He asked for committee assignments in tourism, military and technology and innovation because those are the pillars of the San Diego economy. He was assigned to the Armed Services Committee, with seats on the Emerging Threats and Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittees. He also got appointed to the Science, Space and Technology Committee, with seats on the Oversight and Technology subcommittees.
One of his focuses is increasing funding for basic scientific research. Nowadays, he says, a U.S. scientist needs to be about 40 years old before she or he has the wherewithal to compete for sparse grants. As a result, young folks coming out of grad school are going to places like Singapore, China, Brazil, England and Israel to work.
“We know this erosion is taking place,” Peters says, “and we’re not doing anything about it.”
And, besides, with research outfits like UCSD, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, The Scripps Research Institute, the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology and the Sanford Consortium, increased funding would potentially benefit the local economy.
Another focus is on housing and employing veterans. He’s authored or cosponsored bills to fund supportive housing for elderly vets and expand a tax credit for hiring recently discharged service members.
A third focus Peters mentions is climate change. Chair of the Climate Task Force for the Democrats’ Sustainability Caucus, he introduced a bill that would require the president to convene the Task Force on Super Pollutants to study how to reduce so-called short-lived climate pollutants, having read a New York Times commentary by Dr. Veerabhadran Ramanathan, professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, on harm caused by methane, hydrofluorocarbons and black soot.