Saturday, July 18, 2009
Rep. Kevin McCarthy: fighting the Democratic spending plan and opposing health care reform
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) brings us up to date on an eventful week in Washington, in his own words:
"This week, Congress continued to work through annual government funding and spending bills - we voted on the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act and the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.
"I started off the week using Skype technology to video chat with the Ridgecrest Chamber of Commerce. I continue to look for new ways to listen to local residents and let them know what is going on in Congress. I sent out an email newsletter containing a sneak preview to a column I penned on health care. To receive these email alerts, you can sign up on my website: www.kevinmccarthy.house.gov.
"On Tuesday, my colleagues and I held a press conference to discuss the newly-introduced $1.5 trillion government takeover of health care, which could force 114 million Americans out of their current private health coverage, and pave the way for Washington bureaucrats and politicians to have a larger say in our health care decisions rather than patients and their doctors. How complicated is this bill? This chart illustrates the bureaucracy created: http://docs.house.gov/gopleader/House-Democrats-Health-Plan.pdf. This trillion dollar program would be funded by tax increases on Americans and small businesses, and by borrowing the rest. This means billions of dollars of future debt that our children and grandchildren will have to pay off. To see the video of the press conference, visit my website or Facebook page: facebook.com/CongressmanKevinMcCarthy.
"On Wednesday I weighed in on our state budget mess through a column that ran on the Flash Report. As we deal with double digit unemployment, I made three observations that state legislators could consider to reform and improve our state’s long-term fiscal health: 1) we need to reduce the burden of taxes and regulations that California places on businesses, which is causing more businesses to leave our state. 2) we need to preserve California’s unique industries: renewable energy development, tourism, entertainment, high-tech development and agriculture to just name a few. We have to think of ways to keep these industries growing and thriving in order to provide needed jobs. 3) we need smarter spending, which means making tough decisions to cut wasteful, duplicative, or unnecessary programs, and only grow government by the rate of inflation. Sacramento has the chance to come together and put Californians first by focusing on enhancing our business climate and reducing spending.
Later that evening, I had dinner with my “sophomore class,” (the members of Congress I started with during the 110th Congress). The group is composed of Republicans and Democrats from across America, and it was refreshing for us to get together. I started these dinners two years ago with my friend Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-Colorado) to move past the partisan bad habits inherent in Washington that develop from not talking and constantly fighting. One thing we talked about was the need to focus on helping our local banks that are struggling. Our local banks serve our communities, make loans to small businesses, and help many of us buy our first homes.
"Also, in case you missed it -- former Congressman Bill Thomas was selected to serve as Vice Chairman of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. He was one of four appointments made by House Republican Leader John Boehner (OH) and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) to the Commission. The Commission has been tasked by Congress to investigate the causes of the financial crisis and the collapse of major financial institutions. I can’t think of anyone better than Bill Thomas to serve our country in this role, and seek out the facts that led to our financial crisis.
"The end of the week was a bit disappointing. At this time of record deficits totaling over one trillion dollars, I think that it is absolutely necessary for the House to vigorously debate any good ideas targeting wasteful or unnecessary spending. Despite two amendments I offered to save taxpayers $26 million in unnecessary spending, in addition to dozens of other bipartisan amendments proposed, the House Democrat leadership would not even allow us to consider the amendments, claiming there was not enough time, even though we finished floor debate at 4pm on Thursday and 3pm on Friday. They did find the time, however, to vote for a new $200 million wild horses and burros program. But next week is a new week, and I will continue to work to bring fiscal discipline to Washington.
"Thanks for reading, have a good weekend.