Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) gives his view from Capitol Hill. In his words:
"Last week I gave you an update on how the House calendar will be different next year to create more certainty in members’ schedules, and increase efficiency in the legislative process. This week was case in point for the needed changes as last minute, late night legislating usually does not produce the best results.
"Even though Congress had two years to work on a package to keep taxes at current levels for all Americans, Thursday night the current majority had to schedule a vote after 11 pm because they were having
trouble agreeing on whether or not they would raise taxes in 14 days or just keep them the same thereby preventing a $3.8 trillion tax hike from taking place on January 1st.
"Throughout the debate on taxes this year, I have long advocated for a permanent extension of current tax law to provide certainty for entrepreneurs and small businesses to grow and create jobs, which is especially needed as unemployment continues to be above 9%. That said, on Thursday, the House passed legislation to extend current tax law for 2 years.
"I supported this bill because voting “no” would have guaranteed that average middle-class families would have been hit with a $1,540 tax increase. Rejecting this bill would also have saddled 88 million Americans in the lowest income bracket with a minimum tax increase of $503. Though I did not agree with all the provisions in the bill—I believed that the extension of unemployment insurance included in the legislation should have been offset as to not contribute to our burgeoning deficit. Unfortunately, House Democratic leaders denied members the opportunity to amend the bill to address this issue. That said, when the new Congress comes into session on January 5, 2011, my colleagues and I will immediately work to cut unnecessary spending to pay for what the current majority chose to not offset. Fortunately, we prevented a major tax increase, and now we need to focus on long-term solutions that will lead our nation to prosperity and make it more competitive.
"America spoke loud and clear in November, and one of the primary messages to Congress was to stop the out-of-control spending that will hurt future generations. This was one of the principles that my colleagues and I committed to uphold in the Pledge to America, along with reducing the size of government. However, instead of listening, the Senate majority leaders decided to introduce and try and pass a $1.1 trillion spending bill that included over 6,000 earmarks in a last minute end-of-the-year effort. Fortunately, common sense
prevailed and the bill was abandoned. A short-term, stop-gap funding measure passed the House to keep government running through next week and I anticipate the Senate will approve it as well. Next year, we
will continue to fight for a responsible spending plan that cuts waste and reduces the size of government.
"Congratulations to Tehachapi High School, whose football team won the
Central Section Division 2 Championship week.