Thursday, March 12, 2009
Rep. Kevin McCarthy: "my view from The Hill"
Our own Rep. Kevin McCarthy is in the midst of the battle over the future of our country in Washington. So thought it would be a good idea to let Kevin give us a periodic update - weekly, I hope - of what's on his mind. His report in his own words:
"Thanks for the opportunity to send updates about what is happening on Capitol Hill and in our community. This week, the number one agenda item is revitalizing our economy. That is why two issues are a major focus of debate - (1) federal budget and (2) card check.
(1) Federal Budget - unfortunately, the budget will take over three trillion dollars of taxes, new spending, and borrowing that will have to be paid for by our children's generation. We need to focus on productivity and job creation. How do we produce more and create jobs when Washington just takes more and borrows more?
(2) Card check - as our country works to address our economic challenges, the Congressional Democratic Leadership is proposing to take away a workers right to a secret ballot. This policy could result in more job losses. I support a workers right to a secret ballot.
Three other issues we must address are:
(1) Helping America ’s small businesses and the economy - small business create 70 percent of the jobs in our country. They can drive our economic recovery. Higher taxes and additional obstacles are not the way to fix our current economic problems.
Also, this week the Financial Services Committee I serve on held a hearing to explore common sense reform to help restore credit to middle class Americans and small businesses. Mark to market refers to accounting rules that affect how assets that have been the center of our economic downturn are valued. Mark to market accounting reform can help create solvency by transparently valuing "toxic assets" for financial institutions, which we all know from our economy has an affect in our communities.
(2) Energy independence - An issue that should not be lost sight of is energy independence. Coming from our district, we have shown that we have an effective energy corridor from the coast to the high desert that can produce significant energy through wind, solar, geothermal, and oil. By producing more at home, we can create good jobs here at home, instead of shipping billions to hostile countries.
(3) Education - I am back in the district and will travel tomorrow to the Central Coast to meet with school superintendents to listen to their concerns and ideas regarding strengthening our children’s schools. In particular, I am very interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education in our schools to keep our nation competitive worldwide. Our children will not compete with kids from other states, they will compete with citizens of foreign countries, like India and China.
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As a mother of two elementary boys who are in enrolled in an after-school science-magnet program in Bakersfield (great magnet school headed by principal Ruscel Reader and Magnet leader Adam Camps, by the way), I'd be interested in learning more about STEM, especially if it's something that could find its way in our community (if it hasn't already). I am very pro-science programs in our schools. Though this is an after-school program, I have personally seen how my boys have developed a better understanding of plant growth, the importance of rain evaporation, the contributions made by insects and bugs like bees, how air is polluted in neighborhoods, etc, etc... I wish there were more of these kind of science-based programs in all schools...
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