“Mike Honda has dedicated his career to tackling difficult issues and doing what’s right for working people. After leading the local effort to bring BART to San Jose, Mike got $900 million in federal funding for the project creating nearly 10,000 jobs for the Silicon Valley. Mike is an effective advocate in Congress for his district and all of California”
– California Governor Jerry Brown
As a Senior Member of the House Appropriations Committee, Congressman Honda plays an important role in overseeing and determining all Federal funding. Since his election to Congress in 2000, he has brought over $1.3 billion in funding back to his constituents for critical investments that help the community and create jobs. As the son of a sharecropper and postal worker, and himself the member of a teacher’s union, Mike has been a consistent champion of worker’s rights.
BART Extension to San Jose
Mike has been essential to securing funding for the BART Extension to San Jose at the Federal level. He worked directly with Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood to secure $900 million in Federal funding for the project, and as Member of the Appropriations Committee has ensured that the project receives the Federal funding on time every year. The project is creating 13,000 jobs throughout Silicon Valley.
Silicon Valley is the nation’s leader in manufacturing, and Mike has consistently worked in Congress to support this key industry in the district. One recent example is the Revitalizing American Manufacturing and Innovation Act, which was passed in the House in September of 2014. The bill would create centers for manufacturing innovation throughout the country, bringing together private industry, universities, and other entities to accelerate innovation in manufacturing. If the bill passes in the Senate and is signed into law, Mike will work to create one of these centers in Silicon Valley.
As a former high school science teacher who has spent his life in this valley, Mike understands the key role technology plays in growing our economy. He co-authored the Nanotechnology Research & Development Act of 2003, which he got passed through a Republican-controlled House and Senate, and signed into law by President George W. Bush. The bill led to $3.7 billion in funding for critical research and development that fueled Silicon Valley’s growth.
As a Member of the Appropriations Committee, Mike was able to steer the placement of a new U.S. Patent & Trademark Office to make sure it was in Silicon Valley. He has also been a consistent champion of making the Research & Development tax credit permanent. In May of 2014, he broke ranks with his party to vote for a bill making the credit permanent.
Mike believes that no one should have to work 2-3 jobs just to support his or her family, which is why he supports a living wage. He supported the successful campaign to raise the minimum wage in San Jose, and is working in Congress to do the same nationally. He has also supported legislation like the Lily Ledbetter Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act to close the income disparity gap between men and women.
Mike has also delivered over $2.4 million in Federal funding for affordable housing programs in Silicon Valley, including funds to support first-time home buyers and to help homeless veterans and youth.
Mike believes that we must have a fair tax system, which is why he supports President Obama’s efforts to change the tax code so that the most wealthy amongst us do not pay a lower tax rate than middle-income Americans. This so-called “Buffett rule” is named for Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor who realized that he was paying a lower tax rate than his secretary because of the way the current tax code is structured.
Expanding Social Security
Mike understands that Social Security is a critical part of our social safety net. That’s why he is leading the effort in Congress to expand and strengthen Social Security benefits. The Strengthening Social Security Act of 2013, which Mike introduced with other colleagues, does just that. Mike’s bill “scraps the cap” on Social Security taxes to ensure that everyone pays their fair share and we can expand benefits.