Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) gives us his weekly update from Capitol Hill:
"The conference was well-attended and included presentations from representatives from various Federal agencies, who met with attendees and provided information on contracting opportunities. Having successful local small business owners share their experiences was impactful, and I appreciate Monique Rogers (ARRC Technology), Tim Terrio (Terrio Physical Therapy and Fitness), Chad Hathaway (Payzone Directional Services), and Steve Illingworth (Urner’s) for their leadership and presentations. I hope the conference provided our small business owners the opportunity to make contacts, the potential resources available to them, and the best recommendations to make their own businesses more competitive and successful.
"Speaking of resources for small businesses, I was pleased to stop by Google’s free training seminar held for local small business owners to build and promote creating small business websites. While 97% of Americans look online for local products and services, only 38% of California’s small businesses have a website. These tools will help our local businesses meet consumer needs, and in turn grow revenues and create more jobs here in the Valley.
"To grow our economy in the short-term and long-term, we must continue providing help and resources to small businesses, as well as fight unnecessary regulations and tax-spend-and-borrow government policies. We can do this in part by ensuring scarce taxpayer dollars are spent wisely. Thursday, I participated in the High Speed Rail Town Hall at CSU Bakersfield because I believe this project, which doubled in cost since voters approved it to $100 billion, is part of the problem. The California High Speed Rail Authority claimed private money would partially fund this, but no private sector dollars have been committed. The questionable business plan even led a review group appointed by the State Legislature to advise delaying construction. I’m also concerned about ongoing subsidies for the project if it were built since ridership estimates appear very optimistic, with advocates predicting twice as many riders as all of Amtrak today. More accountability should be applied to high-speed rail before California taxpayers are left on the hook for a bad investment.
"I agreed entirely with our Small Business & Innovation Conference keynote speaker Andy Puzder when he said the key to boosting our economy is removing the factors contributing to economic uncertainty. Over the next few weeks, I will continue fighting to improve our economy, control wasteful spending, and address the uncertainty – including soaring gas prices and costly provisions in the President’s healthcare law – that are hurting families and weighing down our economy.