Friday, September 26, 2014

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy: On how an early lunch at Luigi's reflects the can-do spirit of Bakersfield and the great Central Valley of California

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

 "Several weeks ago a few East Coast journalists visited Bakersfield to report on a city and region that is unique to a state widely known for its relaxed lifestyle over gritty word ethic. Upon hearing of their
trip, I immediately made a reservation at Luigi’s for Saturday morning to show them some true local flavor. That weekend when we pulled up and met the group outside they were sweating from a long walk in the hot sun. 'We had to park three blocks away!' I recall them saying. When we entered, the dining room was bustling with staff carrying plates of pasta and steak and patrons cramming into the long center tables to accommodate their expansive parties. For the out-of-towners, this more resembled a 1 p.m. restaurant scene than 11:15 am.

 "I tell this story because this disparity was brought up during our meal. Why, our visitors thought, were we (and seemingly everyone else in town) eating steak before noon? I said it was simple; our community has been up working since sunrise. That is how it’s been for generations.

  "It is this can-do attitude that yields more than just large appetites. Since our ancestors settled in the Central Valley long ago, we have become the nation’s food basket and major supplier of energy - powering communities across the country. We have developed into a community of explorers, pushing the limits of space travel and aerospace capabilities ever since the sound barrier was broken in the Mojave Desert in 1947. One needs to look no further than our community as an example of American exceptionalism.

  "But achieving such positive influence in our society has not been without its challenges. The current drought is historic and is creating immense hardship on our communities. Oil wells that have operated safely for years and have employed our neighbors are now in question by regulators. But it is in the face of this adversity when we are at our best.

  "New technologies have opened up diverse energy sources to power our state while they have also led to more efficient and productive conventional energy development than ever before. And our farms have adopted water conservation practices that use only what is needed while still producing the majority of nuts, fruits, and vegetables that are consumed throughout the country.

  "While we respond to challenges the way we always have - through resilience - the Federal and state government are poised to implement more regulations that erase our gains and present near impossible barriers to overcome. In today’s growing governmental bureaucracy, the limits of these rules and regulations are getting wider and more ambiguous than ever were intended when originally passed by Congress.

  "In Washington, the House of Representatives has passed numerous bills that limit the expansion of regulations that will especially hurt communities like ours, and instead returns responsibility to states and communities. A desk in Washington doesn’t know what is best for our community. Only our community knows what is best and that is why I will continue to fight for these common sense solutions that have proven results.

  "With the spirit of our community coupled with policies that don’t put fish above people, don't force unattainable regulations on small businesses, and don't force the shutdown of oil wells over unfounded science, Bakersfield is poised for continued times of prosperity. If there is any question, just go to lunch around 11 am."

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