B. Drought Relief: Since I joined the Senate, I’ve made addressing this historic drought a major priority. I’ve consistently met with agricultural groups, water users, Western Senators, and administration officials, including Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton, who were recently in California meeting with local leaders on this issue. I have worked closely with my Senate colleagues to ensure both the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act build on California’s climate leadership and prioritize support for drought and wildfire resiliency–two of the biggest challenges facing California right now. The Inflation Reduction Act provides $4 billion to address historic drought in the West, including for inland water bodies like the Salton Sea and for bolstering the resiliency of the Colorado River Basin and watersheds up and down California experiencing extreme drought. It also includes $5 billion to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires, support more fire-resilient forests, expand forest

While we always look to find common ground when we can, I’m also proud of the many priorities that Democrats moved forward this Congress, even when Republicans refused to join us. We passed significant legislation to lower costs for families, including health care and energy costs, and boost our economy and small businesses as we recover from the COVID- 19 pandemic. We provided long overdue funding to improve drought resilience in Western states and mitigate the risk of catastrophic wildfires. Agriculture has many issues of grave concern; can you please weigh in on the following issues: A. Immigration Reform: Our immigration laws are outdated and in need of reform. They do not meet the needs of our economy, including the agricultural sector. That is why the very first bill I introduced when I came to the Senate was the Citizenship for Essential Workers Act . My bill would provide a path to citizenship for those who have served on the frontlines of the COVID-

19 pandemic. This includes farmworkers who tirelessly work the fields so that we can have food on our tables and who play a vital role in keeping our supply chains functioning. As Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, and Border Safety, I continue to reach out across the aisle to my Senate colleagues about where bipartisan progress can be made. We have bipartisan solutions just sitting in front of us waiting to be passed, so that we uphold our nation’s values and strengthen our economy. Sadly, Republicans in Congress aren't interested in real solutions—they refuse to take the votes necessary to move the needle forward on immigration reform. They would rather engage in fear mongering about the border than work in good faith. It’s a pattern repeated by Republicans because it is politically convenient for them. Meanwhile, we have workforce shortages and gaps across this country that go beyond the agricultural industry and are affecting millions of Americans.

Sen. Padilla at Del Bosque Farms in 2021



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