Brownley calls for VA investigation of Trump friends’ influence

Congresswomen Julia Brownley, D-Westlake Village, and Annie Kuster, D-New Hampshire, have called for an investigation into reports that members of President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort have influenced decisions by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Julia Bownley

Brownley, who is the House Veterans’ Affairs Health Subcommittee Ranking Member, and Kuster, an Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member, requested that the Veterans Affairs Inspector General investigate claims first reported by ProPublica that personal friends of Donald Trump have been issuing orders and exerting influence over staff of the VA “without any accountability,” says Brownley in a statement.

“Taxpayers want to know that their tax dollars are going to high-quality care for our nation’s heroes, not to line the pockets or egos of President Trump’s billionaire boys club,” said Brownley.

In a letter to Inspector General Michael Missal signed by both Brownley and Kuster, the duo write:
“ProPublica reported that over the last year and a half, a group of three individuals, all members of the President’s private resort of Mar-a-Lago, daily talked with VA officials and reviewed ‘all manner of policy and personnel decisions.’ Mr. Ike Perlmutter, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Marvel Entertainment LLC; Dr. Bruce Moskowitz, an internal medicine specialist; and Mr. Marc Sherman, an attorney without health-care industry experience, have reportedly instructed the VA to begin new programs and have apparently and egregiously demanded fealty from VA employees by traveling to Mar-a-Lago to “kiss [their] ring” using taxpayer-funded travel.”

Brownley and Kuster ask Missal to “seek an accurate accounting” of the allegations and say that “Veterans, Congress, taxpayers and all Americans deserve answers.”

Congresswoman Brownley hosts citizenship workshop in Oxnard

Congresswoman Julia Brownley, D-Westlake Village, will host a workshop aimed at assisting eligible legal permanent residents in applying for U.S. citizenship on Saturday, Aug. 18 in Thousand Oaks.

Volunteers will be on hand to assist applicants with the naturalization application, fee waiver assistance and the filing process from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., by appointment. To become a U.S. citizen, applicants must be legal permanent residents for at least five years, or three years if married to a U.S. citizen.

“America is a great nation because of its diversity,” said Brownley. “It was founded by immigrants, and our history and heritage is rich because of the countless contributions of the immigrant community.”
For more information and to book an appointment, call 805-379-1779.

 

Feds seek public comment on fracking in and near Los Padres National Forest

The Bureau of Land Management has opened a 30-day public comment period in regard to the environmental impact of oil well drilling and fracking on federally owned lands, particularly within the Los Padres National Forest.

Just over 400,000 acres of federal land and 1.2 million acres of federal so-called mineral estate adjacent to the Los Padres National Forest, Carrizo Plain National Monument, Hopper Mountain and Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuges, and the Wind Wolves Preserve could be affected by amendments to the Bureau’s management plan for the area.

“Central California residents are concerned about the impacts of drilling and fracking near our region’s most treasured forests, wildlife refuges, national monuments and nature preserves,” said Jeff Kuyper, ForestWatch Executive Director. “We need to tell the Trump Administration loud and clear that we’re not willing to pollute and industrialize these iconic landscapes.”

Public comment ends on Sept. 7. For information on how to submit a comment, visit www.lpfw.org/fracking.