Rep. Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Leader, gives us his weekly view from Capitol Hill. In his words:
"We continue to mourn the tragic death of the nearly 300 individuals who were innocently killed yesterday on board Flight MH17. I would like to extend my deepest condolences to all the family and friends who lost loved ones, and I encourage each of us to take a moment and reflect on our own
"Although our world may seem harsh and cruel at times like these, throughout our community, we see dedicated individuals and organizations that work tirelessly to help those in need. This week, I worked with my colleagues in the House in passing legislation to make permanent several charitable tax deduction provisions so that we can help those who are helping others. Approved by a wide margin, the America Gives More Act of 2014 will enable charities across the country to better achieve their mission. In fact, over 800 charitable organizations wrote in support of our bill, several of them operating right here in our own backyard.
"Take, for example, the different organizations working to combat hunger in our area. Established in 1983, the Community Action Partnership of Kern Food Bank distributes more than 7.9 million pounds of food annually to individuals and families in need, over half of whom are children. We also have FoodLink for Tulare County, whose services reached some 120,000 people in 2010 alone.
"Additionally, we have the medical services and treatment available at the San Joaquin Community Hospital (SJCH), which is part of the greater Adventist Health Network. Serving Kern County since 1910, SJCH is home to Bakersfield’s first full-treatment burn center, as well as the first Nationally Certified Stroke Center between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
"There are organizations such as our local Girls Scouts who provide countless volunteer hours to help our veterans, seniors, and homeless in our community whether it be making cards for veterans, making toys for animals at the SPCA, helping those staying at the Ronald McDonald House, or even decorating cupcakes for those at the Bakersfield Homeless Shelter.
"These organizations are just the tip of the iceberg of the countless groups that do so much work in our community. We have an amazing propensity for giving and volunteerism. We feel a strong sense of obligation to our friends and neighbors, and a responsibility to improve our communities. President Reagan once called this generous spirit “the backbone of our country—Americans helping themselves and each other, reaching out and finding solutions…that governments and huge institutions can’t find.” I am proud to say that the America Gives More Act will provide greater certainty and support the important charitable organizations in our community as they feed, clothe, and care for those in need.