Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) submits his weekly view from Capitol Hill. In his words:
"In legislative business this week, the House continued to try and finish end-of-the-year work before Congress adjourns. Still on the agenda is extending the current tax law so American families and small
businesses are not hit with tax increases on January 1, 2011. Raising taxes while our economy continues to struggle is the last thing Americans need from congress. Currently there is a lot of discussion
happening on this issue, and I am waiting to review the details. I hope to report specifics soon.
"Also this week, the House came together to pass a year-long fix to the Medicare physician reimbursement system so doctors and other medical professionals can continue serving Medicare patients. This year-long
fix was entirely paid for by repealing provisions of the recently enacted health reform law that would have resulted in wasteful government overspending. Next Congress, I intend to work with my
colleagues for a more permanent solution, focused on fiscally responsible legislation that does not add to the debt, and ensures our seniors continue to have access to the medical service they need.
"You might remember that over the last year I spent time working on a project to gather Americans ideas and concerns called America Speaking Out (ASO). That projected resulted in new governing agenda for
congress called the Pledge to America. One of the priorities in the Pledge is for Congress to work harder to communicate with the constituents they serve.
" This week we released the new Congressional schedule for the next Congress. One of the new changes in the schedule allows Members next year to spend an entire week each month in their district. This increased time at home will allow members more time to listen to their constituents’ and their ideas. Another change
that was made was allocating more time for committee meetings to allow more time for oversight as legislation is reviewed and debated.
"Though these changes may seem small, I believe they will help get Congress back to the principles our Founding Fathers envisioned. Thomas Jefferson once said, congress needs to have “direct and
constant control by the citizens,” and I believe these changes are a step in that direction.
"Last December, the Bakersfield Breakfast Rotary Club implemented a project through the Wreaths Across America (WAA) organization to place wreaths on graves in the Bakersfield National Cemetery. WAA is a
national organization that works to honor our nation’s Veterans who are now gone by placing a wreath on every grave in national cemeteries across the country. If you would like to help with this project, you
can do so this Saturday at the Bakersfield National Cemetery. For more information please visit: bakersfieldwreathproject.org.