacramento Counties. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work,  follow him on Facebook  and on Twitter  @RepMcNerney .

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Published on April 22, 2020 10:39

April 20, 2020

Rep. McNerney & Senator Harris Lead Colleagues in Push for FEMA Disaster Plans Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Stockton, CA – Representative Jerry McNerney (CA-09) and U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) on Monday led 80 of their colleagues in sending a letter to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Peter Gaynor demanding FEMA outline disaster preparation and recovery plans for the COVID-19 pandemic. As disaster season approaches, the lawmakers emphasize the importance of preparing for the unique challenges the virus presents. A tornado outbreak across the South earlier this month highlighted the challenges of disaster response amid a pandemic.



“As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases across the country has steadily increased since the President invoked the Stafford Act, spring flooding season is now upon us, wildfire season is fast approaching, tornado outbreaks are starting to spread, a major earthquake could strike at any moment, and hurricane season – which is projected to be above average – is just around the corner,” the lawmakers wrote. “Addressing major disasters like these requires a highly coordinated response across all levels of government that will be greatly complicated by the COVID-19 national emergency, including the social distancing measures public health officials are recommending. Further, the COVID-19 response has overwhelmed FEMA’s already thin resources, raising concerns about the Agency’s ability to handle both a nationwide public health crisis and the upcoming seasonal hazards that await.”



They continued, “Concerns are not just limited to inadequate staffing levels, sheltering procedures in a time of social distancing, and a global shortage of necessary protective gear. It is critical that FEMA share with Congress the steps it is taking to ensure that the Agency is fully prepared to carry out its mission in responding to natural disasters during this pandemic.”  



Along with McNerney, the letter was signed by Representatives DeFazio (D-OR), Titus (D-NV), Norton (D-DC), Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Velázquez (D-NY), Axne (D-IA), Napolitano (D-CA), Hastings (D-FL), Fletcher (D-TX), Soto (D-FL), Jackson Lee (D-TX), Carbajal (D-CA), Bonamici (D-OR), Gabbard (D-HI), Barragán (D-CA), Dingell (D-MI), Jayapal (D-WA), Cárdenas (D-CA), Peters (D-CA), Ruiz (D-CA), Pocan (D-WI), Foster (D-IL), Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Neguse (D-CO), Brownley (D-CA), Castor (D-FL), Cartwright (D-PA), Thompson (D-CA), Case (D-HI), McGovern (D-MA), Crist (D-FL), Schakowsky (D-IL), Finkenauer (D-IA), Loebsack (D-IA), Murphy (D-FL), Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Garcia (D-IL), Vargas (D-CA), Grijalva (D-AZ), Tlaib (D-MI), Huffman (D-CA), Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL), McCollum (D-MN), Porter (D-CA), Correa (D-CA), Lofgren (D-CA), Moore (D-WI), Cleaver (D-MO), Clarke (D-NY), Khanna (D-CA), Shalala (D-FL), Bishop (D-GA), Richmond (D-LA), Doyle (PA), Chu (D-CA), Cicilline (D-RI), Matsui (D-CA), Johnson (D-GA), and Scott (D-VA).



Along with Harris, the letter was signed by Senators Peters (D-MI), Markey (D-MA), Blumenthal (D-CT), Cortez Masto (D-NV), Wyden (D-OR), Van Hollen (D-MD), Reed (D-RI), Merkley (D-OR), Casey (D-PA), Duckworth (D-IL), Smith (D-MN), Whitehouse (D-RI), Sanders (I-VT), Hirono (D-HI), Gillibrand (D-NY), Warren (D-MA), Schatz (D-HI), Booker (D-NJ), Shaheen (D-NH), Murray (D-WA), and Klobuchar (D-MN). 



A full copy of the letter can be found here.



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Rep. Jerry McNerney proudly serves the constituents of California’s 9th Congressional District that includes portions of San Joaquin, Contra Costa, and Sacramento Counties. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work,  follow him on Facebook  and on Twitter  @RepMcNerney .

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Published on April 20, 2020 10:05

April 8, 2020

Reps. McNerney, Scott & Quigley Urge EPA to Slow Rulemaking Rushed Through During COVID-19 Pandemic

Stockton, CA –  Representatives Jerry McNerney (CA-09), Bobby Scott (VA-03) and Mike Quigley (IL-05) led 75 Members of Congress in sending a letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler urging him to extend deadlines to allow for informed rulemaking. As Americans—including doctors, researchers, and public health experts—respond to the global coronavirus pandemic, the EPA is moving forward hastily with a number of environmental and public health rules, including ones that would jeopardize public and environmental health.



“As the world continues to turn its collective attention to responding to the global coronavirus pandemic, we write to express our deep concern that the EPA is proceeding with rulemaking procedures that do not ensure that ‘interested persons’ are afforded an ‘opportunity to participate,’ as is the expectation of the law,” the Members wrote.



The letter urges the EPA to extend their public comment periods by at least 45 days beyond the end of the declared national emergency, including comment periods which closed between March 13th to present, as well as those that are still open. Doing so will ensure that all Americans have an opportunity to participate in the rulemaking process.



“The American people have a right to expect that their government will protect the general welfare by basing regulations on the best available information, including input from impacted communities, scientists, and other subject area experts, in accordance with requirements of the Administrative Procedures Act…Rushing forward with these regulations as planned, in spite of this public health crisis, would be contrary to the spirit of the EPA’s mission to protect human health and the environment,” wrote the Members.



The letter was signed by Reps. Scott (VA), Quigley, McNerney, Lowenthal, Barragán, Tonko, Pingree, Casten, Wexton, Connolly, Lee (CA), Rush, Kuster, Velázquez, Chu, Price, McGovern, Krishnamoorthi, Welch, Bonamici, Hayes, Cartwright, McCollum, Haaland, Beyer, Doyle, Napolitano, Grijalva, Wasserman Schultz, Norton, Soto, Wild, Huffman, McEachin, Blumenauer, García (IL), Cohen, Porter, Blunt Rochester, Payne, Cisneros, Cárdenas, Jayapal, Espaillat, Case, Levin (CA), Raskin, Larsen, Moore, Sires, Pocan, Bass, Beatty, Johnson (GA), Scanlon, Muscarsel-Powell, DeFazio, Adams, Tlaib, Speier, Pappas, Kennedy, Dingell, Peters, Foster, Fudge, Neguse, Luria, Lieu, and Wilson (FL), Scott (GA), Matsui, Sarbanes, Davis, Jackson Lee, Schakowsky, Moulton, and DelBene.



Full text of the letter can be found here.



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Rep. Jerry McNerney proudly serves the constituents of California’s 9th Congressional District that includes portions of San Joaquin, Contra Costa, and Sacramento Counties. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work, follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @RepMcNerney.

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Published on April 08, 2020 10:54

April 3, 2020

Rep. McNerney and Colleagues Push Zoom for Answers About the Company’s Privacy Practices

Stockton, CA – Today, Rep. Jerry McNerney sent a letter to Zoom’s CEO, Eric Yuan, raising concerns and questions regarding the company’s privacy practices. He was joined by 18 of his Democratic colleagues from the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Zoom has experienced a surge in users during COVID-19, and in March of this year, hit a record 200 million daily users.



… With the devastating coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic forcing so many to work, learn, and socialize remotely, Americans across the country are turning to video conferencing solutions like Zoom at an unprecedented scale. Such technologies have never been more vital to keeping governments running, companies and organizations afloat, and friends and families connected. But our new dependency on such solutions raises important questions about the privacy practices of the companies many of us are interacting with for the first time,” the Members wrote



The Members continued, “Despite Zoom’s recent clarifications to its privacy policy, a review of Zoom’s privacy policy shows that Zoom may still collect a significant amount of information about both registered and non-registered users from their use of the platform as well as from third parties. Zoom may use that information for a broad range of purposes, including for targeted marketing from both Zoom and third parties… As consumers turn to Zoom for business meetings, remote consultations with psychologists, or even virtual happy hours with friends, they may not expect Zoom to be collecting and using so much of their information.”



The letter goes on, “In addition, Zoom boasts several features as part of its app that may infringe on consumer privacy if users are not provided adequate notice. For example, one Zoom feature allows meeting organizers to track whether attendees are paying attention. Paid Zoom subscribers can also have all meetings recorded to the cloud automatically, along with automatic audio transcription.  As many Americans are now using Zoom for the first time, they may not be aware of these capabilities—who is getting access to their information, including the content of their communications.”



The letter then asks a series of questions about Zoom’s privacy practices and requests a response by April 10, 2020.



The following Members joined Rep. McNerney in sending the letter: Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-At-Large), Rep. Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), Rep. Kathy Castor (FL-14), Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), Rep. Diana DeGette (CO-01), Rep. Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Rep. Mike Doyle (PA-14), Rep. Eliot L. Engel (NY-16), Rep. Robin L. Kelly (IL-02), Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy, III (MA-04), Rep. Ann McLane Kuster (NH-02), Rep. Ben Ray Luján (NM-03), Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52), Rep. Bobby L. Rush (IL-01), Rep. Darren Soto (FL-09), and Rep. Paul Tonko (NY-20).



A full copy of the letter can be found here.



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Rep. Jerry McNerney proudly serves the constituents of California’s 9th Congressional District that includes portions of San Joaquin, Contra Costa, and Sacramento Counties. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work, follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @RepMcNerney.

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Published on April 03, 2020 13:26

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