H.R. 1873 – Hazard Tree Removal
The bureaucratic tangle caused by our so-called environmental laws has reached the point that even dead trees on public lands that threaten to fall on powerlines and cause major forest fires cannot be removed without permission from federal bureaucrats. To add insult to insanity, when the bureaucracy denies or delays permission and a fire results, the cost of the fire is paid by the utility’s customers through higher household electricity bills.
In La Pine, Oregon, the Midstate Electric Cooperative begged the Forest Service for permission to trim trees threatening their power lines and were refused. Sure enough, one of those trees fell on a powerline and started a wildfire. It cost a third of a million dollars. Who paid it? Every household served by Midstate.
Carbon Power and Light warned the Forest Service of trees threatening their lines. The Forest Service required them first to conduct $1.6 million of environmental studies – paid by the utility’s customers. If there had been a fire in the meantime, they would have had to pay those costs as well.
Mr. La Malfa’s bill basically does two things:
• First, it exempts such projects from time-consuming and costly environmental reviews. After all, there is nothing more devastating to the forest environment than a forest fire. Our environmental laws are now causing these fires.
• And second, when a federal agency delays or denies permission for a utility to remove or trim hazard trees and they end up causing a fire – the liability is placed where it belongs – on the agency and its bureaucrats – not on the utility and its customers. And it gives the utility permission to remove imminent threats to powerlines before they can cause a fire.
You may have noticed that common sense is not common to government. Let’s change that today, by adopting this bill.
Remarks by Congressman Tom McClintock
Town Hall Meeting
June 19, 2017
I want to thank you all for coming this evening.
Last week, a terrible event occurred in Alexandria, and I believe it is a warning of the road our society has taken recently. This is not a reflection on the political motivations of the assailant. We all know there is a lunatic fringe on both sides of the political spectrum, and the next attack could just as easily come from one side as the other.
I’ve heard it said we need unity. But before we have unity, we must have civility, and that’s what we’ve lost. I’ve been holding town hall meetings about once a month for the last nine years. But only since the first of the year have we seen people shouting obscenities and vulgarities and shouting down viewpoints they disagree with.
If someone disagrees with you over Obamacare, it doesn’t mean they want to kill your wife. If someone is concerned about illegal immigration, it doesn’t mean they hate immigrants. If someone supports abortion, it doesn’t mean they want to kill babies. It means they don’t see the issue the same way you do. That calls for discussion, not confrontation.
When we ascribe these kinds of motives to those we disagree with, we can’t have civil discourse. And without civil discourse we end up with what we’re seeing across America today -- civil strife. Civility is what holds a society together, and makes democracy work and we’re losing it.
Fine point of it is that disputes in a democracy are settled by respectful discussions between those with differing viewpoints. That’s what we’ve had at these town halls until this year. That’s how democracies work – by convincing others who don’t agree with you to your way of thinking. We can’t tell the good ideas from the bad ideas unless we can honestly compare them. It doesn’t mean we go away agreeing – it means we go away thinking.
Human nature being what it is, you simply can’t do that by insulting and intimidating and shouting down those you disagree with. When somebody in a crowd called Lincoln “a liar,” he replied, “Friend, you cannot disprove Euclidian geometry by calling Euclid a liar.” And you cannot prevail in a democracy by calling those you disagree with “haters” or “killers.”
Civility is the only way you can have a discussion that will bring people to a meeting of the minds. Which is why I’ve begun each of our town halls this year by pointing out that our form of government is very good at resolving exactly the kind of differences we’re having as a society right now, providing we’re talking WITH each other and not shouting AT each other.
In the light of what happened last Wednesday, we need to ask ourselves how much farther down the road we’re on right now we really want to travel. We can all answer that question this evening by treating each other with the respect and civility that democracy needs in order to work.
Congressman McClintock issued the following statement on President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord:
The Paris Climate Accord would condemn our nation to Obama-era economic stagnation, sky-rocketing energy prices, lower wages and lost jobs. President Trump has stood behind America's taxpayers and workers by stopping this folly. One thing is certain: whether or not we sacrifice our economy on the altar of the green left, the Earth will continue to warm and cool as it has for billions of years. Thank you, Mr. President.
Why We Come Here
Lincoln Hills Memorial Day Observance
Congressman Tom McClintock
There is always a temptation to conflate Veterans Day, in which we honor ALL those who served our nation’s armed forces, with Memorial Day, in which we honor those who gave their lives in the defense of our nation.
All veterans, of course, accepted that risk. For those we honor today, the risk was realized, and it is to honor THEIR memory we set aside this day to pause and consider the enormity of their sacrifice and of our nation’s debt to them for that sacrifice.
Lincoln, at Gettysburg, expressed the difficulty in doing so. Looking out over the quiet battlefield, he noted, “In a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it far beyond our poor power to add or detract.”
The patriots we honor today are beyond our power to honor; yet we come here anyway. Why?
I think we come partly to draw inspiration. We reflect on young lives, just coming of age, with all the hopes and joys and aspirations of long and productive lifetimes ahead – all sacrificed to preserve the Constitution, and the Republic that it created, that to this day represents what Lincoln called the “last best hope of mankind.”
The great Fredrick Douglass compared his devotion to emancipation to that of John Brown and marveled, “His zeal in the cause of freedom was infinitely superior to mine. Mine was as the taper light, his was as the burning sun. Mine was bounded by time. His stretched away to the silent shores of eternity. I could speak for the slave. John Brown could fight for the slave. I could live for the slave. John Brown could die for the slave.”
So it is with these young men and women, who gave everything to preserve our freedom.
I think we come also partly in gratitude to know that in every generation there are such heroes among us who will step forth from the safety of hearth and home and into mortal peril to protect their fellow citizens. Patton put it best when he said, “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”
We come, I think, also, to recognize that although the suffering of these fallen heroes ended on the battlefield, those they left behind suffer every day. Look into the eyes of a gold star mother and you will see how infinite and real can be both pride and pain. And it is pride only that holds back that pain. When we come here to ceremonies like this to honor their loved ones, in some small way we help fortify them from their loss.
But finally, we come, as Lincoln said, “to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom.”
And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is the fine point of it. The dead we honor today died for an oath they took, “to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, from all enemies, foreign and domestic.” That responsibility belongs to every citizen – not just those who take up arms for our country – but to every one of us for whom these young Americans gave their lives.
You have come to thank and salute these fallen heroes. I think if they were here today, they would thank and salute each of you. Because by being here, you are making a powerful statement that they did not die in vain, that in this generation their sacrifice is recognized and fully valued, and that their lives now inspire their countrymen to take up where they left off. If they were here today, and look into your faces, they would know that their families would be comforted, and that their devotion to the preservation of our Constitution would be taken up by those they left behind.
So let us go forth today, as Lincoln said, “to take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion.” That cause was the preservation of the American Constitution which their oath to support and defend was upheld with their very lives.
Let us go forth today, as Shakespeare said, “That their story shall the good man teach his son,” to give thanks that there are among us these heroes willing to leave hearth and home and to step into harm’s way to preserve this, the perfection of a dream that began in Athens 25 centuries ago.
And let us go forth today fully mindful that there are many families among us who do not go off to barbecues and parties on this day, but rather take up quiet vigil in cemeteries around the graves of their loved ones.
You all had a choice of where to be today. You could have slept in and sought out all the summer-time amusements that this time of year ushers in. Instead you chose to be here today, to comfort these families, to take inspiration from the heroism of their loved ones, and to take stock of just how valuable is the American Constitution and the Republic it created.
As long as there are Americans who make the choice you have made today, we can be sure that this Republic will endure and that this Constitution will continue to be the source of inspiration for the aspirations of people throughout the world who seek to be free.
And we can be sure that whatever difficulties may confront us, the future is as secure as it is bright.
And that is a reality that is as certain as the fact that each of you is here today.Read More
H.R. 1039 – Probation Officers Arrest Authority: YES. This bill gives federal probation officers the authority to arrest someone who is impeding their official duty to supervise parolees. The bill raises a 4th Amendment concern since it gives a parole officer power to conduct a warrantless search of a third party in pursuit of the supervision of the parolee. An example would be a probation officer making an unannounced visit to a home of a parolee who lives with his mother. Should parole officers have the power, while searching for the parolee, to enter the mother’s bedroom or arrest her if she interferes? I believe they should. The parolee has explicitly waived his 4th amendment rights as a condition of his parole, and the third party has implicitly waived them for issues surrounding consent to associate with the parolee. The parole officer should be able constitutionally to search for the parolee or for contraband owned by the parolee in the mother’s bedroom, but for no other purpose. This bill limits authority to bounds that I am confident are within the 4th Amendments proscription of unreasonable searches and seizures.Read More
Congressman McClintock is the chairman of the Subcommittee on Federal Lands. The subcommittee held a hearing on May 17, 2017. Congressman McClintock delivered the following opening statement:
Hearing on Wildfire Prevention
Federal Lands Subcommittee
House Natural Resources Committee
Today, the subcommittee meets to hear testimony on the government’s management of our forests and the effect its policies have had on both the health of our forests and the safety and prosperity of our communities. We will begin with opening statements of the Chairs and ranking members of the sub-committee and full committee, and I will begin.
A century ago, we set aside vast tracts of land for the benefit and enjoyment of the American people. Our government accepted its responsibility to manage these lands, in the words of Gifford Pinchot, “For the greatest good for the greatest number of people in the long run.”
The emerging science of forestry gave us insight into how to manage these lands in perpetuity – protecting them from wildfire and promoting forest health and resilience by actively managing the land.
The result was healthy, vibrant forests and thriving mountain economies. The sale of excess timber provided a steady stream of revenue to the treasury and thousands of jobs to support local families. We could match and maintain tree density to the ability of the land to support it.
Forty five years ago, we began imposing laws that have made the management of our forests all but impossible, effectively ending Pinchot’s vision for our national forests and replacing sound forest management with a doctrine of benign neglect.
These laws all promised to improve the forest environment. After 45 years of experience with them, I think we are now entitled to ask, “How is the forest environment doing?”
The answer is damning. Our forests are dying. Two years ago, the Forest Service reported 20 million dead trees in the Sierra Nevada. Last year, the number grew to 66 million. This year, the number is 102 million dead trees.
In the Sierra Nevada, the land can support between 20 and 100 trees per acre. The average tree density is now 266 trees per acre. Trees that once had room to grow healthy and strong now fight for their lives against other trees trying to occupy the same ground. In that overcrowded and stressed condition, they fall easy prey to disease, pestilence, drought, and ultimately to catastrophic wildfire.
In that same period, we have seen an 80 percent reduction in timber harvested out of our national forests, and a concomitant increase in acreage destroyed by forest fire, illustrating the old maxim that the excess timber comes out of the forest one way or the other. It is either carried out or it burns out.
Laws that promised to protect endangered species placed their habitats off-limits to scientific management. How have they worked out? This subcommittee has already noted the abysmal record of species recovery under the Endangered Species Act. Forest fires promoted by these policies have incinerated hundreds of square miles of endangered species habitat. Just two fires in my district recently destroyed 90 protected spotted owl habitats.
The devastation doesn’t stop with fire. The resulting mudslides, flooding and erosion then devastate soil and water quality for wildlife and human populations alike.
Today forest managers complain they only have a fraction of the money needed to manage our forests. But before these laws, timber companies paid us to manage national forest lands. We sold them the commercially viable excess timber and they removed it before it burned.
These same laws have in effect placed these trees off limits to scientific forest management, condemning them instead to the indiscriminate ravages of the bark beetle.
And when fire inevitably finishes what overpopulation began, these same laws prevent the salvage of dead timber and the planting of new seedlings, abandoning these forestlands to scrub brush and decay for decades to come.
Nationwide, the Forest Service reports it is accomplishing less than 20 percent of its post-fire reforestation needs. By contrast, private landowners move quickly to salvage dead timber while it still has value and then use a portion of these proceeds to replant their forest.
Time and again, we see vivid boundaries between the young, healthy, growing forests managed by state, local and private landholders, and the choked, dying or burned federal forests.
The laws of the past 45 years have not only failed to protect the forest environment – they have done immeasurable harm to our forests.
The American people want our forests returned to health. They want the growing scourge of wildfire brought back under control. They want the destruction of mountain habitats by fire, disease and pestilence arrested and reversed. They want the prosperity of their forest communities restored. To achieve these goals will require a dramatic change in current policy, which this hearing is intended to chart and this majority is prepared to undertake.Read More
I strongly support President Trump’s decision to fire James Comey for gross misconduct during his tenure, and only wish he had done so on January 20th. Because of the highly politicized circumstances involving the Russia inquiry, I think an independent prosecutor would be advisable to place the inquiry above reproach. I believe it is equally important to appoint an independent prosecutor to pursue the investigations that were swept under the rug during the Obama administration, including the use of the IRS to intimidate Tea Party members, the Clinton email scandal and how much top secret intelligence was lost to our enemies, and the unfolding scandal involving use of the NSA to spy on political opponents.Read More
Click for Healthcare Issues
HR 1628 – American Health Care Act: YES. Obamacare is collapsing. Last year’s average premium increase of 25 percent is expected to balloon by another 40 percent this year. Last year there was only one provider in a third of American counties; this year entire regions will be without ANY providers.
H.R. 6 – 21st Century Cures ACT: YES. This bill expedites FDA approvals for new medical drugs and devices and authorizes spending on major research into cancer and Alzheimer’s. I voted against the original bill because it established multiple new mandatory spending programs outside of Congress’ annual appropriations review and depended primarily on budget gimmicks to pay for them. This version replaces the mandatory spending aspects of the bill with discretionary spending that Congress must review and approve ever year, and greatly reduces the pay-for gimmicks.
A recent letter writer asks my position on Zika funding and why Congress has not acted.
With my support, the House voted in June to appropriate $1.1 billion to combat Zika – the result of a bi-partisan conference agreement. There was no debate on the measure, because it was taken up on the day House Democrats staged their sit-in, physically blocking access to the microphones and shouting down any who tried to speak from the well. Nevertheless, the bill passed on a vote of 239-171, with most Democrats opposing.
I am hearing from many constituents who have received notices that their healthcare premiums are skyrocketing, or their plans are being dropped either by their employers or their insurers, or that they are having hours cut back, salaries reduced or positions eliminated at work as employers try to cope with these increased costs.
I need to know how this law is affecting you. I invite you to share your experience with me so that I can get a clearer picture of how this program is unfolding and so that I can share your experiences with my colleagues.
Click for Fiscal and Economic Issues
April 27, 2017 Speeches
The last four elections have defined one of the most dramatic political realignments in our country’s history. In those elections, we’ve seen a net shift of 64 U.S. House seats, 12 U.S. Senate seats, 10 governors, 919 state legislative seats and the presidency shift from Democrats to Republicans. This happened in large part on three overarching mandates: revive the economy; secure our borders and repair our healthcare system. If President Trump can accomplish these three objectives, his administration and this congress will be remembered as one of the most successful and beneficial in our nation’s history.
Continuing Resolution to Fund the Government: Yes. Hopefully, this is the last continuing resolution that we will see. Like those before it, it spends too much, abandons Congress’ fundamental responsibility to superintend the nation’s finances, and circumvents the normal budget process. But it also gets us out of the debt, doubt and despair of the Obama administration into the prosperity, hope and promise of the Trump era.
Senate Amendment to HR 5325 – Fiscal Year 2017 Continuing Resolution: YES. This bill avoids a government shutdown on October 1st by extending current spending authority through December 9th. This is the WORST way to fund the government, because it fails to exercise congressional oversight through the budget and appropriations bills. Unfortunately, sincere but poorly reasoned opposition from the “Freedom Caucus” blocked adoption of the budget this year and doomed legislative efforts to exercise that oversight.
Washington, D.C.- For the second year in a row, the House of Representatives today overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan amendment offered by Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) and Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) to strike a congressional earmark from the 2017 Defense Appropriations Bill that would spend millions of dollars to ship Pennsylvania coal over 3,000 miles to American military bases in Germany.
H.R. 5303 - Water Resources Development Act: YES. On the plus side, out of a total of $10.5 billion for projects across the nation, this bill authorizes $1.6 billion for flood control projects in the Sacramento Delta. (Of course, this would have been unnecessary if the Auburn Dam had been completed, but at the moment that’s, um, water under the bridge). It also includes a provision I have long sought to allow the use of fish hatcheries to meet ESA requirements, which has the potential to save billions of dollars and billions of gallons of water.
Congressman McClintock is a co-author of H.R. 2898 (Valadao) the Western Water and American Food Security Act. The legislation was approved by the House on July 16th, 2015. The bill next goes to the Senate. Congressman McClintock delivered the following remarks in support of H.R. 2898 during House floor debate, and he also spoke in opposition to an amendment offered by Rep. Grijalva.
H.R. 2898 – California Water Bill
July 16, 2015
Congressman McClintock is a co-author of H.R. 2898 (Valadao) the Western Water and American Food Security Act. The legislation was approved by the House on July 16th, 2015. The bill next goes to the Senate. During House floor debate the Congressman spoke in opposition to an amendment offered to the bill by Rep. Grijalva. The amendment was not adopted. The Congressman's House floor debate remarks in support of H.R.
Congressman McClintock is a co-author of H.R. 2898 (Valadao), the Western Water and American Food Security Act of 2015. The legislation was approved by the House Natural Resources Committee on July 9th, 2015. The bill next goes to the House floor. Congressman McClintock delivered the following remarks in the House Natural Resources Committee in support of the measure:
HR 2898 – California Water Bill
July 8, 2015
Washington, D.C. – The House of Representatives today adopted an amendment by Congressman Tom McClintock to forbid federal agencies from buying up scarce water during California’s catastrophic drought in order to release it into rivers to meet environmental requirements. The amendment was subsequently adopted today as part of the Fiscal Year 2016 Energy and Water Appropriations Act. The amendment was adopted on a vote of 226 – 9, and final passage of the Appropriations Act on a vote of 230 –7.
434 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Tom McClintock was elected in November 2008 to represent the 4th Congressional District in the United States Congress.
During 22 years in the California State Legislature, and as a candidate for governor in California’s historic recall election, Tom McClintock has become one of the most recognizable political leaders in California.
First elected to the California Assembly at the age of 26, McClintock quickly distinguished himself as an expert in parliamentary procedure and fiscal policy. He served in the Assembly from 1982 to 1992 and again from 1996 to 2000. During these years, he authored California’s current lethal injection death penalty law, spearheaded the campaign to rebate $1.1 billion in tax over-collections to the people of California, and became the driving force in the legislature to abolish the car tax. He has proposed hundreds of specific reforms to streamline state government and reduce state spending.
In 2000, McClintock was elected to the California State Senate, where he developed innovative budget solutions such as the Bureaucracy Reduction and Closure Commission and performance-based budgeting, and advocated for restoring California’s public works.
From 1992-1994, McClintock served as Director of the Center for the California Taxpayer, a project of the National Tax Limitation Foundation. In 1995, he was named Director of Economic and Regulatory Affairs for the Claremont Institute’s Golden State Center for Policy Studies, a position he held until his return to the Assembly in 1996. In that capacity, he wrote and lectured extensively on state fiscal policy, privatization, bureaucratic reform and governmental streamlining.
McClintock’s commentaries on California public policy have appeared in every major newspaper in California and he is a frequent guest on radio and television broadcasts across the nation. Numerous taxpayer associations have honored him for his leadership on state budget issues.
McClintock has twice received the Republican nomination for the office of State Controller, narrowly missing election in 2002 by the closest margin in California history – 23/100ths of one percent of the votes cast.
McClintock is the Chairman of the Water and Power Subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee, and is a member of the Budget Committee and the Natural Resources Committee. He is also a member of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands.
Tom McClintock and his wife, Lori, have two children, Justin and Shannah.
Statement on the nomination of Scott Garrett as President of the Export-Import Bank https://t.co/m8Mtdr9cvl