House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy gives us his weekly view from Capitol Hill. In his words:
"With a new year come new goals and commitments. This could mean getting into better physical and mental shape, or cutting out snacks and sweets from our diets (don’t worry, Dewar’s is exempted from all new year’s resolutions), or taking time to reflect on the lessons that have surrounded us for into a new year with a renewed outlook.
"This year ahead, without question, will be a historic one. Primarily, because we will elect a new President of the United States and the run up till then will test our nation’s vision for the future. And there are millions of Americans looking for a leader that embodies the spirit of the New Year and offers a fresh start for our economy, which has slogged along the last seven years. But against the backdrop of a national election there are others goals we will strive to meet.
"First, we must destroy ISIS. Period. To do this, the President has to put forth a strategy that is different than his current patchwork approach. Congress has passed legislation (and the President has signed legislation) that calls on him to present a strategy to defeat this terrorist regime. With the calendar turning over, we cannot afford any more delay on a plan to win.
"Second, we must not wait for our presidential nominee to present a new path forward. And as Majority Leader I intend to put Congress on an aggressive path to offer a different approach than the President’s failed agenda. Right away, when Congress returns next week, the House will vote on a bill that repeals Obamacare and defunds Planned Parenthood. And unlike our other attempts to do this (which have been stopped in the Senate) this bill will head directly to the President’s desk.
"But we must show the American people what real healthcare reform looks like -- one that empowers the patient and the free-market. I look forward to Republicans in Congress working to present our plan to the American people.
"Our first week back will also be the start to a yearlong focus on reforming our regulatory state that is adding costs to everything from buying and driving a car to purchasing food at the grocery store. These hidden taxes have made America less competitive and centralize power with unelected bureaucrats. And with more bureaucratic power comes more corruption and waste. At seemingly every turn over the past several years our government has proven this point.
"We will continue to push back against the President’s continued executive overreach and disregard for the law. To date, the courts have stepped in and stopped several of his executive orders from being implemented; including, illegal immigration and regulations on puddles and ponds on private property. A multi-prong approach to restoring the balance of powers has proven to be necessary. That requires the legislative branch to conduct oversight, use its power of the purse, and pass legislation. All three will be highlighted in 2016.
"And in California, we will continue to fight day in and day out to get drought legislation signed into law. In the House, we have exhausted nearly every option at our disposal and have made good faith efforts to work with our Democrat colleagues to come up with a solution everyone can agree to. Unfortunately, our Senators have refused to rise to the moment and join us so that California’s future is one of growth and prosperity, not managed decline.
"These goals are a small sample of what is to come in 2016. I am excited for the New Year because I am excited for the future of our community and our country. I know our neighbors have the ingenuity and enthusiasm to make this year and following years better than the ones of the past. But it must be our goal to empower the American people to do so. It is my commitment for that to happen.
"Happy New Year and God Bless.