Friday, March 2, 2012

McCarthy: put people before fish to end California's severe water crisis

 Rep. Kevin McCarthy, (R-Bakersfield) and House Majority Whip, gives us his weekly view from Capitol Hill. In his words:

 "Our community knows first-hand the impacts of California’s man-made water crisis. For the past few years, we have witnessed the land that has gone fallow and the joblessless that has resulted from restrictions on water pumping in the Delta. That all changed on Wednesday when the U.S. House of Representatives took the first step to resolve this by voting to put families before a tiny fish and end California’s man-made drought. The Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act passed with both Democratic and Republican support and would get water flowing in our community again.

 "In this bill, we return pumping operations in the Delta to the bipartisan 1994 Bay Delta Accord. The Accord was hailed as an end to California’s water wars and was praised by the Clinton Administration and other prominent Democrats such as Rep. George Miller and Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, along with Republican Governor Pete Wilson, environmentalists and water users all across our state. The bill we passed on Wednesday continues the bipartisan spirit of the Accord to address California’s man-made drought.

 "In addition to getting our priorities right by putting our families and communities before a fish, this legislation will have a real impact on our local economy. It would increase water supplies to the Central Valley and Southern California by approximately 1.4 million acre-feet annually. Instead of that additional water getting lost to the ocean, we could irrigate almost 460,000 acres of farmland and potentially create up to 30,000 jobs. I went to the House Floor on Wednesday to talk about the merits of this legislation.

 "Passing the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act wasn’t the only action taken this week to get people back to work. On Tuesday, I joined my colleagues in unveiling the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act, a package of bills that will empower small businesses by increasing their access to capital to grow and thrive. In fact, this Act includes legislation I introduced last year to modernize current regulations so entrepreneurs have more opportunities to access capital to grow their business and hire new employees. In his State of the Union Address, the President asked Congress to send him a bill that empowered entrepreneurs. This package of bills does just that, and already enjoys broad bipartisan support.

 "Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. They generate over 60 percent of the new jobs in America, and startups alone have created 40 million jobs since 1980. It is the risk-takers in the private sector that will get people back to work and keep America’s economy first for years to come, but government policies can either be a help or a hindrance. The JOBS Act makes government a partner in job creation, and that’s what I came to Washington to do. I will continue to fight for policies that will put our communities first and get people back to work.

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