Washington, DC – Congressman Kevin McCarthy released the following statement on passage of the House Appropriations Committee fiscal year 2017 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, which includes legislative provisions pushed by McCarthy, Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Ken Calvert, Appropriations Committee Member Rep. David Valadao, and the California Republican delegation to deliver water to the Central Valley and southern Californian communities while protecting water rights:
“The House is one step closer to passing yet another solution to our state’s water crisis. I want to thank Chairman Hal Rogers, Chairman Ken Calvert, and Representative David Valadao for their commitment to sensible and pro-growth California water policy.
“For years now, our communities have faced devastating drought conditions that have been made worse by bad regulatory policy that lets more water out to the ocean than to communities whose livelihoods depend on it. Even as El Nino storms have provided more rain and snow this year, regulators have idly let over 75 percent of that water flush out into the ocean instead of capturing it for our communities. This means that Federal bureaucrats directed about the same amount of water south during very dry times last year as the much wetter times this year.
“Despite bipartisan and bicameral support, the Obama administration has ignored the pleas for regulatory relief when Mother Nature answers the prayers of millions of Californians with rainfall. The appropriations process gives the Legislative Branch a renewed opportunity to put the voice of our communities on the doorstep of the White House. Today’s committee action now readies this bill, which I plan to schedule in the coming weeks, for approval by the full House and send it to the Senate.”
Washington, DC – Today Congressman Kevin McCarthy proudly spoke to recognize constituent Kelly Kulzer-Reyes, who received the National Down Syndrome Society’s 2016 Champion of Change Award. The award, presented at the National Down Syndrome Society’s Buddy Walk on Washington event, honored Kelly for her leadership as a volunteer ambassador that helped push for the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act) to be enacted into law.
“Kelly is a courageous mother and steadfast advocate for children with special needs,” said McCarthy. “Her work is a positive influence to society as well an inspiration to all of us. One of my most touching memories was spending time with Kelly, her daughter Amelia, and their family immediately following the House passage of the ABLE Act nearly two years ago. Kelly’s tireless work that helped turn the idea of independence into the reality of a better future for children with special needs. I am proud of Kelly and was thrilled to be a part of today’s Buddy’s Walk with her beautiful family.”
NOTE: Congressman McCarthy also was recognized by the National Down Syndrome Society for leading the House passage of the ABLE Act.
Washington, DC – House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following statement upon the release of the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2017, which includes language to deliver water to California’s Central Valley and southern Californian communities while protecting water rights:
“El Nino storms this year have provided a welcome departure from previous years of devastating drought. Unfortunately what has remained consistent are regulatory decisions that release more water flow out to the Pacific Ocean. It is the duty of our state’s leaders to pursue every possible avenue of relief for our struggling communities to get the water we desperately need. For years now, California Republicans have offered serious proposals that have passed the House. Unfortunately each time our Senators failed to meet the moment. I am hopeful this time will be different.
“Appropriations bills put the power of the purse in the hands of Congress to prioritize the policy of the federal government to meet the needs of our constituents. The inclusion of California water provisions in the FY17 Energy and Water Development appropriations bill is the latest effort by my Californian Republican colleagues and me to press for solutions and, once passed by the House, offers the Senate another chance to consider this important legislation. This year El Nino storms have blessed our state with rain and snow. But the Bureau of Reclamation has pumped less this year than last year when we faced historic dry periods.
“The gravity of the circumstances cannot be understated. Recent statements from Senator Feinstein that acknowledge more pumping is needed gives me confidence that should the Senate consider its own Energy and Water Development appropriations bill, both chambers can reach a solution. The House Appropriations Subcommittee consideration of this bill is an important step to providing water to all corners of the Golden State.”
BACKGROUND: Fiscal Year 2017 Energy & Water Development Appropriations - California Water Legislation
California-related provisions included in the FY17 Energy and Water Development appropriations bill
The difference from past House efforts to force the issue with the Senate
Why we are even at this point
Specific California-related provisions in the FY17 Energy and Water appropriations bill
Delta Pumping Requirements:
First Few Storms Flexibility:
State Water Project Offset & Water Rights Protections:
San Joaquin River Settlement:
New Melones Reservoir:
Instream Flow Purchases:
In my home of Kern County, California, over the past six years more than 160 people have been sent to the emergency room for opioid overdoses every year. Another 45 died from overdoses in 2012 alone.
Addiction tears apart families, it uproots communities, but, most fundamentally, it deprives Americans of the individual liberty to grasp their dreams and opportunities. It’s also preventable. That is what makes the tragedy of addiction so hard—it is a slow-motion devastation that could have been stopped.
Unfortunately, the numbers of those affected by this opioid epidemic are on the rise, stretching far past Kern county across America and ruining countless lives.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 78 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. That’s not counting the thousands who are estranged from their families, unable to work, and living shadows of their former lives because of their addiction.
And this problem has only gotten worse over time. The CDC has found that now more than six out of ten drug overdoses involve opioids. Opioid addiction is tied strongly to prescription abuse, and in 2012 health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions to people for opioids, enough that every single adult in America could have had their own bottle of pills. Since 1999, opioid prescriptions have quadrupled. As of 2013, a full 55 percent of all drug deaths are linked to prescription opioid painkillers or heroin.
This epidemic is now increasingly affecting women. Men continue to die of painkiller overdoses at a higher rate than women, but that gap is getting smaller. The CDC reports that more than five times as many women died from such overdoses in 2010 as they did in 1999, increasing to about 18 deaths per day.
These numbers have a real human cost, and opioid addiction affects every race, gender, and socioeconomic level in America.
While families and communities are and should remain on the front lines to fight the tide of addiction, Congress has a role as well. The federal government should support community efforts to battle addiction and improve regulations governing opioid prescriptions.
The Senate—led by Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Rob Portman of Ohio—should be commended for their work to combat opioid addiction.
Members of the House have been working hard to respond to this crisis as well, and as Majority Leader, I plan to schedule multiple bills on the floor to address the nationwide opioid epidemic.
Two of my colleagues, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-5) and Dr. Larry Bucshon (IN-8) are working on bills to improve treatment, prevention, and education efforts for those with opioid addiction.
Meanwhile, Rep. Susan Brooks (IN-5) has a bill that would create better guidance to the medical community about the best practices for pain management and medication prescribing so that fewer people fall into the trap of addiction through perfectly legal prescriptions.
Likewise, Rep. Evan Jenkins (WV-3) has focused on babies suffering from withdrawal after being born of opioid-addicted mothers with a bill to improve newborn care.
However, we cannot forget that so many of these problems stem not only from abuse, but from the illicit drug trade as well. Unfortunately, today we are consistently a step behind in stopping trafficking of opioids and other illegal drugs, but Reps. John Katko (NY-24) and Charlie Dent (PA-15) are working on bills to improve operation of our drug laws.
The House’s goal is simple. We want to build on efforts to prevent addiction and treat those suffering, crafting legislation that will gather bipartisan support and get signed into law. The President’s own proposals to combat opioid addiction demonstrate that there is ample opportunity to reach a bipartisan consensus, and the Senate’s recent work to combat opioid addiction shows bicameral legislative interest. We will review all of these ideas as we move forward in scheduling legislative action.
House Committees should complete work on legislation in April, and I plan to bring these bills for a vote on the House floor in May.
There is no quick cure to the problem of opioid addiction, but we can and should do more to stop the tide of this epidemic so the American people can live freer and happier lives.Read More
Filling The Leadership Void: How Congress Is Fighting Back Against Terror
Rep. Kevin McCarthy
Word Count: 751
Last week the world was sadly reminded of the existential threat ISIS poses to democracy and religious freedom. And we know now that innocent Americans lost their lives in the cowardly attack in Brussels. These latest attacks offer a reality check on the current strategy to defeat ISIS, which the President boasted last year saying, “The strategy that we are pursuing is the right one.” Furthermore, the President declared, “What I'm not interested in doing is posing or pursuing some notion of American leadership or America winning,” he continued.
These remarks exemplify the massive foreign policy disparity between me and many of my House colleagues, and the President. In the House we continue to do what is in our power to keep Americans safer from extremist threats like ISIS. On the other hand, our Commander in Chief remains reluctant to take the steps needed to destroy ISIS. Instead, he has spent much of his presidency spreading false hope that the “tide of war” is receding despite mountains of evidence to the contrary.
With ISIS conducting terrorist attacks from Brussels and Paris to close to our home in San Bernardino, there is a growing consensus that what the President is doing—and not doing—isn’t working. Contrary to the President’s claim that ISIS is contained, the group has, in the words of former Obama National Security Advisor Thomas Donilon, “metastasized.” Donilon is not the only former official showcasing concern. Mike Morrell, former Director of the CIA under the Obama Administration, recently argued, “After Paris, we’ve done very, very little to degrade [the ISIS] network.” “We’re still not degrading ISIS enough to degrade their ability to attack us in the West,” he added.
The White House fails to understand that radical Islamic terrorism knows no boundaries or borders and extremists like ISIS will do anything to kill those who believe in freedom and liberty. Simply put, the problem is getting worse and this President isn’t adjusting to that reality.
That is why after the Paris attacks, I took action and formed the Leader’s Task Force on Counterterrorism and Homeland Security. Our goal is to uncover and fix gaps in our nation’s security. The Task Force is made up of the chairmen of the Armed Services, Appropriations, Intelligence, Homeland Security, Judiciary, and Foreign Affairs and Financial Services committees. In just a few months, we have been able to develop and implement substantive fixes to our security apparatus. Since November, we have passed six bills beefing up the security of our nation while strengthening our allies’ ability to combat terror travel. Most notably, we acted to solve a massive liability within our visa waiver program.
Before the House acted, people who had traveled to terror hotspots and who held passports from visa waiver countries could enter the U.S. with very little scrutiny for up to 90 days. With the war on terror being waged by transient militants, this gap provided just the opening needed to plot and execute an attack in the United States. Our legislation requires all individuals who have traveled to Iraq, Syria, Iran or Sudan within the last five years to undergo an intensive visa screening process—so that their entry isn’t automatic like it used to be. Furthermore, it requires travelers from visa waiver program countries to have electronic passports, which will ultimately help law enforcement agencies share and disseminate information globally. The President signed our legislation into law.
In addition to visa reforms we have crafted legislation to tackle airport security efforts. In March, the House passed the Counterterrorism Screening and Assistance Act, which requires other countries to strengthen travel screening so threats don’t come to our shores. We also moved closer to passing the Safe Gates Act, which will improve passenger and airline safety at foreign airports that have direct flights to the United States. With what happened at the Brussels airport, our Task Force will thoroughly review vulnerabilities further, and work to produce more solutions to help keep our nation safe in an increasingly unsafe world.
The stakes have never been higher, because the dangers have never been greater. Instead of spending time partnering with communist dictatorships, the President should spend the time to produce a whole-of-government, fully resourced strategy that protects American interests in the region, bolsters regional stability, and defeat and destroy ISIL as he pledged to do. That strategy will find willing partners in the House of Representatives, but we need that leadership now.
Congressman Kevin McCarthy proudly serves California’s 23rd congressional district.
California Republicans Call on White House to Act on Drought
Washington, DC – House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) led a letter with California House Republicans to President Obama calling on him to direct federal agencies to increase water exports in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta immediately. Excerpts from the letter are below followed by the full letter.
“Through El Niño, Mother Nature has blessed our state with much-needed precipitation. Unfortunately, both FWS and NMFS have severely limited the ability of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to export water from the Delta to California’s Central Valley and further south.
"In fact, while Delta outflow has been substantially higher in 2016, Reclamation has exported roughly the same amount of water this year – during an El Nino year – that it did last year, one of the hottest and driest years on record.
“It is our understanding … that that FWS will likely order Reclamation to reduce Delta exports to -3,500 cfs at Old and Middle River on March 24th, with the potential for future reductions. This is unacceptable.
“We more urgently need specific leadership from our Chief Executive. That specific leadership is simple: a clear message to the relevant federal agencies to increase – not decrease – pumping over and above -5,000 cfs to take full advantage of these recent storms—perhaps the last of the season.
“We implore you to direct these agencies to immediately increase Delta water exports, rather than reducing them. The fate of California and the lives and livelihoods of our constituents are at risk.”
March 24, 2016
The Honorable Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
On behalf of our constituents and the residents of California, we write to request that you direct the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to authorize increased water exports in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta immediately.
Through El Niño, Mother Nature has blessed our state with much-needed precipitation. Unfortunately, both FWS and NMFS have severely limited the ability of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to export water from the Delta to California’s Central Valley and further south. Earlier this month, the amount of water flowing out of the Delta into the Pacific Ocean exceeded 114,000 cubic feet per second (cfs), while Delta water exports have remained at about -5,000 cfs at Old and Middle River. In fact, while Delta outflow has been substantially higher in 2016, Reclamation has exported roughly the same amount of water this year – during an El Nino year – that it did last year, one of the hottest and driest years on record.
Recently, Federal and California state water contractors proposed to Reclamation, FWS, and NMFS that Delta exports be modestly increased to -6,000 cfs at Old and Middle River, given the amount of water flowing through the Delta to the Pacific Ocean. It is our understanding that not only did the agencies reject this proposal, but that FWS will likely order Reclamation to reduce Delta exports to -3,500 cfs at Old and Middle River today, with the potential for future reductions. This is unacceptable.
You have traveled to our state. You have seen the devastating impacts the lack of water has caused to our communities, cities, farms and businesses. Your Presidential Memorandum, released just two days ago, acknowledged the effects of the drought and directed federal agencies to collaborate with local governments and non-governmental entities to help lessen the impacts from the drought and expand water resources.
While we need collaboration among different levels of government, we more urgently need specific leadership from our Chief Executive. That specific leadership is simple: a clear message to the relevant federal agencies to increase – not decrease – pumping over and above -5,000 cfs to take full advantage of these recent storms—perhaps the last of the season.
It will take years and tens of millions of acre-feet of water to replenish our groundwater resources and for Californians’ lives to get back to normal. We cannot have Reclamation, FWS, and NMFS making our recovery all the more challenging. Accordingly, we implore you to direct these agencies to immediately increase Delta water exports, rather than reducing them. The fate of California and the lives and livelihoods of our constituents are at risk.
The time to act is now.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (CA-23)
Rep. Ken Calvert (CA-42)
Rep. David Valadao (CA-21)
Rep. Devin Nunes (CA-22)
Rep. Tom McClintock (CA-04)
Rep. Mimi Walters(CA-45)
Rep. Darrell Issa (CA-49)
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (CA-48)
Rep. Jeff Denham (CA-10)
Rep. Steve Knight (CA-25)
Rep. Ed Royce (CA-39)
Rep. Duncan Hunter (CA-50)
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Kevin McCarthy released the following statement after today’s Supreme Court oral arguments on Little Sisters of the Poor v. Burwell:
“Religious freedom isn’t a secondary right, and government bureaucrats should not be able to decide who is free to follow their faith and who isn’t. After all, faith encompasses following the dictates of your conscience as determined by you and your church—not as determined by government. The Little Sisters of the Poor aren’t lobbyists trying to recreate health care law. They’re not trying to force their religion on others. They are just trying to serve the elderly without government forcing them to do what they think is wrong.
“That the Obama Administration refuses to respect these nuns’ conscience rights is a testament to how backward the federal government has become on fundamental First Amendment rights. Our government was created to enable the people of this country to live free and happy lives, not to force them to live how a single presidential administration thinks is best. That is why hundreds of members of Congress and I signed an amicus brief on behalf of the Little Sisters of the Poor earlier this year. The Obama Administration is flirting with tyranny when it attempts to trample on the rights of people to live out lives of faith.”
Washington, DC – Congressman Kevin McCarthy released the follow statement on the terrorist attacks in Brussels:
My prayers go out to the victims and their families of the terrorist attack in Brussels. As we mourn with our Belgian and European allies, we must also remember the only way to stop these attacks is to defeat terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda. Terrorism knows no boundaries. It doesn’t respect borders. It doesn’t care about innocent people. Here at home, the House remains cognizant of the threat our country faces, which is why I put together a Task Force on Counterterrorism and Homeland Security to recommend changes in law that will help keep America safe. The House has passed several of these bills – including strengthening our visa waiver program and pausing the Syrian refugee program.
Just last night we passed another bill from the task force -- the Counterterrorism Screening and Assistance Act -- which requires other countries to strengthen their travel screening so threats don’t come to our shores. This bill and many other legislative ideas will remain an ongoing priority of Congress so that we make America more secure.
Washington, DC - Congressman Kevin McCarthy released the following statement upon House passage of H.R. 4314, the Counterterrorism Screening and Assistance Act of 2016
"We must stay vigilant in the fight against terrorism. That is why late last year I formed the Leader’s Task Force on Counterterrorism and Homeland Security. Part of the focus of this task force was to stop terrorists from exploiting weaknesses in international travel. Since the Paris attacks we’ve passed a number of bills to help make America safer and help our allies abroad clamp down on terror travel. Today, the House passed another bill that requires other countries that have joined in the effort to destroy ISIL to strengthen their travel screening. The safety of our citizens is the first responsibility of government and in the House I am working to ensure any vulnerability is sealed."
Washington, DC – Congressman Kevin McCarthy released the following statement upon the introduction of the Ozone Standards Implementation Act (H.R. 4775) that he is an original cosponsor of:
“When the Administration’s air regulations result in even Yosemite Park struggling to reach compliance, it is time to step back and survey the common sense of this regulation. In California’s Central Valley and other communities across America, significant advances have led to cleaner air. But the Obama Administration’s regulation will saddle our communities with punitive fines for failing to meet a near-impossible task of complying with a standard so unrealistic it is approaching naturally occurring background ozone levels. The EPA knows that technology to achieve this new standard in California does not exist. Cleaning up the air we breathe and economic development are not mutually exclusive. Unfortunately, the new EPA standard doesn’t consider this and creates a Catch-22. This bill makes the right reforms, without sacrificing air quality that will help our communities be healthy and thrive.”
Today, legislation cosponsored by Congressman McCarthy regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2015 ozone standard was introduced in the House.
The new National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone is approaching naturally occurring background levels, which will be next to impossible for many areas in the United States, including California’s Central Valley, to attain in the timeframe that EPA has a laid out. Even Yosemite Park will likely not be in compliance with the new ozone standard.
The new ozone standard adds to the patchwork of existing and overlapping EPA standards, State Implementation Plans, myriad implementing regulations, and voluminous paperwork requirements that make running, opening or expanding a business in the Central Valley extremely difficult. However, the Central Valley is hard at work cleaning up the air.
According to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District’s (APCD) 2015-2016 Community Report, good air quality days have increased and unhealthy days have significantly decreased over the past 13 years in the San Joaquin Valley air basin. The Central Valley has also seen a substantial decrease in days when ozone is over the both the 2008 and 1997 EPA standards. And, last year, the APCD petitioned EPA to be re-designated in attainment with the 1-hour ozone standard – a testament to the Valley’s commitment to clean air.
Our community has made it clear that clean air and economic development are not mutually exclusive.
H.R. 4775 makes the right reforms to the new ozone standard to ensure the Central Valley and other communities can focus on meeting the existing standards while not crushing us with a new requirement, that is likely impossible to meet, which will result in punitive fines. The bill also prevents the EPA from simply issuing new standards without the required guidelines to help states and communities achieve compliance.
In addition, H.R. 4775 includes specific provisions to help the Central Valley by exempting drought and associated meteorological events from certain requirements. The bill also requires that technological achievability and economic feasibility be taken into account when working toward compliance of the standard. Finally, the legislative proposal requires EPA to account for foreign-sourced pollution, like the emissions in California that originate in China.
2421 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Kevin McCarthy represents the 23rd District of California, which spans Kern, Tulare, and Los Angeles counties. First elected in 2006, Kevin is a native of Bakersfield and a fourth-generation Kern County resident. He is committed to policies that give small businesses and entrepreneurs the confidence they need to hire, expand, invest and innovate. After the 2010 midterm elections, Kevin was elected by his colleagues to serve as Majority Whip of the United States House of Representatives.
Kevin started his own small business before the age of 21. He built Kevin O’s Deli from the ground up, even enlisting his father’s help in building the deli’s counter in their garage. He worked hard, hired employees and enjoyed success in his community. That’s also where he first encountered government overregulation. The countless frivolous and redundant rules, as well as the taxes small businesses like his were burdened with, spurred Kevin’s interest in public service. When Kevin sold his business, he used the profits to put himself through college and graduate school. He received both his undergraduate degree and his Masters in Business Administration from California State University, Bakersfield.
During college, Kevin accepted an internship with then-Congressman Bill Thomas, and soon became a member of Congressman Thomas’s staff. Kevin won his first election in 2000 as Trustee to the Kern Community College District. In 2002, McCarthy was elected to represent the 32nd Assembly District in the California State Assembly. As a freshman legislator, he was selected unanimously by his Republican colleagues to serve as the Assembly Republican Leader, becoming the first freshman legislator and the first legislator from Kern County to assume the top Republican post in the California State Assembly. Kevin worked with his colleagues in the Assembly and Senate and with the Governor to reduce California’s budget deficit, overhaul the state worker’s compensation system and enhance California’s business climate to create more opportunities for California workers and businesses until he ran for Congress in 2006.
Kevin brings his personal experience as a small business owner and as an effective leader in the statehouse to Washington D.C. In his role as Majority Whip, Kevin leads the effort in Congress to advance common sense policies that will put America back on the path to prosperity. Since gaining control of the House in November 2010, Kevin and his Republican colleagues have blocked the largest tax increase in American history, cut out-of-control government spending by historic levels and passed numerous pieces of legislation that will help create jobs in America. These bills reduce the burden on small businesses, increase our nation’s energy security by promoting domestic energy production, knock down barriers for small business owners to access capital and help increase certainty for the private sector.
Kevin will continue to fight to get Washington’s fiscal house in order while promoting policies that empower the private sector to invest and create jobs.
When Kevin is not in Washington fighting for the constituents of California’s 23rd District and for the future of America, he is home in Bakersfield with his wife Judy and two children Connor and Meghan.
#TBT Inspiring to visit the students of Ridgeview High School (Bakersfield, California) #STEMEducation
Had fun learning how to code with Hadi Partovi and Code.org -- code literacy is a vital foundation to understanding how our world works, which
I had the privilege of showing our local heroes of Honor Flight Kern County around the United States Capitol today.
Once again, the Obama administration is handing Iran’s radical regime more $$$. Nowhere in the #IranDeal does it suggest the Ayatollah should
Last night, I joined Greta Van Susteren to discuss the CA primary and how the House is holding the #IRS accountable.