Saturday, January 8, 2011

McCarthy: time for common-sense values and new accountability and transparency in government

 Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield), gives us his weekly report from Capitol Hill. In his words:

 "The new Congress was in session this week for first time and I am truly honored to continue serving the people of the 22nd District as your Representative.  I am humbled and thankful that people from Kern and San Luis Obispo Counties traveled all the way to Washington to watch me get sworn in.  This Congress, I will also be serving my colleagues in a new role as the Majority Whip.  The job of the whip is to make sure operations on the floor run smoothly and that communication lines are open between leadership and members of Congress.  I will be fighting for  our common-sense values as we start to make tough decisions to help America regain its economic strength and soundness for present and future generations.  

  "There is a lot of work to do in this new Congress and it could be likened to taking over a struggling company and now reorganizing it to make it work better. It is my goal to operate the House with more transparency and accountability. Last year, my colleagues and I, through the America Speaking Out project, created a new way for Americans to directly communicate their concerns and priorities with their elected officials.  With the feedback from you in the 22nd District and from people all across America, we were able to present a new approach to governing with A Pledge to America.   In this new Congress, we now have the opportunity to humbly establish a more accountable and effective government that will help create jobs, end economic uncertainty, stop out-of-control spending, and reform Washington. "

Here is what happened this week.  Our first order of business was to establish the rules for how the House will be run.  Under the new rules, all House bills introduced will be required to cite Constitutional authority for further consideration.  Second, bills introduced will be available to all members for three calendar days for review before being considered on the floor.  Third, tax increases cannot be used to pay for new mandatory spending and bills that would increase mandatory spending over one, five, or ten years will have to cut current spending of equal or greater amount in order to be considered.  To review all new rules, visit:

  "Also, Washington must always remember the origin of its governing authority – the people, which is why this Congress began with the reading of the Constitution.  As Patrick Henry said, “the Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government.”

  "Finally, the House passed a resolution that reduces House operating budgets from top to bottom.  Budgets of leadership offices, committees, and individual member offices all have been cut to save taxpayers an estimated $35 million in the first year.  There is more work to be done though and I will keep you updated.

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