Kevin McCarthy

Kevin McCarthy


Three Bills for Affordable, Transparent, and Modern Higher Education


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


[[{"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


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


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


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

Time to Lend a Hand to Our Nation’s Givers


Washington, D.C. - Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following statement on passage of H.R. 4719, the America Gives More Act: Americans have always been Good Samaritans and good neighbors.  When we see a friend in need, we help and we do so privately and of our own free will. Though government can provide a safety net to ensure a base level of support for those in need, the organizations most effective at helping people on the ground and changing people’s lives are the charities staffed by private American citizens who just want to do some good in the world.  “To date, over 800 charitable organizations have signed a letter in support of the America Gives More Act passed by the House today. This legislation is a combination of five bills offered by Congressmen Tom Reed (NY-23), Jim Gerlach (PA-6), Aaron Schock (IL-18), Mike Kelly (PA-3), and Erik Paulsen (MN-3), which will make permanent many charitable tax incentives that have either expired or are set to expire. Making these tax incentives permanent not only increases funding for charitable organizations, but also provides certainty to these organizations and the millions they serve every day.” Read More

Reduced Energy Production Will Put Community Services at Risk


A recent opinion piece in this paper discussed misleading public health concerns if the state moves forward with safe oil extraction methods ("When it comes to public health, we can't ignore our environment," July 7). However, public health programs used by Californians in need would be in jeopardy if the state restricted domestic oil production.   While Kern County's oil and gas production is important to California, it is the lifeblood of Kern County's economy. Oil and gas extraction directly employs more than 25,000 people in Kern County, and related equipment and services generate thousands more jobs, the multiplier effect as those wages are circulated through our economy brings even greater benefits.   In fact, a recent study found that, statewide, the oil and gas industry paid more than $21.6 billion in state and local taxes in 2012 alone. Those companies and their employees pay taxes that help support our local schools and government services.   Restricting domestic oil production -- which is highly-regulated in our state -- would mean less tax revenue for state and local governments.   This would result in fewer teachers, firefighters, police officers, health inspectors, probation officers, librarians and many other public employees who deliver the services that people need and deserve. These effects would be devastating in areas like Kern County, who rely greatly upon this tax base and also have high demands for services.   The vast majority of hydraulic fracturing in California occurs in Kern County. California's strong protections of this technique, which has been used for more than half of a century, ensure that Californians know when it is happening, where it is happening and what types of chemicals are being used in the process.   Opponents have masterfully used fear to scare the public about this technique. However, under state law, companies must disclose the chemicals used -- many of which are similar to what you'll find in your own home. Guar gum is used in ice cream. Isoproponol sounds scary but it's in anti-perspirant. Borate salts are used in make-up. And you might know sodium chloride by it's other name: table salt.   These scare tactics are simply a component of the end goal to stop all oil production. Considering 96 percent of the state's transportation needs are met with petroleum, that's unrealistic.   Limiting oil that we produce safely and affordably in California will force the state to meet fuel demands with oil imports. Not only will that cost valuable, high-paying jobs in Kern County, but it will also encourage imported oil from states and nations without the environmental safeguards that we have in California.   Gov. Jerry Brown said it best when he told The Sacramento Bee, "We have the most intelligent regulation on the drilling of oil in the country. We're spending millions of dollars on a scientific study that relates to the effect on water and a full bore environmental impact report. ... We do import two-thirds of our oil, and our cars do drive 332.2 billion miles a year. I haven't heard anyone call for a moratorium on that. ... You can't get to 333 billion miles without a lot of oil. What doesn't come from here will come from a boat or a train. It is coming."   The demand for fossil fuels will not cease simply because a moratorium is in place. If we can produce oil in California safely and affordably, we should do so.   The critical services that California families rely upon to stay healthy, safe and educated depend on it.   Orchel Krier is mayor pro tem of the city of Taft. Another View presents a critical response to a previous editorial, column or news story.   Read More

Keeping Taxes Out of the Internet


Washington, D.C. - Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following statement on passage of H.R. 3086, the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act: “In the short span of a couple decades, the Internet has bettered the lives of Americans in immeasurable ways and created new economic opportunities for communities across the country. Valuable information on medicine, product safety, community events, international news, and just about everything else is now accessible in moments. Education is available to anyone with a connection. Increased competition has pulled prices down for American consumers and expanded visions for innovation. House Republicans agree with millions of Americans who believe in an unrestricted Internet where goods and ideas flow freely.  “In the beginning of the Internet revolution, Congress put a moratorium on state and local governments imposing taxes on Internet access. With the moratorium set to expire come November, the House today passed H.R. 3086 to make permanent the ban on taxing Internet access. “House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (VA-6) has been a steadfast leader on Internet freedom, and I would like to thank him for his work on this bill to ensure our Internet remains open and accessible for all.” Read More

Whip McCarthy Statement on Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act


Washington, D.C. – Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following statement on passage of H.R. 4923, the FY 2015 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act:  “As energy-rich regions around the world shift toward instability, we need to ensure we remain on a path toward energy-independent North America. The Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2015 promotes an all-of-the-above energy approach to encourage economic growth and energy independence while also supporting basic energy research, the development of high-performance computing systems, and research into the next generation of clean energy sources to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil. “However, in the face of promising innovations and technologies that increase our energy potential, this Administration is persistent in overregulation. Today’s vote protects small businesses and families from the Administration’s regulatory overreach on private property that will curtail energy development. “On top of its support for America’s energy future, the bill invests in our nation’s nuclear defense capabilities and ensures that the Army Corps of Engineers has the resources it needs to fulfill its mission of maintaining America’s water infrastructure. “One of the most basic responsibilities of the Congress is to pass a budget and to pass appropriations bills. The House has now finished half of the appropriations bills required of this body. Meanwhile, the Senate has not taken up one—not one—appropriations bill despite our bipartisan bicameral budget agreement earlier this year. “I would like to thank Chairman Hal Rogers for his and his committee’s work in ensuring that we pass appropriations bills quickly and smoothly this year.” Read More

Whip McCarthy Statement on Suing the President of the United States


Washington D.C. – House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following statement regarding the House resolution to file suit against the President: “When I first came to Congress almost eight years ago, before I ever cast a vote on behalf of my constituents, I swore an oath. I solemnly swore that I would support and defend the Constitution of the United States and that I would faithfully discharge the duties of my office. I have lived up to that oath every single day. “The President took a similar oath upon assuming the Office of President. However, on numerous occasions the President has inappropriately interpreted, selectively applied, ignored, or rewritten the law. It has reached a tipping point. A few months ago, the House passed legislation that would require the President to 'take care to faithfully execute' duly passed laws as they are written or be held accountable in federal court. He has failed to do so. Two weeks ago, the United States Supreme Court ruled two of the President’s executive actions were unconstitutional. “The American people are frustrated. The Congress they elected to represent them in Washington is frustrated. The President has not faithfully discharged the duties of his office, which is why I support House consideration of a resolution authorizing this Body to file suit against the President to force him to uphold the oath he took and abide by the Constitution.” Read More

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Contact Information

2421 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-2915
Fax 202-225-2908

Leadership Positions

Majority Whip

Committee Assignments

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


Tom McClintock


Paul Cook


Jeff Denham


David Valadao


Devin Nunes


Buck McKeon


Gary Miller


Ed Royce


Ken Calvert


John Campbell


Dana Rohrabacher


Darrell Issa


Duncan Hunter


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