Update on explosives sought

Rep. Adam Schiff, who represents Burbank and Glendale, has called on Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to submit quarterly reports regarding the threat posed by improvised explosive devices to American troops in Iraq.

It was a concern that the Pentagon had not moved with urgency to address the continuing devastation of these devices, Schiff said. The bombs kill Americans every day and no effort should be spared to stop them, he added.

Schiff has offered an amendment to the House Rules Committee requiring Rumsfeld to submit a report on every incident involving the detonation, discovery and/or defeat of an improvised explosive device in the past 90 days. The report would also have to include an update on the technology behind the devices, their placement, any evidence of assistance from foreign countries or opposition forces, the U.S. military's ability to defend itself and the effectiveness of armored Humvees in the field.

Official meets with local councils

Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich hosted a luncheon on May 5 with Ruben Barrales, deputy assistant to President George Bush and director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, and representatives of the county's town councils, which represent unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.

Barrales talked to the council members about issues such as the federal budget and immigration reform.

The Crescenta Valley Town Council was among the town councils represented.

Legislators seek award nominees

Assemblywoman Carol Liu, Assemblyman Dario Frommer and state Sen. Jack Scott are seeking nominees for the 2006 Women in Business Awards, which will be held on Thursday, Sept. 7 at The Castaway restaurant in Burbank.

The awards honor outstanding businesswomen who live or work in the three legislators' districts, which include all or parts of the communities of Altadena, Arcadia, Atwater Village, Burbank, Chinatown, Duarte, Eagle Rock, East Hollywood, Echo Park, Encino, Glassell Park, Glendale, Griffith Park, Highland Park, La Cañada-Flintridge, La Crescenta, Lake Balboa, Los Feliz, Monrovia, Montrose, North Hollywood, Pasadena, Reseda, San Gabriel, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, South Pasadena, Studio City, Tarzana, Temple City, Toluca Lake, Valley Glen, Valley Village or Van Nuys.

For more information or to request nomination forms, call (626) 683-0282 or e-mail Damian.Carroll@sen.ca.gov.

Dreier votes on tax relief bill

Rep. David Dreier, a Republican who represents La Cañada Flintridge and La Crescenta, voted Wednesday to approve an extension of tax relief, saying it created record economic growth and job creation.

The Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005, H.R. 4297, was approved in the House of Representatives with bipartisan support, 244-185.

The legislation will extend alternative minimum tax relief for an additional year, said Dreier, chairman of the House Rules Committee.

It will also extend the increased limit on small-business expensing. Additionally, the bill extends the lower tax rates on dividends and capital gains income through 2010. These extensions are of particular benefit to seniors who depend on income derived from their investments, he said.

The Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003, which was passed in May 2003, spurred economic growth, Dreier said. Since August 2003, more than 5 million jobs have been created.

The current unemployment rate is at 4.7%, lower than the average of any decade since the 1950s.

Economic growth has also been robust, he said. In the first quarter of 2006, the economy grew 4.8%, representing the 18th consecutive quarter of positive growth.

At the same time, revenues to the federal treasury have increased dramatically. Over the last 12 months, overall tax receipts were up 14.5%.

The Treasury Department announced Wednesday that April 2006 yielded the second highest revenue total ever, $315.1 billion. Because of these increased receipts, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the 2006 deficit could be $71 billion less than they predicted just two months ago, Dreier said.

Dreier also voted this week to approve a law that would provide more benefits to American troops and their families.

The bill would help increase the size of the military and better equip troops.

Called the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007, the bill authorizes an additional $50 billion in supplemental funding to support the war on terrorism.

It will also authorize troop increases of 30,000 Army and 50,000 Marines.

The bill would also increase troop pay by 2.7%.

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