Kevin McCarthy

Kevin McCarthy

CALIFORNIA's 23rd DISTRICT

California Plans Bullet Train Without More U.S. Aid

2014/08/03

California's Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, who has won billions in state funding to build a high-speed bullet train from Los Angeles to San Francisco, said he will move forward on the project without additional federal commitments. State financing is important given Republican control of the U.S. House of Representatives. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has vowed to block any additional federal money for the project. "It's well within the capability of the state of California," Mr. Brown said in an interview last week with The Wall Street Journal. "We would like more federal help. We get federal help for our roads and our bridges…but right now the Republicans, under Mr. McCarthy, have decided that it's better to treat high-speed rail as a political football, than as a great civic opportunity." State financing was largely absent before Mr. Brown reached a deal with state legislators in June to fund the train using money from the state's cap-and-trade program on carbon emissions. The budget deal directs $250 million from a cap-and-trade fund for the first year, and a quarter of the revenue from that fund in following years. An important appellate court decision last week also potentially frees up the sale of voter-approved state bonds for the train. Some initial demolition to clear the way for the line in the state's Central Valley has begun. The high-speed train's cost is estimated at $68 billion, though the predicted price tag has fluctuated. The train is slated to run directly through Mr. McCarthy's district. The majority leader said in a statement Sunday that the program originally sold to California voters in 2008 is "a far cry" from the current one the governor is pushing, and he would continue to fight the program in Congress. I will do all that I can to ensure not one dollar of federal funding goes to boondoggles like California's high-speed rail," Mr. McCarthy said. "The government's handling of hard earned taxpayer dollars must be based on merit and facts, not upon a desired legacy." Last week's decision by the Third District Court of Appeal overturned a lower court ruling last November that had blocked California from selling $8.6 billion in state bonds for the project. In a separate ruling a week prior, the court also issued a ruling favorable to the state over the train's route. Stuart Flashman, an attorney representing a farmer, a landowner and Kings County, located in California's Central Valley, against the state, had argued California had not abided by the terms of the 2008 voter initiative when it decided to sell bonds. In an interview, Mr. Flashman said the decision by the appellate court wasn't only a blow to those opposing the train, but also to California's voter-initiative system. "It's a terrible decision," Mr. Flashman said. "The message it sends is that you can't trust anything on a ballot measure." Mr. Flashman would not say whether he would appeal to the state's Supreme Court. A trial in a lower court is also expected in coming months over whether the train can deliver passengers between Los Angeles and San Francisco fast enough, and whether the train can operate without a subsidy. A trial date has not been set.   Read More

Coming together for water for our community

2014/08/02

Water is the lifeblood of our community. Unfortunately, we are now seeing thousands of acres of once-productive farmland sitting fallow and citrus trees being ripped out of the ground from a lack of water. The images are crushing, but the real life impacts are more far reaching. This drought will not end until Mother Nature blesses our state with precipitation, but Federal and state laws and regulations have exacerbated this situation and will continue to do so until meaningful changes are made. For instance, of the limited water that is moving through the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta, some of it is going to wildlife refuges instead of Tulare County communities. This is what current law requires. Furthermore, because of environmental protections for future migrating salmon – yes, for future migrations – the Federal government will not move any additional water that may be in the Central Valley Project (CVP) through the Delta to eastside and westside communities in the Central Valley. This means the Bureau of Reclamation has begun first-ever releases from Millerton Lake to farmers along the San Joaquin River, based on seniority and contractual obligations. Normally, this water goes to Porterville, Tulare County, and other eastside Valley communities through the Friant system while the San Joaquin River farmers get water through the Delta, which of course is not happening. That is why I asked Valley water managers, including the Friant Water Authority, to develop a plan to get our farmers and communities the water we desperately need. The result – the 2014 CVP Ag Communities Emergency Relief Water Allotment working proposal, which was developed by our water managers and contractors. This proposal would make available 200,000 acre-feet of water from Shasta Lake, currently projected to have up to 1 million acre-feet in it by September’s end, to the Central Valley. This water would be divvyed up primarily between the Valley’s eastside and westside. This is not a long-term or comprehensive solution to the drought, but with our farmers facing a zero percent water allocation, every drop counts. If implemented, this proposal gives Friant the ability to use this water or make transfers to potentially free up water in Millerton Lake for our farmers and communities in Tulare County. After achieving consensus between Central Valley CVP water districts, the onus is now on the federal government to act on it since the law gives federal and state regulators the final say on implementation. That is why I have already asked the Bureau of Reclamation to work with Central Valley CVP water districts to refine and implement this proposal, and have personally relayed to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell this week the need to act on this proposal immediately. The sooner they act, the sooner we can move water through the Delta so our communities can once again use Millerton Lake water. Unfortunately, this current debacle is another example of why we should not leave our fate to the whims of federal or state regulators. This is why I worked with Congressmen Nunes and Valadao to pass the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act earlier this year. This bill rebalances priorities to put people before fish and allows more water to move throughout California to communities when the rains return. The Senate finally passed a long-overdue water bill, and now discussions have begun on a solution. As the legislative process continues, refining and implementing the 2014 CVP Ag Communities Emergency Relief Water Allotment working proposal is something that ought to be done quickly to provide some relief. Our communities are running out of water and people’s livelihoods are on the line. Action is required, which is why I am pursuing all options – legislative and regulatory action. As Porterville’s and eastern Tulare County’s representative in Congress, be assured I will continue to work to get our local communities the water we so desperately need. Read More

Local Pastor Roger L. Spradlin Leads House In Opening Prayer

2014/07/31

Washington, D.C. – This morning, Pastor Roger L. Spradlin of Valley Baptist Church in Bakersfield led the House chamber in the opening prayer. Pastor Spradlin has been at Valley Baptist since 1983, holds a Doctorate of Ministry, and has served as Chairman of the Board of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention. He has also served twice as the President of the California Southern Baptist Convention.   Following Pastor Spradlin’s prayer, Congressman McCarthy delivered remarks on the House floor on Pastor Spradlin and his work in the church, the community, and his life. Pastor Spradlin’s Opening Prayer: [[{"fid":"297","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-full"}}]] TRANSCRIPT:   “Father, we thank You for Your sovereignty and providence in each person’s life who sits before me, and more importantly, before You.  Grant them today Your guidance in their deliberations.   “We acknowledge that our country is facing serious challenges, and that our world is in crisis.  Give this body the courage that is necessary to lead.  Rather than allowing our ideology to further divide us may you, Father, unite us in our shared love for this great nation.   “Give the members the wisdom to help the oppressed and the weakest among us, as well as the courage to lead by conviction rather than by mere pragmatism.   “Concerning our failures, rather than justice we ask for your mercy and grace.  Give us the will to acknowledge and to repent of all wrongs. We thank You for the values upon which our country was founded and for Your continued blessing.  We ask that our best days would not be behind us but before us.   “We ask all in the strong name of Jesus.   “Amen.”     Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s Floor Remarks [[{"fid":"298","view_mode":"full","fields":{"format":"full","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-full"}}]] TRANSCRIPT:   “Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am both honored and humbled to welcome my good friend, Pastor Roger Spradlin, as our guest Chaplain this morning.   “Holding a Doctorate of Ministry, and serving as a major leader within the Southern Baptist community, Roger has served the Valley Baptist Church in Bakersfield, California since 1983.  In that time,  he has led a congregation that has grown into a family of over 8,000 followers – a family that my wife, Judy, my son Connor, and Meghan belong to.   “I have watched Pastor Roger do many things for our community. I’ve watched him use his grace, his humility, his ability to bring people together. But the part that inspires me the most is, I’ve watched him in time of need, in time of tragedy. Situations in our community to help us heal. I’ve watched him officiate and bring joy to a husband and wife being married. I’ve watched him lift up those in harm’s way. But most importantly, I’ve watched him always bring the grace to inspire others.   “So it’s with a great deal of joy on a special day today that I’m able to have my friend, an individual that helped changed my life be a part of all our lives. I yield back.”   Read More

A Step Towards a 21st Century VA

2014/07/30

Washington, D.C. - Congressman Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following statement on passage of the bicameral Veterans Administration (VA) agreement:   The Veterans Administration has failed in its responsibility to provide the health services promised to the men and women who have served our country selflessly and courageously. For years, the House has conducted oversight—including a GAO report that House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller and I requested after hearing directly from many of our constituents about extended wait times. We discovered a deeply rooted culture of unaccountability and blatant disregard for our veterans in the VA that continues to this day.   “This agreement will provide our veterans the opportunity to seek care outside of the VA if they are unable to be seen at a VA facility within 30 days. It also gives significant relief to veterans living in rural communities that are greater than 40 miles from the closest VA facility by allowing them to seek outside care. For our veterans who suffer from significant Traumatic Brain Injury, this legislation also extends a program that provides residential care important to their recovery. These reforms are significant changes to the VA system, and passage of today’s agreement was a necessary and important step toward bringing the VA into the 21st Century." Read More

Bringing Transparency to the Endangered Species Act

2014/07/29

Washington, D.C. - Congressman Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following statement on House passage of H.R. 4315, the 21st Century Endangered Species Transparency Act:   We must do our best to preserve and protect this land that God has given us, but we must do so in a way that balances the goals of environmental stewardship with human needs for both local communities and our national interests.   “In the past few years, America has begun to experience a natural resources boom that has become the greatest success story in today’s economy. Unfortunately, environmental activists have abused the procedures and intent of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and have hindered this boom by blocking off lands from exploration. In California, ESA regulations that prioritize fish over people have exacerbated the current drought and denied our communities the water we need. They have even kept land from use for recreation and have hindered firefighting efforts.   “The bill passed by the House makes simple and modest reforms to add transparency to the ESA process. These reforms will ensure that endangered species are protected as intended while also ensuring the American people know what science, data, and other analysis are being used to add to or alter the list of protected species under the Act. The reforms will also make transparent how much the Federal government spends on environmentalist’s lawsuits and lawyers’ fees. This is the type of greater public transparency and Congressional oversight that the American people are looking for from their government."   Read More

Three Bills for Affordable, Transparent, and Modern Higher Education

2014/07/23

Washington, D.C. – Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following statement on the House’s higher education bills this week: Education is changing. Technology is expanding the traditional classroom, increasing educational opportunity and access while potentially lowering costs for all. Over the past few decades, the cost of higher education has been steadily increasing, and we should foster educational innovation that helps ensure students aren’t saddled with crushing debt. “Today, the House passed two higher education bills and advanced a third for a vote tomorrow. The first bill passed today starts a pilot program giving students the flexibility to personalize their education, and the second bill improves transparency by offering easy access to key information students need when deciding between schools. Tomorrow’s vote will help keep students informed about their financial obligations so they can make responsible choices on paying for their education. “These bills share the goal of increasing affordability, transparency, and innovation so our students have the opportunity to access a valuable education without a lifetime of debt. “I would like to thank the sponsors of these bills, Representatives Matt Salmon (AZ-5), Virginia Foxx (NC-5), and Brett Guthrie (KY-2), for their work to expand educational opportunity for all.” Read More

McCarthy in USA Today: Our Veterans Deserve a Modern VA

2014/07/23

[[{"fid":"296","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-default"}}]] In the 1930s, people suffered through the summer with electric fans. Today, we have central air conditioning. In the 1930s, news came via radio and the morning newspaper. Now, we hear about worldwide events instantaneously with alerts on our smartphones. In the 1930s, the VA processed paper disability claims. Today, it does the same. Created in 1930, Veterans Affairs is an 84-year-old bureaucracy that hasn't adapted to a 21st century world. In an age of instant communication and data clouds, the VA uses a scheduling program, VistA, which is over a quarter-century old. We can track packages in real time, cash checks, and look up traffic all from our phones, but the VA is stuck in the old-tech, slow, and opaque system of yesteryear. A generation into the information age, the bureaucracy of the VA remains impenetrable. As veterans suffered, many people in the VA hid the fact that veterans had to wait weeks or months for medical appointments. But unacceptable wait times were just the beginning. Whistleblowers who spoke out against the neglect and abuse of veterans faced "harassment," a VA employee said at a recent congressional committee hearing. The VA's paper disability claim system is still overwhelmed with massive backlogs, leaving injured veterans uncompensated. On top of all of this, administrators who oversaw the scandals received generous bonuses and thousands of clerks, administrators, and support staff were incorrectly overpaid by millions of dollars. The VA is steeped in a culture of ambivalence coupled with a lack of accountability, and no amount of funding can fix those problems. Washington's traditional response of throwing money at the problem won't change the fact that people in the VA hid problems and silenced internal critiques all while administrators received bonuses when they shouldn't have. Only thorough modernization and a change in culture can fix the VA. First and foremost, we must modernize the VA and transform it from a slow and unaccountable bureaucracy to a transparent, efficient, and accountable institution. In the past decade, companies like Google and Amazon have revolutionized the way we find and share information, purchase services, and live our lives. We have grown accustomed to ease, convenience, and clarity, and we should expect no less from our government. In this same spirit, we must fix the paper disability claims system and end the claims backlog that leaves so many disabled veterans uncompensated. The Veterans Affairs Committee continues to investigate the disability claims backlog, and last year I sponsored legislation to fix this problem along with House Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller, R-Fla., and Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo. Though the House passed our proposal last year, the Senate has yet to consider it, and all the while our disabled veterans continue to wait. As we lead the VA forward, we should never force veterans to travel hundreds of miles or to wait months on end for their medical appointments. Veterans facing extreme wait times or who live far from VA facilities should have the ability to choose to access private care covered by the VA. This is a key aspect of a separate proposal by Rep. Miller called the Veterans Access to Care Act. Tellingly, even the Obama administration acknowledged that purely government-provided care is not effective. Almost a month after the scandal hit the newsstands, the administration's first action was to allow some veterans to receive care at private hospitals, to try and relieve some of the long-term backlog in VA medical centers. Lastly, we have to stop unnecessary and harmful job protection for VA employees who have blatantly failed our veterans. This is the heart of Rep. Miller's bipartisan measure that has already passed the House. In the private sector, employees who hide bad statistics and cover up abuses are promptly fired. To date, not a single VA employee has been fired because of the scandal. That is unconscionable and immoral. A modern VA must accept the modern world and not cling to its old bureaucratic past. It must give veterans the ability to access private care, streamline its system, and remove bad employees who retain their jobs at the expense of our veterans. Real reform is possible, but only if we unshackle ourselves from the old idea that more bureaucracy, more government, and more money will solve today's problems. It's time to try something new. It's time to build a 21st Century VA. Read More

Heading West, President Looks to Leave California Dry

2014/07/22

The President is back on the loose, this time in California. Just last week, the White House celebrated President Obama’s release from the inconvenient details of running the country, marking the President’s travels with the mantra “the bear is loose.” But while the bear was loose last week eating hamburgers and having a milkshake in Delaware, the world was in crisis. The White House quickly deflected criticism of the President’s decision to not return to Washington saying, “It is rarely a good idea to return to the White House just for show, when the situation can be handled responsibly from the road.” Well, even when President Obama is on the road, he’s more concerned with raising money than dealing with America's problems or international crises. When he visited Texas earlier this month, the President steadfastly declined to visit the border, where the humanitarian crisis is only worsening. This week President Obama is again on the road and has an opportunity to show leadership on the largest crisis facing the entire state of California—its worst drought in over a century.  California is currently suffering through a drought that will reportedly cost over two billion dollars and 17,000 jobs. Food prices are rising for American families throughout the country, communities in California’s Central Valley are facing immense economic hardship, and water police are patrolling neighborhoods, ready to slap a $500 criminal charge on anyone found wasting water.    This natural crisis has been compounded by misguided water policies that put the well-being of fish above the well-being of families. So how does the President plan to spend the two days he will be in the Golden State?  (Courtesy of the White House) On Tuesday, July 22, the President will travel to San Francisco, CA, where he will remain overnight. On Wednesday, July 23, the President will attend a DCCC event in the San Francisco area. On Wednesday, July 23, the President will travel to the Los Angeles area where he will attend a DNC event and remain overnight. On Thursday, the President will deliver remarks on the economy at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College and attend a DNC event.  The bear is back on the loose but is clueless to the fact that Californians care more for solving our problems than they care for high-dollar Presidential fundraisers—at least the President was mindful enough to cancel his appearance on Jimmy Kimmel during his time in Los Angeles. But as the drought worsens, he uses hardship in California to push his climate change agenda and fails to take action to pull back harmful regulations or implement a pending proposal to bring more water to the Central Valley. In February, the House passed water legislation for the second time in two years. And while the House and Senate are currently working out the differences between legislation from both chambers, the President can and should get in the game to help alleviate the pain from the drought. That is more important than seeing his donors. Read More

Court Rules that the President Cannot Selectively Apply the Law

2014/07/21

Washington, D.C. – Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following statement on federal appeals court panel ruling that most Obamacare subsidies are illegal: Today’s Federal appellate court decision affirmed what many House Republicans and Americans across the country believe: the President cannot unilaterally change the law. Obamacare demands that subsidies are to be distributed through exchanges established by the states, but the Obama Administration granted subsidies through the federal exchange as well. Though the law is exceedingly clear on this matter, the Administration refused to follow it. “Not only does the ruling today provide further proof that Obamacare is incredibly flawed, it also supports the Speaker’s call for the House to authorize a lawsuit to protect our constitutional government against this Administration’s selective application of the law.” Read More

The House is Working and the Senate Isn’t. Just Ask Democrats

2014/07/21

If you want to know the difference between how the Senate and the House are working, here are two quotes that sum it up perfectly: Democrat Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18) has had 18 roll call votes on amendments this past year, a full 50 percent more than Senate Republicans have had altogether. When asked about her amendments, Representative Jackson Lee said, “I want to thank the Republicans for their generosity… I’m just grateful for the bipartisanship here.” Compare that to Democratic Senator Chris Coons of Delaware, whose party controls the upper chamber and uses Amtrak to commute to work each morning. He told told Washington Post that Leader Reid’s stranglehold on the Senate is so bad that “he keeps working on small issues, hoping to find bipartisan partners and sneak them into law without getting ensnared in the bigger partisan wars. Otherwise, he said, ‘I have a hard time getting on the train in the morning.’” In the past year, we have had roll call votes on more than 180 amendments offered by Democrats to appropriations bills alone. Senate Republicans have had 12 – on ANY piece of legislation. Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy had this to say about the Senate’s inaction: Here in the House we are willing to work with anyone who will work. Harry Reid is refusing to let the Senate work. He should allow a more open process, like we have in the House, so that we can stop the gridlock and get Washington moving again." [[{"fid":"293","view_mode":"teaser","fields":{"format":"teaser","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-teaser"}}]] Read More

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Contact Information

2421 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-2915
Fax 202-225-2908
kevinmccarthy.house.gov

Leadership Positions

Majority Whip

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Financial Services

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.


Serving With

Doug LaMalfa

CALIFORNIA's 1st DISTRICT

Tom McClintock

CALIFORNIA's 4th DISTRICT

Paul Cook

CALIFORNIA's 8th DISTRICT

Jeff Denham

CALIFORNIA's 10th DISTRICT

David Valadao

CALIFORNIA's 21st DISTRICT

Devin Nunes

CALIFORNIA's 22nd DISTRICT

Buck McKeon

CALIFORNIA's 25th DISTRICT

Gary Miller

CALIFORNIA's 31st DISTRICT

Ed Royce

CALIFORNIA's 39th DISTRICT

Ken Calvert

CALIFORNIA's 42nd DISTRICT

John Campbell

CALIFORNIA's 45th DISTRICT

Dana Rohrabacher

CALIFORNIA's 48th DISTRICT

Darrell Issa

CALIFORNIA's 49th DISTRICT

Duncan Hunter

CALIFORNIA's 50th DISTRICT

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