"What we are going to talk about is 100 percent up to them," Thompson
But it was a manufactured crisis; it wasn't a real crisis," Thompson
said, referring to tea party Republicans' attempts to force a rollback of the Affordable Care Act through the shutdown.
Even among a polite and generally supportive audience, some St. Helenans voiced their worries about the early months of the Affordable Care Act, especially repeated glitches in the websites meant to connect the uninsured to new health coverage exchanges and fears of younger, healthier Americans starving the overhauled system of funds by opting out of mandatory policies.
freely called the program's launch "a mess" but stood firm on the importance of providing an alternative to cheap, but low-coverage, plans - as well as protecting those who previously have been uninsurable at nearly any price.
At a Sonoma appearance last week, he
said, "a woman came up and told me, 'I just signed up with Covered California
, and it's the first time in 35 years I've had any health insurance - because I'm a cancer survivor and I could never get coverage because it was a pre-existing condition.'"
Thompson, the head of House Democrats' task force on gun violence prevention, also discussed the obstacles of passing a bill to expand background checks for firearm purchases.
The bill faces a tough path through the House's Republican majority and opposition by the National Rifle Association
to expanding such background checks.
"How do you break the stranglehold the (National Rifle Association) has on Congressional districts, so that (politicians) feel safe enough to vote on sensible gun laws?
asked Vineyard Valley resident Miriam Hess.
"Criminals and the dangerously mentally ill should not have firearms, and that's the reason for having background checks," Thompson
Meeting with other wine industry figures, the three discussed the challenges facing U.S. winemakers even with their exports reaching a record $1.39 billion in 2011, Thompson
said after the round-table on the winery grounds.
(CA-5) and Scott Peters (CA-52) introduced H.R. 3507, the 21st Century Care for Military & Veterans Act.
"Often times telehealth provides the best care available and as a wounded combat Vietnam veteran, I understand that our servicemembers, veterans and their families have earned and deserve the best," said Thompson
In addition to Peters and Thompson
, the bill is co-sponsored by Reps.
represents California's 5th Congressional District, which includes all or part of Contra Costa, Lake, Napa, Solano and Sonoma Counties.
He is a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Reps. George Miller, Jerry McNerney, John Garamendi, Mike Thompson
, Doris Matsui and Ami Bera issued a statement calling for Gov.
, a hunter and Vietnam veteran, is quick to reject those arguments.
"The Second Amendment does not give criminals, the dangerously mentally ill, domestic abusers the right to own and buy and use a firearm," Thompson
"A large number of Republicans have assured Mr. Thompson
and others of us that they will be there if the bill comes to the floor," Pelosi said.
It's not a courageous vote to make," Thompson
Mike Thompson, Benicia's representative in the House, has introduced legislation that would authorize spending up to $100 million annually for distressed communities that have experienced closure or realignment of military installations.
said among the California cities that could be helped by the provision's tax credits is Vallejo, where the Mare Island Naval Shipyard was closed in 1996.
Thompson, D-Napa, is a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee.
bill, H.R. 3439, the New Markets Tax Credit Military Installation Act of 2013, is bipartisan legislation co-authored by Republican Rep.
The legislation would expand the New Markets Tax Credit
(NMTC) program, which targets low-income communities experiencing chronic unemployment and high poverty rates, Thompson
The program provides investors in those areas with a seven-year, 39-percent federal tax credit.
"By expanding these high-value tax credits, the bill incentivizes private sector investments in communities that have been hit hard by the closure or realignment of local military installations," he
"These tax credits are job and revenue creators that can help resurrect communities that have been devastated by military base realignments and closures," Thompson
The tax credits have proven successful in encouraging the intended investments, "but the supply of these tax credits simply doesn't meet the demand or the need," he
in sponsoring this important legislation that will help people in communities affected by base realignment and closures.
"Over the past several decades, hundreds of military installations around the country have been realigned or closed altogether through the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, as well as through other base closure laws, leaving communities scrambling to make up for the lost jobs and revenue," he said, adding that he has been outspoken about his disagreement with the Department of Defense about those closures at a time when American troops are overseas, often in unfriendly nations.
However, solutions to BRAC still must be sought, he
"We should do all we can to responsibly help these defense communities rebuild.
Their hard work and efforts continue to help keep our troops safe, and we owe these people the same hard work and dedication."
said that when a military base is closed, the Department of Defense
is required to complete any necessary environmental cleanup at the former base, then hand the property to a Local Redevelopment Authority
The DOD's Office of Economic Adjustment and the LRA create a redevelopment plan for the property, he said.
"The goal of this process is to lead to a timely, beneficial, revenue-generating reuse of these former military bases," he
On Friday Congressman Mike Thompson was honored for his years of work to make sure service members who were subjected to the Department of Defense's chemical weapon testing are able to receive full medical care and disability compensation for their service-connected medical conditions.
In late 2002, the DOD
revealed for the first time that between 1962 and 1974 it had tested harmful chemical and biological agents by spraying them on ships and sailors.
These tests - known as Project 112, which included Project Shipboard Hazard and Defense (SHAD) - exposed at least 6,000 service members without their knowledge to harmful chemical and biological weapons, including some of the most deadly chemicals on Earth: Vx Nerve Gas, Sarin Nerve Gas and E. coli.
Thompson was presented his award on Friday in Vallejo at the Cal Maritime Academy by Cal Maritime graduate and former Senior Navy Officer Jack Alderson.
"It is a high honor to receive this recognition from a true American hero," said Thompson
"I will not stop working until every veteran who was unknowingly subjected to these harmful chemical tests gets the full benefits they have earned."
Many veterans who were subjected to chemical tests as part of Project 112/SHAD have developed serious medical issues but do not currently receive priority care from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
(VA) or disability benefits because the VA does not officially recognize any long-term health consequences from exposure to the chemical agents from these specific tests.
In 2002, Thompson led Congress to direct the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to conduct a study of the health effects associated with the chemicals used during Project 112/SHAD.
For these reasons, Congress passed a provision in 2010 co-authored by Thompson requiring the VA to contract with IOM for a second study considering the health impact on veterans that were part of Project 112/SHAD.
If the scientific study by the IOM
finds a connection between the chemical testing and long-term health consequences, the VA will likely be compelled to provide all service members exposed to this testing priority medical care and full disability compensation.
"Jack, and all the people who served with him, deserve to know the truth," Thompson
Thompson added, "Many brave men who served our country are now sick or have passed away because of Project 112's chemical and biological testing.
(CA-5) bipartisan amendment requiring a federal study on impacts of invasive species passed the House
The amendment was passed as part of H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) of 2013.
Specifically, the amendment requires the Govern