Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) submits his weekly roundup to BakersfieldObserved. In his words:
"The tragedy in Haiti has shocked the world, but brought out the best in nations as we work together for one common goal: to save lives. As the situation evolves I’ll continue to update my website with information from the State Department.
"At home we also have problems, national unemployment remains steady at 10% (California is even higher), a number that is double what it was in 2008, To help change this trajectory, Congress needs to focus on jobs.
"Last week in Sacramento, another oil severance tax was proposed. This tax will hurt businesses in Kern County, cost jobs, and increase our reliance on foreign oil. With 12.3% unemployment in California, this is the last kind of tax the state needs. Unfortunately, DC is learning all the wrong lessons from California. This is why my colleagues and I are focused on solutions that are a part of a no cost jobs plan. Look for a column next week that will lay out this plan.
"An essential part of any plan to improve our business climate is cutting harmful government regulation – last year it is estimated that over 100 new burdensome regulations were established by the Obama Administration. During a time of economic downturn it does not make sense to impose new regulations that hamper job creation.
"Another example of regulations hurting our local industries is found in our state's water situation. Farm communities are experiencing unemployment rates as high as 40%. Democrats continue to block efforts to get water to the valley, keeping needed water from our farms and hurting job creation. We need to find solutions that bring water to our farms. But a long-term fix is essential, including a peripheral canal that will bring needed water to our local communities. On Monday Jan. 25, I will be in Fresno for a hearing on our water crisis, and I hope the Administration officials who were invited attend and provide answers on why they are blocking potential solutions, including the Two Gates project they’ve reportedly shelved.
"In the health care reform debate, there continues to be a divide among Democrats. Both House and Senate Democrats continue to meet in secret to negotiate the final version of the bill. When then Senator Obama was campaigning, he promised Americans transparency. Instead, all Americans have seen are closed door deals. My colleagues and I are fighting back. We want the transparency America was promised. We are asking all members of Congress to sign a discharge petition (needing 218 signatures) forcing a vote on a bipartisan resolution requiring the health care reform negotiations be open to the public and media.
"At the end of the week I introduced a new bill (H.R. 4449) to increase states’ online voter registration services. In an era of unprecedented technology, it is important that the systems we use to elect our officials stay up-to-date.
"As usual, I am home in Bakersfield for the weekend, but this weekend is extra special because my mom is getting married!"