Decision Maker

Mike Honda

  • CA17
  • Representative

Mike Honda proudly represents California’s 17th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. His district includes Silicon Valley, the birthplace of innovation and the national leader in high-tech development.

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Petitioning California State House, California State Senate, Ted Gaines, Cristina Garcia, Kristin Olsen, Roger Hernandez, Rich Gordon, Jerry Hill, Mark Leno, Marty Block, Fran Pavley, Zoe Lofgren, Barbara Boxe...

Remove Judge Aaron Persky from the Bench For Decision in Brock Turner rape case.

We the people would like to petition that Judge Aaron Persky be removed from his Judicial position for the lenient sentence he allowed in the Brock Turner rape case. Despite a unanimous guilty verdict, three felony convictions, the objections of 250 Stanford students, Jeff Rosen the district attorney for Santa Clara, as well as the deputy district attorney who likened Turner to " a predator searching for prey" Judge Persky allowed the lenient sentence suggested by the probation department. Turner has shown no remorse and plans to attempt to overturn his conviction. Judge Persky failed to see that the fact that Brock Turner is a white male star athlete at a prestigious university does not entitle him to leniency. He also failed to send the message that sexual assault is against the law regardless of social class, race, gender or other factors. Please help rectify this travesty to justice. ****PLEASE NOTE: This Petition is an effort to force Impeachment hearings for Judge Perksy By the California Assembly. It is not a recall effort.******

1,273,006 supporters
Petitioning Mitt Romney

Secretary of Defense: Create a Central National Registry for Military Sex Offenders

I joined the military because I wanted to serve my country.  I served as a Lance Corporal in the Marines for over three years.  In that time I was raped twice and sexually assaulted another two times.  The first time it happened I was serving abroad in Afghanistan.  After that first incident I was assaulted three other times over the course of three years.  It came to happen so often that I assumed it was normal and that it must happen to everyone.  I never received any training on how to deal with sexual assault in the military- I didnt even know how to report it.   When I finally decided to report the sexual assaults I was led through a maze of questions and excuses and I was even discouraged from reporting the crimes.  In the end, instead of getting justice I was ostracized and humiliated.   I learned that there is currently no national military sex offender registry and that offenders are not required to disclose their crimes on their discharge papers.  A sex offender registration for convicted for military personnel would help to address the impunity that surrounds rape within the military.  Most veterans are honorable men and women who have served our country, but there are some who have committed serious crimes like rape and sexual assault during their service and the military has a responsibility to disclose that information for the sake of the public good. If they are not charged per a Court Martial, and convicted, they will not have to register and the crime will NOT be on their criminal back ground. When asked why sex offenders do not have to disclose on their discharge papers, some of the responses I was given were 1) It will take too long to create a national database or 2) the military is going green and it takes too much paper to add an extra check box to discharge papers.  This is part of a larger issue of rape within the military.  Some estimates reveal that more than 1/3 of women in the armed services are raped during their service and of the reported rapes, 55% are males.  If you serve in the US military and you rape or sexually assault a fellow service member you have an 86.5% chance of keeping the crime a secret and a 92% chance of avoiding court martial.   Let's get this changed, and make it a requirement that Sex Crimes in the Military should be taken serious, and even if punishment is suspended, or does not go to Court Martial, it should still be on their background for employers and citicizens to see while performing a back ground check. And to also include Active Duty Military in our current Database if they were charged per Court Martial (punishment suspended or dropped) Non Judicial Punishment or any form of punishment. If charged one way or another with a sex crime, he/she should also not be allowed to live in Base Housing. please call (703) 571-3343 and continute to ask WHY they are ignoring our request. Join me in asking the Department of Defense to create a national database for sex offenders, putting criminal history (Military crimes) on their DD214 and request that suspending punishment when being charged with a sex crime not be allowed!! Donations to fun trip to DC to hand deliver Petition to Sec. of Navy and Sec. of Defense, present new model for Policy on Sexual Assault/Rape and Ideal Database updates for and  are appreciated. Please email to send donation and/or sponsor portions of trip CONTACT to send stories, ask for help, need to talk, media inquiries, and to provide some assistance.    If you would like to help fund the next trip to present petition and Model Policy, website and State Statue... Please send an email

372,243 supporters
Petitioning U.S. Senate

Pass the ABLE Act

My name is Sara Wolff. I am a 31 year-old from Moscow, Pennsylvania, who happens to have Down syndrome but that doesn’t stop me from achieving “my” better life. I work as a law clerk and also at Keystone Community Resources in the Office of Advocacy. I am a board member of the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS). I'm calling on Congress to pass the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act (S. 313/H.R. 647), a bill that will help individuals with disabilities to save for their futures. When the ABLE Act passes into law this year, it will change my life forever. I lost my mother this past year, Connie, to a sudden, rapid illness. With my whole life ahead of me, I need an ABLE account to plan for my future. And, I am not alone, like most individuals with disabilities, people with Down syndrome and other conditions are out living their parents. Families, like mine, need to rest assure that they can equally care for their children and adults with disabilities, just like they can for their other children and family members. Just because I have Down syndrome, that shouldn’t hold me back from achieving my full potential in life. I can work a full-time job, be a productive member of society, and pay taxes – but because of these outdated laws placed on individuals with disabilities, we hold people like me back in life. This is the year, we call on leaders in Congress to put an end to the inequities that exist for people with disabilities by passing the ABLE Act and allowing individuals and families to save for the future and break down the barriers to employment for these individuals. I spoke last week during the NDSS gala in New York City about my personal lobbying efforts on the ABLE Act – before a large audience, I declared that I will be standing right next to President Obama when he signs the ABLE Act into law this year! The ABLE Act would amend Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Service Code of 1986 to create tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. The bill aims to ease financial strains faced by individuals with disabilities by making tax-free savings accounts available to cover qualified expenses such as education, housing, and transportation. The bill would supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurances, the Medicaid program, the supplemental security income program, the beneficiary’s employment, and other sources. An ABLE account could fund a variety of essential expenses for individuals, including medical and dental care, education, community based supports, employment training, assistive technology, housing, and transportation. The ABLE Act provides individuals with disabilities the same types of flexible savings tools that all other Americans have through college savings accounts, health savings accounts, and individual retirement accounts. The legislation also contains Medicaid fraud protection against abuse and a Medicaid pay-back provision when the beneficiary passes away. It will eliminate barriers to work and saving by preventing dollars saved through ABLE accounts from counting against an individual’s eligibility for any federal benefits program.  The ABLE Act was introduced into Congress on Feb. 13, 2013 by a bipartisan, bicameral set of Congressional Champions including Sens. Robert Casey, Jr., (D-PA) and Richard Burr (R-NC), and Reps. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and Pete Sessions (R-TX). It currently has 325 cosponsors in the US House and 62 in the US Senate.

269,903 supporters
Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives

Save the Perkins Loan Program

Please note that collection of your street address is strictly for the purpose of notifying your representative of your support for the Save Perkins Now petition. We do not harvest or collect address or other contact information for the purpose of sending unsolicited emails, unsolicited communication, or selling or trading contact lists. STUDENTS, PARENTS, HIGHER EDUCATION ADVOCATES, ADMINISTRATORS AND SUPPORTERS Did the Federal Perkins Loan Program help you afford a college education? Have you worked with or do you know students that have benefited from a Perkins loan?  If so, please help save the Perkins Loan Program by signing our petition today. This proven and longstanding loan program is in jeopardy.  In order for the program to continue beyond the 2015-16 award year, Congress must reauthorize the program or extend the September 30, 2015 sunset date. Perkins Loans provide critical support to students with economic need, offering low-cost loans with flexible repayment terms and generous forgiveness options that are public-service oriented.  In 2012-2013, close to 500,000 students with need were awarded nearly $1 billion in Perkins loans, with an average amount of $1,957 awarded per student.  This funding is critical to students who may not qualify for any other financing options, including more costly private loans, and therefore would be unable to complete their education.

22,270 supporters
Petitioning Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Barack Obama, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Bradley Byrne, Martha Roby, Mike Rogers, Robert Aderholt, Mo Brooks, Gary Palmer, Terri Sewell, Doug LaMal...

Make Senators Boxer, Feinstein, REMOVE the non-native species mandate from SB 1894

Purposely hidden in section 202 of the 147 page bill SB 1894 is the planned eradication of non native species in the delta and its tributaries to include largemouth, smallmouth, striped bass, crappie and catfish. The inclusion of these species in this bill MUST be removed. They are being made the scapegoats for the demise of the salmon and Delta Smelt when in fact the pumps are the largest non discriminate predator in the Delta. This eradication mandate will decimate the natural balance that has existed for 140 years, while doing NOTHING for the drought which is what the bill is supposed to address. It will decimate sport fishing on the California Delta, as well as adversely affect many businesses that rely on income directly generated from Delta fishing, i.e., bait and tackle stores, hotels, restaurants, tackle manufacturers etc. There are over 2300 local jobs that will be directly affected if this bill is passed; Guiding services, tournament staffing, Marinas, Bait and Tackle stores as well as grocery stores that will no longer have anglers to sell too. Boat dealers will go out of business with no fish to catch they will not be selling bass boats or V-Hulls so a dealerships like C&C, Anglers Marine and others that customer bass is fisherman will go out of business. Fisherman purchase thousands of gallons of fuel each day to fish in both boats and tow vehicles that will no longer be happening because there are no fish to be caught, no tournaments to go to. Hotels will suffer because they will not have two hundred anglers to use their rooms or eat at their restaurants or use there Casinos.   This bill would hurt a thousand to one people in the ratios of employment and recreations then it would help.  

2,838 supporters
Petitioning Robin Hayes (Jet Blue CEO), The FAA Michael Huerta, Bill Shuster, Lee Zeldin, Carlos Curbelo, Barbara Comstock, Mimi Walters, Ryan Costello, Pete DeFazio, Todd Rokita, Jo...

FAA NextGen Stop Destroying Quiet Communities

In solidarity with my neighbors, I am outraged at the implementation of the FAA’s NextGen program that is building an unprecedented network of aviation superhighways over our country. Once quiet neighborhoods and prized national parks have been destroyed by the FAA’s consolidation of thousands of low-flying, noisy jets overhead. Acting unilaterally and with complete disregard for community engagement, the FAA has prioritized the profits of big business airlines over citizens on the ground. And worse, they have intentionally misled Congress and the American public that NextGen would have “no significant impact.” The reality is NextGen has robbed millions of their mental and physical health, enjoyment of their homes and communities, and trust in their government to protect their rights. And it is going to get worse—millions more across the country will suffer this fate as NextGen continues to rollout. I pledge to not fly on October 24th, 2015 or for my next trip.  I also plan to join or support my fellow citizens on #NoFlyDay, a national protest of the FAA’s NextGen implementation at events across the country. In doing so, I demand the FAA: Immediately revert to previous flight paths in any communities where NextGen has created new noise disturbances, agreeing to redo the design phase and consider less disruptive solutions Conduct Environmental Impact Studies that use an updated, relevant noise standard to ensure noise is not a byproduct of NextGen   Create a timely and transparent community engagement process that doesn’t seek to fly under the radar, but rather solicits actionable input from citizens  It is time for the FAA to be accountable to the American public.                                                                               #NoFlyDay NoFlyDay is sponsored by Save Our Skies Santa Cruz and Minneapolis Saint Paul Fair Skies Coalition.

1,640 supporters
Petitioning Barack Obama, Samantha Power, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Kelly Ayotte, Michael Bennet, Richard Burr, Richard Blumenthal, Cory Booker, John Boozman, ...

Save the Sumatran rhinoceros from its impending extinction

Representatives of the United States of America, In recent weeks, the White House and the federal government have engaged in efforts to raise public awareness about the dangers of climate change, while advocating for new federal policies. In a similar span of time, public outrage over the killing of Cecil the Lion garnered widespread attention, dominating headlines for weeks and spurring UK Ambassador Peter Wilson to speak to the UN General Assembly in late July regarding the illegal trafficking of wildlife. On August 19, 2015, an international team of scientists published a study concluding that the Sumatran rhinoceros is now extinct in Malaysia. Its survival as a species depends upon the fewer than 100 individuals remaining in Indonesia. With the President calling attention to the strategic, economic, and moral dimensions of environmental issues like climate change, the international community demonstrating ardent concern for wildlife, and scientists declaring that only quick action will save the Sumatran rhino and other critically endangered species, there has never been a more appropriate time to discuss this important conservation issue.   I. Purpose The purpose of this message is to call on you, a representative of the interests of United States citizens, to support policies that will affirm our national commitment to the protection of critically endangered wildlife. In particular, we urge you to support and produce policy that will increase America’s contribution to wildlife conservation efforts in Indonesia and the Southeast Pacific, particularly efforts that will protect the critically endangered Sumatran rhinoceros.   II. Recommendations Many Americans are frustrated by the perception that they cannot make a difference in conservation, especially at the international level. Opponents of conservation use these frustrations to discourage elected officials from meaningfully supporting conservation causes with clear and urgent status. But recent history contradicts cynicism. In 2014, the U.S. negotiated a deal to reduce debt payments owed by Indonesia in exchange for a $12.7 million commitment toward the conservation of critically endangered species in Indonesia. The deal, part of the Tropical Forest Conservation Act’s “debt for nature” strategy, clearly demonstrates that Congress and diplomatic officials have the power to directly support and advocate for the protection of treasured species, such as the Sumatran rhinoceros.   Here are seven clear ways that the U.S. could increase its support for the Sumatran rhino and other species, through legislation and diplomatic action: ·             Craft and pass a bill offering greater debt relief to Indonesia in exchange for protection of more tropical forest acreage. ·             Appropriate more money to the Multinational Species Conservation Fund, which seeks to protect rhinos along with a handful of other species. ·             Strengthen bureaucratic cooperation with groups aiming to protect the Sumatran rhino, such as the Cincinnati Zoo. ·             Pressure U.S. Fish & Wildlife to approve the export of the last rhino kept in captivity in the U.S. (at the Cincinnati Zoo) to Indonesia. ·             Partner with the Indonesian government to increase funding for anti-poaching efforts. ·             Negotiate further financial incentives (i.e. beyond debt relief) for Indonesia to preserve forests. ·             Strengthen U.S. diplomatic ties to Indonesia and partner with the Indonesian government on bilateral conservation efforts.   III. Conservation Issues The Sumatran rhinoceros is a topical example of a species whose future existence is dependent on the actions of governments. A recent article in Newsweek draws attention to what scientists and conservationists have known for years: our current efforts—including the 2014 deal—are not enough to save this species. Most experts agree that there are fewer than 100 individual Sumatran rhinos left in the wild. U.S. groups like the Cincinnati Zoo are attempting to save the relocate the last captive breeding individual to the Indonesian wild, but they face bureaucratic and financial hurdles in their efforts.  Habitat destruction also prevents the species from reproducing: ranges that are separated by infrastructure and development potentially leave breeding individuals isolated in perpetuity.  Meanwhile, current anti-poaching efforts have not satisfactorily combated trade in illegal rhino horns. The massive decline in the wild rhino population illustrates this. Alarmingly, the study reported in Newsweek confirms that the species is now extinct in Malaysia. This tragedy is an international failure, but it also sounds an alarm. There is no time to delay, and action in Indonesia needs to be backed up by commitment to protecting the Sumatran rhino internationally. Malaysia is a member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which—according to the White House’s website—promises “establishment of a means for the public to raise concerns directly with TPP governments if they believe a TPP member is not meeting its environmental commitments, and requirements that governments consider and respond to those concerns.” This message is intended as just such a means of raising concerns, and it is the responsibility of public officials to follow through with the promise above, ensuring that it is read and considered. What affects Indonesia will affect neighboring nations. This new partnership, if it is realized in the coming months, carries with it a responsibility to coordinate internationally on issues like conservation. Other Pacific nations may be willing to contribute to efforts to protect the region’s important wildlife if the U.S. steps up to lead the initiative.   IV. Public Interest You may ask why citizens or public servants in the U.S. should care about protecting foreign endangered species. The answer is simple: Americans already do care. It has long been acknowledged that wildlife is a cultural treasure worthy of protection. The Endangered Species Act, the National Parks system, and the Tropical Forest Protection Act are all examples of American leadership in conservation. The reintroduction of the gray wolf in the Northern Rockies, though not without its critics, proved that some species are able to resurge. Theodore Roosevelt said, “While my interest in natural history has added very little to my sum of achievement, it has added immeasurably to my sum of enjoyment in life.” Roosevelt’s words are not simply about ecotourism, bird watching, or other forms of “enjoyment.” They are indicative of the American spirit. Being an American has always been about more than pursuing one’s own self-interest. Americans feel a responsibility to preserve and extend our values across the world. The American sense of shared responsibility is why we engage in international aid, use military force to promote democracy, and ally ourselves with other free nations. This principle also extends to wildlife. Roosevelt’s statement about natural history adding to “enjoyment in life” is symbolic of the belief that certain prized cultural items should be preserved for future generations. This is why outrage over the shooting of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe was widely felt in American public discourse, and led lawmakers to draft a bill banning trophy hunting shipments. American citizens care about iconic species, even ones outside the U.S. Protecting wildlife does not mean prizing animal lives over human ones. It represents the belief that nature—like a public space, war memorial, or work of art—belongs to everyone and all generations. Wildlife is a part of the world’s heritage, a heritage that should be safeguarded by all civilized nations. Protecting this species will not come up during the presidential debates. Critics of international conservation will say that this effort is uncalled for, a niche concern for a little-known species. But the truth is that these are actually reasons for government action. The amount of funding that would make a significant difference in conservation efforts—say, as a generous conjecture, 50 million dollars of debt relief targeted at Indonesian rainforests—is insignificant in comparison with the U.S. national debt, the defense budget, or health care costs.   There are also concrete benefits. A commitment to our partners’ natural resources is a commitment to our partners. Working to protect the Sumatran rhino would strengthen cultural, political, and commercial ties with Indonesia. Domestically, there is little political risk or potential for unintended consequences in taking action to protect endangered species. This is an uncomplicated, apolitical issue. We urge you to consider the contents of this message, and to act according to the suggestions it puts forth. A comeback by the Sumatran rhino would be a remarkable conservation success story, and the public officials responsible for assisting this comeback will be remembered for generations to come.   Sincerely, Concerned citizens:

1,496 supporters
Petitioning Robert Casey, Barack Obama, Pat Toomey, Robert Brady, Chaka Fattah, Robert Tomlinson, Richard Alloway, David Argall, Ryan Aument, Lisa Baker, Camera Bartolotta, John Blake, Lisa Boscola, James Brew...

Urgent! Support the "Right To Try Act (H.R. 3012) of 2015" Hope for the Terminally ill

I am writing this letter in utter despair, because my family needs your help. My brother, my hero, the man I've always looked up to was diagnosed with ALS. You the Congress, the decision makers, have the chance to pass the "Right To Try Act". And everyone fighting a terminal illness right now needs this.   I remember being a little kid, I remember always trying to hang out with my brother, he is 10 years older than me, so I was never allowed. But I thought I was cool having an older brother that could take me places. I am the youngest of 4, there are 3 sisters and 1 brother. We have always been a close family. Always. I feel like I was just at the shore this summer carrying on with him at the beach, and today he can barely walk. ALS, has been around, over 80 years and still NO CURE. The ice bucket challenge in my opinion brought much needed awareness to the disease. I was told in Oct 2015, about my brother and that he has ALS. I don't think it really hit me, as I really didn't understand the magnitude of what he was about to go thru.  Maybe in a way I didn't want to believe it? I didn't want him nor his family to have to go thru this. But its real. Its not going away. I don't think I myself was prepared for him, to have to fight for his life. Its heart wrenching to watch, even more so, he has a family, a loving wife, 6 children. He is a family man, he would give you the shirt off his back because that is the man he is. Always has been. Life certainly hasn't been easy for our family, in December 2013 we lost my sisters 10 year old son, our nephew, it never gets easier, the heartache never goes away. Time does Not heal. There are 12 nieces and nephews between my sisters and brother. He and his wife have 6 children. His wife is amazing. Not only does she make sure my brother is taken care of, she also takes care of 6 kids, and her mother who currently has brain cancer. So if anyone, anyone wants to complain about life, they certainly deserve to. But guess what? they don't. They don't complain, they look for answers, they look for hope. They look for ways to change the lives of other people. That is the ultimate meaning of strength and courage, they are. So I write this letter to You, in hope that you listen clearly to my message. My brother, deserves the "Right To Try" He derves to possibly change his quality of life for the better. He deserves so much more from life besides ALS. He deserves to try a medicine, that may give him hope. His family deserves that right. He deserves to walk his daughters down the aisle. He deserves everything every other human on this earth does. So grant him that right to try what ever he wants to. He was given a terminal diagnosis. Terminal. There is no cure for ALS. And you the government, have the ability to change that. You have the opportunity to pass the "Right To Try Act", to make it possible for him to maybe change his life. Maybe not. But shouldn't that be a human right ?  Would you want his 6 children wondering why their dad wasn't given a chance at life? give him the "Right to Try" then just maybe, he can watch all his kids grow up. He can sit with his wife in a rocking chair on the porch when they are older.  Why would you not want to give him that right? I beg you to support  this Act, "Right To Try Act"  (H.R. 3012) of 2015. I beg you. No one ever , ever deserves a terminal illness, they don't, but you as our law makers have an opportunity right NOW to make their life a little bit brighter. A little bit more hopeful. Let's try to change the world to make it a better place instead of holding people back from having hope. That is all they have. HOPE. Please help my family, please allow my brother Frank Mongiello, the "Right To Try". #CureALS Warmest Regards, Frank's Lil' Sister, Lisa Mongiello Kupsey    

1,189 supporters
Petitioning Paul Gosar, Don Young, Mike Rogers, David Schweikert, Trent Franks, Doug LaMalfa, Jared Huffman, John Garamendi, Mike Thompson, Paul Cook, Jerry McNerney, Jackie Speier, Jim Costa, Mike Honda, Sam ...

More parking spots for TRUCK DRIVERS!

Parking for our OTR Truck Drivers! It has come to a day and age when our truck drivers are being scrutinized for everything they do. Our truck drivers deliver everything that makes this world go around. If there was ever a 7 day strike of truck drivers this would shut our country down. Our law states that truck drivers must follow the "hours of service law" then we insist that you the government that makes these laws provide the areas where truck drivers can safely and legally stop to follow laws and rest without worrying about getting a ticket doing so. When our drivers try to obey the law THERE IS NOWHERE FOR THEM TO PARK! Many roadside parks/rest areas have been shut down because there is no money to fund it. Truck Drivers are parking on the side of the roads and being Ticketed for following the Law that you our government put in place.  Why are they parking on the side of the roads? That is because the truck stops are full and rest areas are closed. There was a bill signed back in 2012 called the MAP-21 highway bill which would allocate additional funding to developing more rest areas for truckers yet today May 1, 2016 our truck drivers are still facing the same challenges. NO PLACE TO PARK! We the people demand for our government to step in and immediately make more parking spots so that our truck drivers can be within the law and not have to pay hefty fines for following your laws!

495 supporters
Petitioning Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, Doug LaMalfa, Ted Gaines, Beth Gaines, Jared Huffman, John Garamendi, Tom McClintock, Mike Thompson, Doris Matsui, Ami Bera, Paul Cook, Jerry McNerney, Jeff Denham,...

Create the State of Northern California and/or Jefferson

We the People of Northern California have come to realize that we have no say, and that our representatives have no say in our futures. We hope to remedy this by forming the 51st State so that our voices are restored and we can address problems in the North State effectively through self governance.

473 supporters
  • Thank you all for signing this petition calling on the Secretary of Navy to cancel military exercises on Tinian and Pagan Islands. The United States Marine Corps has proposed to expand and develop new live-fire military ranges and training areas on Tinian and Pagan islands within the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). The geological diversity of Pagan Island supports a vast ecosystem of biological diversity, including many threatened and endangered species. While most of the residents of the island were forced to evacuate years ago due to a volcanic eruption, many prior residents still intend to return. Establishing a live-fire military range on the island would have significant negative impacts on both animal and human inhabitants. In June 2015, the House of Representatives considered the National Defense Authorization Act. My good friend Delegate Gregorio Kilili Sablan from CNMI offered an amendment that would have required the Department of Defense to reach an agreement with the Government of the Northern Marianas on the nature and scope of activities before any funds could be expended for expanded military activities in the Northern Mariana Islands. His amendment sought to level the playing field, to ensure that the territorial government is able to make local land use decisions about whether or not to lease lands to the military, and if so, what the terms and conditions of any lease might be. As Chair Emeritus of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, I have been a vocal advocate for America's island territories in the Pacific, which is why I voted in support of the amendment. Unfortunately it was defeated by a vote of 173-256. Protecting our water, oceans, and biological diversity is more than sound public policy - it's an obligation. Throughout my time in Congress, I have built on the strong environmental record I established as a County Supervisor when I created the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority, and as a State Assembly member when I fought for millions in funding for the Nature Conservancy and expansion of Henry Coe Park. As a founding member of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition, I have remained an unwavering champion for responsible environmental stewardship. I am proud of my environmental record, which has earned me the highest possible ratings from the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, Sierra Club and League of Conservation Voters. Thank you for starting this petition and raising this profile of this important issue.

— Mike Honda, Representative
  • Thank you for signing the petition in support of the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act. I am pleased to say that I have agreed to cosponsor this important legislation. The CARERS Act would allow states to set their own medical marijuana policies and eliminate federal prosecution of patients, providers, and businesses in states with medical marijuana programs. It would also recognize legitimate medical use of marijuana, allow VA doctors to recommend medical marijuana, expand opportunities for research on marijuana, and allow access to banking services for marijuana-related businesses that are operating pursuant to state law. I have consistently supported efforts to decriminalize, regulate, and tax marijuana, and to stop federal prosecution of patients and caregivers who use medical marijuana in states where it is legal. These changes would not only help alleviate the challenges our justice system faces, but also provide a new source of revenue for local, state, and federal governments. For example, I voted in support of the amendment offered by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher Amendment to the Fiscal Year 2015 Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations bill. This amendment, which passed by a bipartisan vote of 219-189, prohibited the use of federal funds to prevent certain states from implementing their own laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana. I have also co-sponsored both the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act and the States' Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act. Both bills sought to reduce inconsistencies in law enforcement regarding state marijuana laws, so that our nation's already resource strapped police departments can focus on dangerous and violent criminals instead. I have also supported legislation that would prevent the Department of Justice from arresting and prosecuting medical marijuana patients and caregivers in states where their activities are legal. Once again, thank you for signing this petition.

— Mike Honda, Representative
  • Thank you for signing this petition in support of the Perkins Loan Program. I, too, support the Perkins Loan Program, which is why I have cosponsored H.Res.294, a bipartisan resolution in support of the program. Perkins Loans are need-based loans which foster access to higher education for low income students by providing low interest loans to students in need. Perkins Loan borrowers are predominantly from lower income families and are often the first in their family to attend college. The success of the program is a result of the central role of the colleges and universities that originate the loans, counsel their students through repayment, and select contractors for servicing and collection. The schools tailor the program to best fit borrowers' and institutions' situations, and they are invested in the success of the program because they share some of the lending risk since they contribute one-third of their students' awards. As Congress begins to consider a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, it is important to make it clear that the Perkins Loan Program must be included, because otherwise it will expire on September 30, 2015. That is why I have cosponsored H.Res.294. As a former high school teacher, principal, and school board member, education has always been one of my top priorities. I believe that educating its youth is the greatest investment a nation can make. Quality education ensures that the nation remains strong and economically competitive. As such, I will work to continue the Perkins Loan Program. Once again, thank you for signing this petition.

— Mike Honda, Representative
  • Thank you for signing this petition in support of sunsetting of Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act. The scope and scale of surveillance programs by the intelligence community to log large amounts of the electronic communications and telephone calls that originate and pass through the United States is astounding. The disregard for individual privacy is at the very least unethical, and at the very worst unconstitutional. While we live in a dangerous world, and there are many people who seek to harm American citizens, there must be an appropriate balance between security and privacy. I believe that Americans should have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their email and electronic communication, just like they do with their mail. Throughout my time in Congress, I have taken a strong stance for privacy by voting against SOPA, PIPA, CISPA and the PATRIOT Act, because I was not convinced that these pieces of legislation adequately protected privacy rights. My position has been validated by the use of the PATRIOT Act to justify pervasive and intrusive surveillance programs. In particular, I have a strong objection to the continuation of Section 215 of the Patriot Act. This is the section that expanded the authority of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to compel records by enlarging the scope of materials that could be requested and by lowering the standard demanded of the government to receive approval to conduct surveillance. This rubber stamp process must be overhauled in orderly to effectively protect Americans from the overreaching, invasive, and often unjustified surveillance of the US government. I am committed to working with my colleagues in Congress to examine the various national security collection programs and consider amendments to the law to ensure that Americans' privacy and civil liberties are preserved in our national security efforts. On May 13th, I voted against the USA FREEDOM Act. Despite supporting some of the provisions that help rein in the scope of the bulk collection and bring some transparency and accountability to the surveillance process, I believe that the bill did not do enough to effectively end the intelligence agencies' gross overreach into the personal privacy of American citizens. With the May 7, 2015 ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in ACLU v. Clapper, the legal standing of the government's mass collection of American phone records is being questioned. The court found that the government's program exceeds the scope of what Congress has authorized in the PATRIOT Act. With this ruling, the good intentions of the USA FREEDOM Act to place limits and constraints on the bulk collection programs could now be interpreted by the Administration as authorizing and providing a legal basis for the very activities the Second Circuit has just found unlawful. This will undermine our progress towards ending mass surveillance. The USA FREEDOM Act settles on amending some of the flawed PATRIOT Act provisions. This is not good enough. I am focused on preventing the government's overreach and violation of Americans' privacy entirely, and I will continue to push for reform that brings transparency, rule of law, and respect for personal privacy to the intelligence arena and not settle for half measures. I remain committed to meaningful reform of our nation's surveillance policies to ensure that privacy and civil liberties are preserved while protecting our nation.

— Mike Honda, Representative
  • Thank you for signing this petition in support of the Safe Schools Improvement Act. As a lifelong educator, I have seen firsthand the negative impact that bullying and harassment have on the education of our students. We must end bullying in our public schools and create safe environments in which each and every child can learn and thrive. That is why I have cosponsored the Safe Schools Improvement Act in the past, and I look forward to supporting it again in the 114th Congress. To more broadly address the scourge of bullying, I launched the Congressional Anti-Bullying Caucus in June, 2012. The mission of the caucus is to uncover all forms of bullying, from school bullying to elder abuse to LGBTQ discrimination; making it possible for victims of bullying to come forward; protecting all individuals that are victims of any and all forms of bullying; and preventing bullying behavior by recognizing its manifestation as symptomatic of other, larger issues. Through events such as the Be a STAR anti-bullying rally I held with World Wrestling Entertainment, the Creative Coalition, and the mayor of the City of Santa Clara we are working to end bullying across this nation. Once again, thank you for signing this petition in support of the Safe Schools Improvement Act.

— Mike Honda, Representative
  • Thank you for expressing your support for the Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act of 2015, H.R. 1258. Introduced by Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA), the PAWS Act will empower the approximately one-third of domestic violence victims who have delayed leaving their abusive relationships out of concern for the wellbeing of their pets. I am proud to say that I am an original cosponsor of this legislation. Studies have shown that it is common for domestic abusers to target pets for abuse to exert control over their partners. H.R. 1258 would make it illegal to threaten or harm a victim's pet and redefine "full amount of the victim's losses" to include costs for any harm done to the victim's pet. The bill would also establish a federal grant program to assist in acquiring a safer shelter for pets. As a senior member of the House Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Subcommittee, I have worked for years to bring an end to domestic violence. I have secured funding for the Child Abuse Training for Judicial Personnel Program, which helps ensure the court system is effectively serving and protecting the well being of children and victims of domestic violence. I authored the Domestic Violence Judicial Support Act to improve the capacity of courts to provide assistance in domestic violence case, which was included in the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Additionally, I have consistently fought to protect the welfare of animals as a dedicated member of the Congressional Friends of Animals Caucus. I have supported legislation such as the Animal Welfare Act, Horse Protection Act and the Humane Cosmetics Act. Because of my support for animal protection, I have received top scores on the Humane Society Legislative Fund Congressional Scorecard. You can count on me to continue my work to end domestic violence and to protect the welfare of animals.

— Mike Honda, Representative
  • Thanks for signing a petition about the National Football League's tax-exempt status. I share your concern about the impact of what are known as "tax expenditures" on our federal budget and believe they deserve renewed scrutiny. Tax expenditures are tax breaks given to particular industries or individuals, such as the NFL's tax exempt status, that reduce tax revenue and, as a result, impact the ability of the federal government to provide services to those in need. Our economy, which was built for incremental course correction, has gradually shifted to the wrong track, to a point where we now need a substantial overhaul. On tax reform, I believe we must find ways to simplify the tax code, remove distortive and unnecessary loopholes, broaden the base, and encourage investments that will return us to a high growth economy that can be globally competitive and fiscally sound. We can come together in a bipartisan manner to develop a plan that enhances the global competitiveness of our businesses; promotes growth, innovation, and investment; supports the middle class and those striving to enter the middle class; and ensures long-term fiscal solvency. I look forward to working with my colleagues to craft a package that helps all Americans realize a brighter future. During my time serving on the Budget Committee, I came to appreciate that developing budgets is an exercise in stating our values. For me, that means protecting vulnerable populations, seniors, our children, working class families, those on fixed incomes, and our veterans. We must combat income inequality head-on by raising the minimum wage at the national level, as I have fought to do locally. We need to protect and empower our nation's most vulnerable with extensions of emergency unemployment insurance as well as increases to anti-poverty tax initiatives like the earned income tax credit, the child tax credit, and tax breaks that help send kids to college so that each and every family has the same opportunities to live an economically stable future. These are the elements of sensible tax code that I will fight for as Congress continues tax negotiations. Once again, thank you for taking the time to sign this petition.

— Mike Honda, Representative
  • Thanks for signing this petition about immigration reform, specifically H-4 visas. As you know, the family members of foreign workers who are admitted to the United States on H-1B visas are themselves admitted under the H-4 category. Family members that qualify under the H-4 category include only the spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old. The H-4 program enables skilled workers to bring their nuclear family support network with them to the U.S., but under current law it does not guarantee those family members admitted on H-4 visas the ability to work. H-4 visa holders may apply for permission to work in the United States, but whether they are granted that permission is up to the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security. This is just one of the many ways in which America's immigration system is broken. Throughout my time in Congress, I have been an outspoken advocate for immigration reform - to mend our broken system so that it is comprehensive, inclusive, and humane, and invests in America's future. I believe we should have an immigration system that respects the dignity of immigrant communities and recognizes their contributions to American society. This is why I am a proud cosponsor of H.R. 15, the comprehensive immigration reform bill introduced this Congress. Section 4102 of this bill would change the H-4 visa program by authorizing the spouses of H-1B holders to engage in employment in the United States and providing them with the appropriate authorization or work permit. I support this provision of H.R. 15, along with others that would increase the number of H1-B high skilled visas for Silicon Valley workers while also giving those workers more protection from abuse by unscrupulous employers, reunite families, and provide a pathway to citizenship for those living in the shadows. This bill enjoys broad bipartisan support, with over 200 Democratic and Republican cosponsors. I believe that immigrants and their families should be able to participate in the American Dream and contribute to our economy. You can be sure I will continue fighting to pass H.R. 15 and reform our broken system, including the H-4 visa. Once again, thanks for sharing your opinion with me.

— Mike Honda, Representative
  • You will be glad to know that I am a cosponsor of H.R. 3899, the Voting Rights Amendment Act. This bill would strengthen the Voting Rights Act by updating the pre-clearance formula so that states that have changed their voting laws in ways that violate federal law five times over the past fifteen years will be required to submit future election changes for federal approval. This new formula would currently apply to Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Local jurisdictions would be covered if they commit three or more violations or have one violation and “persistent, extremely low minority turnout” over the past fifteen years. I have always supported equal access to the polls and fought against discriminatory practices that prevented vulnerable populations from getting a chance to exercise their right to vote. As a former teacher and principal, and now a Member of Congress, I understand the importance of ensuring that everyone is included in the political process through the exercise of the right to vote. Protecting voting rights and ensuring the integrity of federal elections is of great importance to me, and I will continue to fight for these principles.

— Mike Honda, Representative
  • The California League of Conservation Voters is right – the drought in California is no excuse to gut environmental protection laws. After three consecutive years of below-normal rainfall, California faces its most severe drought emergency in decades. House Republicans have sought to use this crisis as an opportunity to undermine landmark environmental protections and enact legislation that is full of false promises to deliver water that simply isn't there. As a founding member of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition, I voted against the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act because it would harm the quality of water for people and businesses across Northern California, and repeal important environmental protections already in place. The real issue is the lack of rain and snow worsened by our changing climate - reservoirs are about 20% below historical average. The real solutions are conserving water before it is gone, recycling wastewater, and increasing storage where it makes sense. The Governor has recommended, and the Santa Clara Valley Water District has mandated, 20 percent reductions in water use, which will help stretch current supplies further in the short term. In my role on the House Appropriations Committee, I have worked to provide federal support for regional efforts to expand water recycling, which enable greater water savings than the smaller water recycling projects that have been supported in the past. Meteorologists are predicting that 2014 will continue to be drier than normal, partly due to man-made climate change. It is essential that people know about this problem and that do something about it. That is why I have joined the Safe Climate Caucus - to ensure that climate change, and its very real consequences, is being discussed in Congress. Human output of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases has reached an unprecedented level, and we must address this issue now before California faces even worse drought conditions.

— Mike Honda, Representative