Friday, June 6, 2014

McCarthy: On observing D-Day, the VA scandal and fighting for water for the Central Valley

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Whip, gives us his weekly view from Capitol Hill. In his words:

 "Seventy years ago, tens of thousands of men stormed the beaches of Normandy, uncertain of their fate and the fate of this grand and bold plan. Their sacrifice freed Europe from tyranny and made the world safe again for freedom. We thank these patriots for their impossible valor and the continued courage of our armed forces.

 " Friday, President Obama accepted General Shinseki’s resignation as Secretary of the Veterans
Affairs. This is a much needed step in the process of rebuilding and restoring trust in the Department of Veterans Affairs, but it is only the first step. We owe nothing but the best to our veterans and their families, and I know all Americans share my belief that fundamental change to the VA is required. I will continue to work with my colleagues in the House to investigate this matter and bring accountability to the VA so that our veterans can receive the care they deserve.

 "I have also been working to bring needed water supplies to the Central Valley. We are currently enduring one of the most severe droughts in California history. Over a half-million acres of our nation’s most valuable farmland are at risk, and thousands of Kern County agricultural jobs may be lost as a result.

 "However, the harm our community is now feeling can be equally attributed to decisions made in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. Decades of misguided, ideologically-driven policies is turning an already bad situation worse. Our families must take precedence over fish.

I "n February, the House passed the Sacramento-San Joaquin Emergency Water Delivery Act. This water reform legislation would restore the agreed-upon principles set forth in the bipartisan 1994 Bay Delta Accord, striking an appropriate balance between protecting our environment and providing critical water supplies to the communities that depend on it.

 "This was the second time in two years that the House sent a bill to the Senate that would ease the burdensome restrictions preventing the flow of water to our communities. And after much delay, the Senate finally responded this month with its own version of California water legislation sponsored by Senator Dianne Feinstein.

 "Passage of Senator Feinstein’s bill is long overdue, but an important step forward.  Though the House bill provides a more comprehensive and long-term solution, passage of the Senate bill now enables the two chambers to begin negotiating a solution that allows water to flow to central and southern California and enables us to store water during wet years for use in dry years. Californians deserve a reliable and affordable supply of water, and I will work to achieve this as the legislative process continues.

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