Friday, May 15, 2009

Rep. McCarthy's view from the Hill: warnings about Social Security, art and the magic of Dewar's

A weekly look at priorities in Congress from Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield). In his own words:

"I am home in Bakersfield, concluding a busy week where I had a very interesting discussion with thirty world business leaders, including Tony Blair, about the future of our financial system. We discussed the idea of a systemic risk regulator, which might be taken up in Congress later this year.

Art Competition: "On Saturday, come join me as I present awards to the winners of the 2009 Congressional Art Competition. The ceremony will take place at the Metro Galleries (1604 19th Street), from 11:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. This year I received 78 entries from 19 schools in our District.
"I am always impressed with the talents of the young artists in our district. It’s amazing to see the creativity and quality of artwork our local students produce and I look forward to honoring their achievements. The overall winner will receive an invitation to attend the exhibit opening of “An Artistic Discovery” in Washington, D.C. in June and the artwork will be displayed in the corridor leading to the U.S. Capitol for one year. I am also presenting awards to those students who place first, second, third and Honorable Mentions in the following three categories: photography, computer-generated art, and all other mediums. All winners have the option of displaying their artwork in my D.C. office for a year.

MVP: "This week I also reintroduced the “Military Voting Protection” (MVP) Act to help ensure our troops’ absentee ballots are delivered back home in time to be counted, and do not get lost on the way. Thousands of military votes in past elections have not been counted (no fault of troops) simply because the votes did not arrive to the local election office in time. Our troops are sacrificing overseas fighting to protect our freedoms, and shouldn’t face another round of electoral obstacles greater than any other eligible voters. We know overseas military votes go uncounted, and we know how to help fix the problem. Joining me from across the aisle is Democratic Congressman Dan Boren from Oklahoma to offer this bipartisan common-sense solution to protect the votes of our troops and ensure they are counted. Joining me on the Senate side offering companion bipartisan legislation is U.S. Senator John Cornyn from Texas and Democratic U.S. Senators Mark Begich and Ron Wyden.

Social Security: "The announcement this week that the government has moved up the date that Social Security trust funds will run out is of great concern. I believe that Americans should be made aware of the Social Security Trust Fund’s effect on their projected monthly benefits in their annual Social Security Statement to better plan for retirement. That is why I introduced the “More Transparent and Honest Communications with American Workers Reform Act”. This legislation will paint a clearer picture of Social Security benefits for American workers by requiring the annual Social Security statement to not only include the estimated monthly benefit under current law, but also the estimated monthly benefit after the Trust Fund is exhausted. Keeping these statements honest and transparent will allow Americans to know what their future benefits are actually going to be, and help them plan accordingly for retirement. This bill does not alter benefits, it merely communicates what benefits will be distributed under current law.

Dewar’s 100th Anniversary: "Concluding the week I honored a leading small business in our community, Dewar's Family Candy and Ice Cream Parlor, with recognition in the Congressional Record. Dewar’s is celebrating 100 years of operation this weekend. Started in 1909 with a belief in quality ingredients no matter the cost, Dewar’s is original from the bottom up; they still grind their own nuts, and make their own ice cream, and peanut butter. I have been going to Dewar’s my whole life, and particularly enjoyed a quick trip to Dewar’s after school when I attended Bakersfield High School down the street. I always order a George’s Special – that combination of homemade vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce and banana in a milkshake that cannot be beat. Dewar’s chews are popular snacks in my office, and a wonderful way to share a little piece of Bakersfield in Washington, D.C. Dewar’s is a keystone of our small business community that measures success in its loyalty from generations of local customers. I will be stopping by on Saturday to congratulate and wish them the very best in the next 100 years.

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