In the News

November 20, 2018

How Congress can give rightful honor to our veterans

by Mark Takano

The 2011 repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" opened the door to new possibilities for military servicemembers who identified as LGBTQ. After multiple generations faced discrimination, were expelled based on their sexual orientation, or were forced to hide their identity in order to serve in our armed forces, LGBTQ individuals are now able to serve freely and openly without fear of repercussion. This policy reversal was a major step forward for equality and respect for the dignity and honor of … Continue Reading

November 12, 2018 How to Create a VA That Works for Veterans

by Mark Takano

Mark Takano is the U.S. representative for California's 41st District and the vice ranking member for the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs. The veteran population is changing, and rapidly. Almost a quarter of all veterans are now minorities and nearly one in ten veterans is a woman. These demographics reflect just some of the changes that the increasing diversity of military service members present, and underscore the need for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to adapt to these … Continue Reading

June 15, 2017

I Was Right About the AHCA’s Impact on Veterans, Republicans Just Proved It

March 08, 2017

The Problem with President Trump’s Executive Orders

January 19, 2017

Why I’m Not Attending the Inauguration

November 29, 2016

Japanese-American Incarceration Is 'Unforgivable Policy,' Not Precedent

by Rep. Mark Takano

This time a year ago, I wrote a response to a House bill that would have expanded screening processes for Syrian refugees escaping civil war and oppression. I argued that such a bill lacked compassion and understanding. It was unjust and discriminatory in its capitulation to fear - a fear that, while valid to an extent, has been deployed to excuse reprehensible acts on our own soil. In the same piece, I criticized a statement by the mayor of Roanoke, Virginia, that held up the internment of … Continue Reading

November 11, 2016

A veterans affairs agenda for President-elect Trump

by Rep. Mark Takano

The areas of policy agreement between President-elect Donald Trump and me likely could be contained to a single post-it note. On taxes, immigration, health care, foreign policy and several other issues, the ideas he articulated throughout his campaign are reliably inconsistent with my own. I suspect many of my Democratic colleagues, and more than a few congressional Republicans, would say the same. But Donald Trump was right about at least one thing: Too often we fail to provide veterans the … Continue Reading

June 17, 2016

Where do we go from Orlando?

by Rep. Mark Takano

Last Saturday, I joined thousands of people at the LGBT Pride Parade in Washington, D.C., to celebrate the freedom of all Americans to be who we are without fear of persecution. Ten hours later, Omar Mateen opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando. It was a horrific reminder that, despite America's progress toward treating LGBT people with dignity and respect, acts of violence inspired by homophobia still threaten our communities. No words can express the profound sense of loss and … Continue Reading

May 04, 2016

Regulation of for-profit colleges not the problem

by Rep. Mark Takano

Last May, Corinthian Colleges abruptly closed all of its campuses and left 16,000 students with no degree, no job prospects and, in many cases, crippling debt. It was the one of the largest shutdowns in the history of for-profit education. There are suggestions in some quarters that at least part of the blame for Corinthian's sudden collapse belongs to the federal government, which imposed regulations on the school and filed lawsuits when those requirements weren't met. These critics also … Continue Reading

October 28, 2015

How to help families lift themselves out of poverty

by Rep. Mark Takano

The U.S. unemployment rate is at its lowest point since March 2008, the stock market is up roughly 50 percent over the past five years, and the U.S. this summer hit a record 65 consecutive months of private-sector job growth. The obvious conclusion is: The American economy is thriving. For many, the reality is that we still have a persistent and serious poverty problem, especially in the Inland Empire. Last week, I released a report that found more than 392,000 people in Riverside County are … Continue Reading

October 07, 2015

Memos to Mark: Battery Storage and Why it is the Next Big Thing

The following is the first in a series of real legislative policy memos written for Congressman Mark Takano by his staff. The series will give you an inside glimpse of what comes across the Congressman’s desk on a daily basis. To: Congressman Mark TakanoFrom: StaffRe: Battery Storage and Why it is the Next Big ThingDate: 7/14/2015 (Editor’s Note: This is when the memo was originally given to Representative Takano) Introduction As the unit cost of … Continue Reading

July 15, 2015

At-Will Employment at VA Not the Way to Go

by Rep. Mark Takano

In Congress, we can all agree that greater accountability is sorely needed within the Department of Veterans Affairs. We are all outraged that VA employees whose misconduct has harmed veterans have remained in their jobs. This lack of accountability has overshadowed the excellent work of the vast majority of VA employees, over a third of them veterans themselves, whose genuine caring and tireless efforts honor veterans' service to our nation. In response to this lack of accountability, … Continue Reading

June 13, 2015

Automatic Voter Registration Makes Our Nation More Democratic

by Rep. Mark Takano

Minority Americans are increasingly facing challenges that make it more difficult to participate in our democracy. One of those challenges is the right to participate in the fundamental piece of our country, voting. Surprisingly, the right to vote is not enshrined in our Constitution, though it should be. In the absence of that affirmative right to vote, 34 states over the past 10 years have passed laws making it harder to vote, which affect minority communities disproportionately. Most … Continue Reading

April 20, 2015

Tapping Into Innovation

by Rep. Mark Takano

It has been decades since our energy infrastructure has been updated, as we still rely on the same systems as our parents. We need to completely revamp and transform how we generate, store, and distribute energy. Doing so would save families and businesses time and money. Earlier this year, the Obama Administration issued a report calling for the modernization of our energy infrastructure and billions of dollars to be invested for upgrades. In the report, the White House said, "…our … Continue Reading

April 06, 2015

Give Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Americans a Chance to Serve

by Rep. Mark Takano

Deaf people can do anything - but hear. I. King Jordan popularized this mantra when he became the first deaf president of Gallaudet University, the only liberal arts university in the world for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. The words are a rallying cry of the deaf community in the United States, a community that for decades was defined by what they could not do. In 1988, deaf people could not run Gallaudet University, a university specifically designed for their education. At least, that is … Continue Reading

March 31, 2015

Wall Street Bought Your Foreclosed Home. They’re Happy To Rent It Back To You.

by Rep. Mark Takano

Home prices down 30 percent in many major metropolitan areas, unemployment at its highest rate in 25 years, foreclosures on the rise, wages stagnant, and access to mortgage credit notoriously tight - after years of betting on risky subprime mortgages, that was the scene at the end of the Great Recession. After shattering the economy and causing millions to lose their homes, what was Wall Street's plan to get their profits back in the black? Buy up the foreclosed mortgages and become the former … Continue Reading

March 25, 2015

In Favor of Marriage Equality

by Rep. Mark Takano

At the end of April the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case about families. Though much of the discussion will involve lofty issues including civil rights, liberty, and individual freedom, in truth what the Court will be deciding is if ours will be a nation that values some families more than others. I am hopeful that the Justices will stand on the side of all of America's families - all of America's children - and ensure that loving, committed couples will have their relationships … Continue Reading

March 18, 2015

Heroes for Hire

by Rep. Mark Takano

Far too many of our servicemembers are left behind after their service is completed. The difficulties they face reintegrating back into civilian life are real, and we should be doing all we can to ease that transition - for recent veterans especially. In late 2013, it was reported that while the unemployment rate for newer veterans peaked at 13.1% in December 2011, it was still significantly higher than the national average. However, we have the tools at our disposal in California to put … Continue Reading

February 23, 2015

Expanding Overtime Pay to Combat Income Inequality

by Rep. Mark Takano

The economy is growing at its fastest rate in a decade and more than 10 million private sector jobs have been created in the last six years. Unfortunately, all Americans have not shared this recovery equally. Corporations and CEOs have seen the biggest rebound, while wages remain stagnant for working families and income inequality continues to grow. Today, CEOs make 296 times the amount a typical worker earns. As policymakers strive to tackle these issues, we have a powerful tool at our … Continue Reading

February 12, 2015

The Maker Movement Is About the Economy, Stupid

by Rep. Mark Takano

A movement made up of hobbyists, tinkerers, crafters and innovators is getting ready to change what you thought you knew about the American economy. They're teaching a new generation how to repair rather than replace, and if what they're looking for is not available, to invent it. They call themselves "makers," and they will figure out how to build whatever you can imagine. The last few decades have seen a steep decrease in domestic manufacturing, and many people seemed to buy in to the … Continue Reading

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