Friday, March 20, 2009

Kevin McCarthy: AIG scandal tops week on the Hill

Second in my weekly updates from Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) on his priorities in Washington. In his words:

"Another busy week on Capitol Hill as I catch a plane to head back to the district.

"The four issues that stood out this week are:

1)AIG and the economic stimulus - AIG dominated the discussion in DC this week. The House Financial Services Committee, which I serve, held hearings trying to get to the bottom of these now infamous AIG bonuses. You were kind enough to post my interview with Chris Matthews on Hardball, but we need to make sure that this doesn’t happen again and that we get to the bottom of this situation.

2) The Budget - The size and scope of the budget remains a major concern among many members of Congress. Some of my Democratic colleagues in the House are now echoing my concerns that we should not be saddling future generations with tremendous amounts of debt. With the retirement of the Baby Boomers, the federal government faces difficult choices that will only get worse. In 2016, federal spending is projected to be 22.4% of GDP and federal taxes will be 19.2% of GDP, which will only continue to rise if we don’t make a commitment now and make some tough and transparent decisions.

3) Veterans Health Care – Our nation must maintain its commitment to ensuring that those who risk their lives to defend our nation will receive the care they need when they return. That is why I was outraged that the White House was considering having veterans pay for their war injuries, and I stand ready to fight that idea. In addition, I've sent a letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs supporting their efforts to utilize telemedicine and technology in increasing access to health care for our local veterans.

4) Water - Our water needs locally and in California need greater attention, and this issue remains one of the most complex issues in the next decade. I've had extensive conversations with other California legislators on the state and federal level on the need to act. We have a situation where we have created man-made droughts driven by lawsuits that will have long-term negative impacts to our local communities and economic growth.

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