Washington, D.C. – Congressman Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) recently spoke to NBC’s TODAY Show correspondent Jenna Bush Hager on Congress’s efforts to expand the GI Bill’s education benefits to include non-traditional technology education. Earlier this summer, the Harry W. Colmey Veterans Educational Assistance Act passed the House and Senate and awaits the president’s signature. Included in this bill is the VET TEC Act, sponsored by Leader McCarthy.
The VET TEC Act enables veterans to enroll in non-traditional technology courses and programs that are geared to getting a technology job after completion. This provision also provides the VA the necessary flexibility to approve these education programs, while also guarding against abuses. The TODAY Show highlights what some of these programs look like, how they are helping veterans find good jobs, and how congress fixed a problem that locked veterans out from pursuing these new education models.
Watch the full interview here.Read More
Congressman Kevin McCarthy sent a letter to Federal government leaders, signed by Republican and Democrat members of the California congressional delegation, urging continued support for California’s agriculture exports with our North American neighbors. This letter was sent to Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer ahead of the renewed negotiations with Canada and Mexico to modernize the North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA). These renegotiations are scheduled to begin on August 16, 2017. President Trump has been clear of his intention to renegotiate trade deals that work for the American people. For California farmers, NAFTA has had a positive impact by playing a major role in the over $4 billion in California agricultural products exported. McCarthy released the following statement on the letter:
“California’s agriculture industry has played a significant part in our state’s growth and prosperity. The rich soil and premier climate, coupled with a work ethic second-to-none, has positioned California as an agriculture leader for the world. That success, helped through free and fair trade agreements with our North American neighbors, has served as a foundation to the growth in our community and agriculture-rich communities throughout the state. I will continue to advocate for trade policy that strengthens California’s agriculture and continues to create jobs and opportunity in the Golden State.”
The full text of the letter can be viewed here.Read More
Washington D.C. – Congressman Kevin McCarthy and Rep. David Schweikert (AZ-06), the co-chairs of the Congressional Valley Fever Task Force, released the following statement after launching a new Valley Fever Task Force website:
“Public awareness is key to eradicating Valley Fever. Since being established in 2013, the Congressional Valley Fever Task Force has worked to provide information to the public, stakeholders in the medical and scientific fields, and community organizations to raise awareness, increase and coordinate Federal research efforts, and advance treatments and cures for this disease. Our new website is a critical resource in raising awareness and highlighting the work of the bipartisan Task Force. As the 115th Congress continues, we continue to work with Task Force Members to improve treatments and early diagnostics and aid in the development of a preventative vaccine for coccidioidomycosis.”
Website link: https://valleyfevertaskforce-schweikert.house.gov/Read More
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following statement on House passage of S. 114, the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act:
“The VA Choice program has directly helped veterans who would otherwise face dire wait times in VA facilities to finally receive timely medical care conveniently in their own communities. Ultimately, it shouldn’t matter where veterans get care as long as they get the care they need. With the extension of this program, we can build on the progress we’ve already made reforming the VA until every single veteran gets the health care we promised them.”
Inside Sources | July 25, 2017
By Rep. Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) and House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Phil Roe (TN-01)
App developer, robotics technician, digital animator, and advanced manufacturer—what do all of these careers have in common? They didn’t exist 73 years ago when the GI bill was signed into law. When our fighting forces shipped out to the Pacific and to the battlefields of Europe nearly a quarter Americans were farmers. Today, that number is around .01%.
Our economy has undergone radical transformations. With the rise of everything from driverless cars to robotics to artificial intelligence, more changes are to come. It makes you wonder what jobs will exist in 73 years that we don’t have or can’t imagine today. In fact, research shows that 65 percent of children in elementary school will hold jobs that haven’t yet been created.
We should not view these inevitable changes with the fear of so many of the forecasters in the media, but rather take action to use these changes to our advantage. When our soldiers came home from WWII, they became the most economically successful generation in history in large part because they received education with their GI Bill benefits. This next generation of veterans has the potential recreate that success if we reform the GI Bill to fit our changing times.
After all, veterans have the raw potential for success. They have the work ethic, intelligence, ability to thrive under pressure, and sense of duty necessary for any job. What they need when they come home is the type of education that will help them get and master tomorrow’s careers.
The House’s reforms to the GI bill will set our veterans up for success in two main ways: we give veterans the opportunity to use their education benefits throughout their lives instead of within 15 years of their service, and we will allow veterans to use their benefits for nontraditional education models so they can get needed jobs quickly.
Extending education benefits beyond 15 years is a practical necessity. When new industries emerge and we rely on American workers to fill those jobs, it shouldn’t matter if a veteran is five, 15, or 30 years out of the service. If you haven’t used your benefits yet, you should be able to get an education at any point in your life. After all, the average worker will change careers throughout his or her life. When old industries pass and new industries emerge, or when a better job is just a few technical courses away, all veterans should have access to education to get those jobs.
For the same reasons, we shouldn’t restrict what type of education our veterans can receive. Increasingly, a traditional four-year bachelor’s degree doesn’t always prepare students for the jobs in need. By 2024, the tech industry alone is expected to add almost 500,000 new jobs to the industry, and many of these tech employers are looking for candidates who have a particular skill set that students don’t learn in traditional settings.
Consequently, industry employers have turned to non-traditional technology programs that offer nano degrees and coding experience to find candidates with the skills they need.
Yet currently, veterans are unable to apply their GI education benefits to these courses. That’s why within this GI Bill we have a piece of legislation called the VET TEC Act that creates a pilot program for veterans to enroll in non-traditional technology courses and programs that are geared to getting a job after completion. This provision also provides the VA the necessary flexibility to approve these education programs, while also guarding against abuses so our veterans aren’t taken advantage of.
Our country faces a future of many great changes and potential rewards if we make the right decisions. We know our greatest asset is our people, and our veterans are the best of the best. With benefits when they need it for education they can use immediately, our veterans will move from the world’s greatest fighting force to the world’s greatest workforce.Read More
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following statement on House passage of H.R. 3218, the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Education Assistance Act, or the GI Bill:
“The economy is rapidly changing, and with the rise of everything from robotics to artificial intelligence, more changes are to come. To prepare our veterans for the jobs of the future, we need to update the GI Bill to fit the changing times. This legislation makes education benefits fit veterans’ needs in two main ways. First, it allows veterans to use the GI Bill throughout their lives instead of within 15 years of service, because it shouldn’t matter how old a veteran is if a new or better job is just a few classes away. Second, this legislation includes a bill I authored called the VET TEC Act, which establishes a pilot program that allows veterans to attend non-traditional technology programs that will help them get jobs right after completion. The technology industry is increasingly looking for candidates with skillsets not learned in traditional settings, so we shouldn’t limit veterans to traditional education programs.
“Through these reforms that will open up new education opportunities for our veterans, our men and women in uniform can move from the world’s greatest fighting force to the world’s greatest workforce.”
Congressman Kevin McCarthy welcomes the decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to keep the antidumping (AD) duty in place on pistachios from Iran. On June 2, 2017, the ITC voted unanimously to keep the AD duty in place. Following ITC’s vote, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued a notice continuing the AD duty on pistachios from Iran on July 13, 2017.
Iran has acted unfairly regarding their pistachio trade for decades. In 1986, the Department of Commerce responded to the dumping of Iranian pistachios -- which caused U.S. pistachio production to plunge – and issued an AD order for Iranian pistachios.
The unmitigated disaster that is the Iran Nuclear Agreement lifts the ban on Iranian pistachios exported to the U.S. The International Trade Administration has already determined that if the AD order had been revoked, Iran would likely have engaged in illegal dumping. McCarthy released the following statement on the decision:
“I applaud this decision. Iran is a bad actor. Actions have proved the Iranian regime has no regard for international norm or law -- from weapons production to funding terrorism to trade malfeasance. There is no reason to believe these actions have changed or will change. The United States must not reward this behavior with increased access to U.S. markets. That is why members from both parties joined together earlier this year to urge the ITC to reject any movement to allow Iran to illegally dump pistachios into the U.S. Such action would have devastated American farmers, communities, and consumers while propping up the Iranian economy. This decision is a win for our community and our country.”
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) spoke on the House floor today in favor of H.R. 806, the Ozone Standards Implementation Act.
Full remarks are below or watch online here.
“Mr. Speaker, when you drive up north through and past my district in California, you go through some amazing places–Sequoia National Park, Kings Canyon, and then right on over to Yosemite.
“These are beautiful places, American treasures. And you don’t have to go far off the road to feel like you’re remote and completely surrounded by the peacefulness of nature.
“Now, I have had my troubles with the EPA. Regulatory cap-and-trade, the Waters of the U.S. rule, they come to mind. But I do think and believe there is a purpose to ozone standards that clean up our air and make our communities healthier.
“Yet the latest ozone and particulate matter regulations are so severe and divorced from reality that even national parks like Sequoia, Kings Canyon, and Yosemite may not be clean enough. And if such pristine nature isn’t clean, nothing can be.
“The problem is that the EPA sets new standards before we’ve reached the old ones, and even before we have the technology to reach the new standards. The only result will be failure.
“Now, California’s central valley faces many disadvantages with air quality: we have prevailing winds from the north sends us pollution from San Francisco and our natural topography, it traps it all in. But we have made amazing progress.
“Good days when ozone isn’t a problem are up nearly 144 percent since 2002. Now, unhealthy ones are down over 75 percent in that same period. You see similar trends for particulate matter as well.
“But no matter how much better we make our air, we cannot catch up to reach the latest unrealistic EPA hurdles–the head of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District said to do so, we’d have to stop all fossil fuel combustion in the central valley.
“If we don’t do that, don’t stop all industry, stop building, stop businesses, and even stop driving our cars, you know what will happen? We’ll be punished and we’ll be fined for where we live. Now, something obviously has to change because these regulations are not rooted in reality.
“In this legislation, Mr. Speaker, Congressman Pete Olson’s Ozone Standards Implementation Act, we don’t get rid of ozone or particulate matter standards. We don’t even oppose raising our standards when we use our technology and abilities to improve.
“What we do is make sure that the standards are set with a specific level for a set time so that the EPA can’t come back and change the goal posts every few years. What we do is make sure the EPA actually determines whether something is technologically possible when setting new attainment deadlines. What we do is make sure we aren’t penalized for all the things affecting our air that we can’t control.
“And we made sure that this legislation accomplished these goals without rolling back the protections for our communities or without backsliding on meeting current EPA standards in the Central Valley.
“In the end, we must have clean air. But we have to be smart about this and set achievable and fixed goals our communities can meet. Building on our success, the people of our district and across America can continue to have cleaner air tomorrow than we do today.
I yield back.”
The Department of Transportation (DOT) announced that the Meadows Field Runway Rehabilitation Project was awarded $11,269,708.00. This grant, supported by Congressman Kevin McCarthy, is the third and final phase of a grant package from the DOT. The previous grants were awarded in 2016 for $12,500,000.00 and 2015 for $11,757,817.00. This grant will be used to improve the runway at Meadows Field Airport. McCarthy released the following statement on the final piece to this grant:
“Meadows Field Airport has long been the gateway to the Central Valley. It is the site where we welcome family and friends, and where business is introduced to the bounty our community offers. This activity however has taken its toll on the airport’s infrastructure – particularly the runway. To ensure travelers arrive and depart safely, it is imperative our infrastructure is updated. That is why I am pleased the Department of Transportation has completed this grant process and approved the final phase of the runway rehabilitation project, something that reflects the hard work, patience, and leadership of Richard Strickland and the entire team at Kern County Airports to bring this project to fruition. With renewed infrastructure we will continue to be the place people come to in the Valley.”
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) spoke in favor of the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act. This bill greatly expands the education benefits within the GI Bill. McCarthy’s remarks highlighted his provision in the bill, the VET TEC Act. This provision enables veterans to enroll in non-traditional technology courses and programs that are geared to getting a job after completion. It also provides the VA the necessary flexibility to approve these education programs—while also guarding against abuses.
McCarthy’s full remarks as prepared can be found below:
“Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to say a few words in support of the GI Bill reforms this committee will work on this week.
“First, let me begin by recognizing the positive work this committee has achieved so far this year. On a bipartisan basis you are leading Congress to deliver on our duty to provide veterans better health care and post-service opportunities. The dynamic here is a model for our colleagues. And I look forward to continuing to work together on behalf of the men and women who protect and serve this great country.
“Chief among the promises we make to the men and women who serve is to give them support and resources to obtain an education after service. Applying the lessons they learn in the service to the lessons taught in the classroom is an enrichment opportunity that our society benefits from greatly. The post 9/11 GI Bill has long helped countless veterans in educational and career pursuits.
“But today, we are on the brink of vast career and work transformations. The rise of artificial intelligence and robotics are upending how jobs are performed as we have traditionally known them.
“But as we all saw with the advent of ATM’s, this disruption has promise to be a job creator, not destroyer. The challenge before us is securing the right response for Americans to get ahead and take advantage of the changes.
“News reports abound highlighting the skills gap in today’s workforce. AP’s headline on the May jobs report was concise: ‘Jobs Data Could Signal Shortage of Qualified Workers to Hire.’ By 2024, the tech industry is expected to add almost 500,000 new jobs to the industry. However, many tech employers are looking for candidates who have a particular skill set that candidates often do not learn in traditional settings.
“Consequently, industry employers have turned to non-traditional programs like boot camps, nano-degrees, and coding schools to find candidates with the necessary skillset. The traditional career path is no longer a straight shot.
“These non-traditional technology education models are part of the solution to closing the skills gap. Just ask Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon, Ford, GE, or any of America’s great companies and they will tell you of the promise these non-traditional models hold.
“But currently veterans are unable to apply their GI education benefits to these courses. My provision in this legislation creates a pilot program to provide veterans the ability to take advantage of these education opportunities.
“Veterans are prime candidates for tech positions because of their military discipline, ability to work under pressure, and teamwork. Many veterans often learn skills during their service and training that could be applied to the tech industry.
“The VET TEC Act enables veterans to enroll in non-traditional technology courses and programs that are geared to getting a job after completion. This provision also provides the VA the necessary flexibility to approve these education programs, while also guarding against abuses.
“These reforms the committee will consider this week will have a positive impact felt by veterans returning to civilian life. This impact will be lifelong.
“And with a renewed commitment to career preparation, particularly in the technology industry, American industry and our veterans stand to lead in the 21st century. Thank you.”
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.