Tom McClintock

Tom McClintock


Federal Lands Subcomittee Hearing - Discussion Draft of the “Locally-elected Officials Cooperating with Agencies in Land Management Act” (LOCAL Management Act)


Congressman McClintock is the Chairman of the Federal Lands Subcommittee. The subcommittee held a hearing on April 28th to hear testimony on the LOCAL Management Act (Locally-elected Officials Cooperating with Agencies in Land Management Act). Toulumne County Supervisor Sherri Brennan testified at the hearing. Congressman McClintock delivered the following opening statement:

Chairman’s Opening Statement
Subcommittee on Federal Lands
House Natural Resources Committee
April 28th, 2016

    Today the Subcommittee on Federal Lands meets to consider draft legislation to require federal land use agencies to more closely consult and cooperate with local governments that are directly affected by their decisions.

    The three overarching objectives of this subcommittee bear repeating: to restore public access to the public lands; to restore proper management to the public lands and to restore the federal government as a good neighbor to the communities directly affected by the public lands.

    Gifford Pinchot, the Father of the U.S. Forest Service, gave a series of lectures at the Yale School of Forestry, in which he propounded maxims for the “Behavior of Foresters in Public Office.”  

He said, 

•    “A public official is there to serve the public and not run them.

•    “Public support of acts affecting public rights is absolutely required.

•    “It is more trouble to consult the public than to ignore them, but that is what you are hired for.

•    “Find out in advance what the public will stand for.  If it is right and they won’t stand for it, postpone action and educate them.

•    “Get rid of an attitude of personal arrogance or pride of attainment or superior knowledge.

•    “Don’t try any sly, or foxy politics.  A forester is not a politician.”

    The U.S. Forest Service has strayed so far from these founding principles that reading them today in any mountain community in the Sierra Nevada is guaranteed to generate derisive laughter.

    The draft legislation we consider today would begin to restore what was once a close working relationship between local communities and federal land managers.  Pinchot understood something that his recent successors have forgotten: that although these lands are owned by the federal government, the effects of poor management are disproportionately felt by those living on the boundaries of a National Forest or a National Park. 

    The most common complaint I hear from locally elected officials in my district is that they are rarely consulted, rarely respected and often bypassed by federal land managers in the decisions that directly affect their communities and their local economies.  

    The situation was summed up quite well by Butte County Supervisor Bill Connelly a few years ago, protesting the Forest Service’s unilateral decision to place severe restrictions on vehicle access to the Plumas National Forest.  He said “The restriction applies to such activities as: collecting firewood, retrieving game, loading or unloading horses or other livestock, and camping…The National Forests are part of the local fabric.  The roads within the National Forests are used by thousands of residents and visitors for transportation and recreation.  These activities generate revenue for our rural communities, which are critical for their survival.”

       Many of my colleagues can offer similar anecdotes about the contentious and unproductive relationship between the federal government and local communities regarding land management decisions.  

    Road closures; interfering with long-established community events; expelling long-standing grazing operations; harassment of residents; obstructing critically needed community infrastructure; removing tourist amenities; excessive land acquisitions that threaten the tax bases of local communities; incompetent forest management that creates severe fire danger: these are but a sampling of the constant complaints we routinely receive from the public and its locally elected representatives.   
    Forest Service law enforcement abuses have become so egregious in recent years that the elected sheriffs of two counties in my district have revoked permission for the Forest Service to enforce state and local laws within their jurisdictions.  

    We have found time and again that when federal land managers tell us they work closely with the public, they are referring not to the locally elected officials (who by definition represent the public, speak for the public and are directly answerable to the public) but rather they refer to narrow, self-appointed, ideologically extreme interest groups purporting to speak for the public.  

    I believe this draft legislation offers us an opportunity to restore the cooperation and comity between federal land managers and local communities that Gifford Pinchot envisioned when he founded the Forest Service.  It would give communities greater say in the decisions that directly affect their economies, their residents and their quality of life, and it would begin restoring the federal government as a trusted partner and good neighbor of our mountain communities.  

    I look forward to hearing from our panel of witnesses for ideas about how we can improve this legislation. 

    I now recognize the ranking member for her opening statement. 

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A Quintessential American Institution


A Quintessential American Institution
Remarks by Congressman Tom McClintock
Yosemite National Park
April 23, 2016

    What a pleasure it is today to be here at Yosemite – the first park to be set aside for public use and the inspiration for our National Parks – to celebrate the centennial year of the National Parks System.

    The centennial pays tribute to the uniquely American notion that our most beautiful and historic lands should be set aside for the use and enjoyment of the people of the United States. In the words of the Organic Act of 1916, “to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same.”  

    Our National Parks are a quintessential American institution.   The kings of England set aside vast tracts of land as their exclusive preserves, which only a select few with their blessing could enjoy.  The National Parks are the very opposite of that.  In America, we have set aside the most beautiful land in the nation entirely of, by and for the people.

    That’s what Abraham Lincoln had in mind when he signed the act first setting aside what would become the cornerstone of our National Park System – Yosemite.   

    He did this – quote -- “upon the express conditions that the premises shall be held for public use, resort, and recreation (and) shall be inalienable for all time.”

    The visionaries who inspired and established the National Park Service wanted people to come to the parks to enjoy themselves, knowing that they would go away with fond memories, happy experiences, resolved to return again and again. 

    “We saw another party of tourists today.” John Muir wrote in his diary one day in Yosemite Valley.  “Somehow most of these travelers seem to care but little for the glorious objects around them, though enough to spend time and money and endure long rides to see the famous Valley.  And when they are fairly within the mighty walls of the temple and hear the psalms of the falls, they will forget themselves and become devout.  Blessed indeed would be every pilgrim in these holy mountains…The valley is full of people, but they do not annoy me.”

    Our national parks should be open to the public for all recreational pursuits —hiking, camping biking, lodging, hunting, fishing, snow-mobiling, horseback riding, sight-seeing, skiing, rafting, skating, off-roading, RVing, – these are the priceless memories our parks are there to create for succeeding generations of Americans.  

    Two years after Muir’s death, the National Park Service was created and Yosemite was entrusted to its care.  I want to recognize the National Park Rangers who have ever since welcomed and encouraged succeeding generations of Americans who come to their public lands.   

    This centennial year is particularly important to the communities that surround our parks, whose economies depend upon the tourism they generate and rely on the federal government to be a good neighbor in preserving, maintaining and managing these lands.   

    All these communities and the local businesses that support them are vital elements of the never-ending campaign to promote the park, and they are the most passionate advocates for preserving the Yosemite experience. 

    A century from now, another assemblage will gather here to celebrate the National Park Service’s bi-centennial.  Much in the world will have changed by then, but the tumbling rivers, soaring trees and granite walls will look as they do today.  A new generation that has reveled and recreated in its beauty will gather here then to renew the promise of “public use, resort and recreation…inalienable…for all time.” 

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Oversight Hearing on Current Natural Resource Research Efforts and the Future of America’s Land- Grant Colleges and Universities


Congressman McClintock is the Chairman of the Federal Lands Subcommittee.  The subcommittee held a legislative hearing on April 20, 2016 on Natural Resource Research Efforts and the Future of America's Land-Grant Colleges and Universities.  Congressman McClintock delivered the following opening statement:

Oversight Hearing on Exploring Current Natural Resource Research Efforts and the Future of America’s Land- Grant Colleges and Universities
Opening Statement of Chairman Tom McClintock
House Committee on Natural Resources
Subcommitee on Federal Lands
April 20, 2016

    Today the Subcommittee on Federal Lands meets to hear testimony on the ongoing research initiatives conducted by America’s land-grant colleges and universities.  We will hear from representatives of four of these institutions about their research and explore how better to assist them in their 154-year quest to advance the practical sciences of mechanics, engineering and agriculture and to disseminate that knowledge far and wide across the nation.  

    Congress established these Land Grant Universities through the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890, and since then they have served as a critical – and indeed a seminal – component of America’s higher education system.  

    Their original funding came from the federal lands and their mission was then, as it is now, to advance knowledge with a special focus on natural resources.  Specifically, the Morrill Acts granted federally-owned land to states and allowed them to sell those lands and use the revenue to establish and endow Land Grant Universities in every state in the nation.  Today, over 100 Land Grant Universities operate in all 50 states, four territories and the District of Columbia.  

    These institutions undertake some of our nation’s most critical and ground-breaking scientific research on a host of natural resource areas, including agriculture, ranching, recreation, conservation, mining, forestry, grazing, and energy development.  They are responsible for scientific breakthroughs on some of the most pressing natural resource issues this subcommittee must deal with, including preservation of habitat, wildlife and plant species, the control and eradication of invasive species, the preservation of water supplies and water quality, the preservation of watersheds, the management of fire risk and hazardous fuels management.
    The testimony we will hear reveals one troubling aspect of their good work, and that is how little our federal land management agencies utilize their work when it doesn’t meet pre-conceived and pre-determined ideological conclusions.  We often hear from federal land officials that they use the best available science, but the testimony today suggests that those agencies often disregard or ignore that science when they find it inconvenient or politically incorrect.

    For example, we will hear about a study on targeted livestock grazing practices and its role in alleviating the explosion of cheatgrass and other invasive tree and plant species in the Great Basin. And yet, this good work is disregarded or distorted by federal land management agencies in a manner that threatens both environmental and public safety.  

    These Land Grant Universities must remain immune from the political manipulation that has plagued so many of our public and private universities.  This, in turn, requires reliable funding sources to support the research arm of these institutions.  This includes funding and executing independent scientific research, as well as developing and maintaining the facilities and infrastructure that support it.  

    Due to funding cutbacks and internal competition for financial resources, the core mission of the Land Grant Universities is threatened.  The original funding structure provided for reliable and independent financial support, and it needs to be preserved, enhanced and expanded.

    Today, we’ll discuss why these funding challenges exist and investigate whether there are alternative funding sources available. 

    I hope today’s hearing serves as a showcase for the critical research going on in our nation’s Land Grant Universities. I also hope it leads to a dialogue regarding how Congress can support and sustain their efforts in the future and ensure they independently inform our natural resources policy decisions. 
    I look forward to hearing testimony from our witnesses and now recognize the ranking member for her statement. 


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Restoring the Purse Strings


The House Subcommittee on Rules and Organization of the House met on April 14, 2016 to discuss "Proposed Reforms to Rule XXI and the Modern Authorization and Appropriations Process."  The Congressman delivered the following remarks and previously released a memo on four proposed budget process reforms to restore budget discipline.

Restoring the Purse Strings
Testimony to House Rules Committee
Congressman Tom McClintock
April 14, 2016

    Admiral Mike Mullen, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, once warned that in his professional military judgment, our greatest national security threat is the national debt.  He issued that warning about four trillion dollars of debt ago.

    The interest costs on that debt are eating us alive – $255 billion this year that will accomplish nothing more than to rent the money we’ve already spent.  The Congressional Budget Office warns that within six years, our interest costs will exceed what we are currently spending on the entire defense budget.

    Last May, Congress adopted a budget that changed this disastrous trajectory and pointed us back to balance by 2024.  But having set that course, we had to stay that course, and we haven’t.  The budget now awaiting House action doesn’t balance until 2026 – and only then if we are able to summon the discipline to stick to these new numbers.

    In very rough figures, we are now spending $4 trillion per year.  $2 trillion of that is mainly for trust funds: social security and portions of Medicare.  When these funds run out of money, benefits automatically plunge.  That’s a major problem, but not, strictly speaking, a budget problem.

    Roughly $1 trillion is the discretionary spending directly under Congress’ annual appropriations control.  This spending is actually declining.  In 2010, our discretionary spending was $1.35 trillion.  The budget now before us spends $1.07 trillion.  That’s down almost $280 billion.  

    The problem is the remaining $1 trillion that Congress does not directly control.  That’s mainly entitlement programs like food stamps, Obamacare, Medicaid.  This spending is exploding. The only way to control it is to change the underlying laws, something that today’s divided government makes virtually impossible.  

    But there is an alternative: to control mandatory spending through the same appropriations process that controls discretionary spending.  The problem is that our own rules won’t allow it.  Rule XXI, Clause 2(b) forbids any changes to mandatory spending in an appropriations bill.   

    I propose permitting appropriations bills to include such statutory adjustments to mandatory spending as are necessary to keep within the enacted budget.  Think of it as one-stop reconciliation.   It’s necessary because spending is a pleasant experience.  Cutting spending is painful.  Thus, spending bills pass and the reforms necessary to control spending do not.
    This reform would not give the Appropriations Committee carte blanche to assume the prerogatives of authorizing committees.  It would be limited to annual and temporary changes necessary to keep spending in line with the budget parameters.  It could be done upon consultation with the authorizing committees or at least their chairmen, and would be pursuant to the budget that the Congress has already enacted. 
   A second reform I urge you to consider is to gradually revive enforcement of House Rule XXI clause 2(a), which forbids appropriations except for purposes authorized by law.  This rule dates back to 1837, and is the mechanism that forces Congress to review its programs periodically.  As a program’s authorization expires, Congress must revisit it to ask the obvious questions: Is it effective?  Is it meeting its goals?  Is it still needed?  Is it worth the money we’re paying?  Depending on the answer to these questions, Congress then renews the program, reforms it, or lets it die.

    This process has broken down to the point that today nearly one third of our discretionary spending is for programs whose authorizations expired years, if not decades, ago.  Some of these programs are vital.  Others have degenerated into the outrages often cited by taxpayer watchdog groups.  But authorizing committees feel no urgency to review them because we routinely fund them anyway, by routinely waiving this rule.

    Given the backlog of unauthorized programs, such a reform can’t be implemented overnight.  But the House should express its intention to restore this rule over a reasonable period, first by freezing appropriations for unauthorized programs and ultimately forbidding them.  And of course, case-by-case exceptions could still be made by the House.  

    Before we can provide for the common defense or promote the general welfare, we must be able to pay for them, and history warns us that countries that bankrupt themselves aren’t around very long.   I believe these two reforms – that we can make by ourselves, without action by the Senate or by the President – are essential to restoring functional control of the purse strings to Congress. 

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Redeeming an Island Paradise



Redeeming an Island Paradise
Remarks by Congressman Tom McClintock
House Natural Resources Committee
April 13, 2016

We meet today because Puerto Rico borrowed billions of dollars to fund bloated government salaries and pensions, sumptuous social welfare programs and corrupt public contracts.  It is now more than $70 billion in debt, overwhelmed by poverty and suffering an unprecedented population exodus of citizens fleeing these policies.

The question now is what to do.  Its failed political leaders want to re-write the law to allow it effectively to declare bankruptcy.   They point to city governments that have this option.  But our state governments and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico are different.  Their debt is backed by the full faith and credit of their constitutions.  Because of this, they pay much lower costs for their borrowing -- specifically because of this constitutional guarantee.
If Congress re-writes the law for Puerto Rico, every lender to every state will no longer trust the security of their own loans.  They will naturally recognize that if Puerto Rico can get de facto bankruptcy protection from the loans to which it had pledged its full faith and credit, so too can California, Illinois and New York.   
If these loans are not secure, the interest rates will skyrocket.  Taxpayers in every state will end up paying through the nose to service debts that are no longer perceived as being secure.

In response, we hear that this isn’t really bankruptcy.

First, let’s be clear.  This is bankruptcy.  Title III of the bill, starting on page 63 incorporates no fewer than 98 sections of federal bankruptcy law and applies them to Puerto Rico.  

Second, we’re told that states don’t need to worry because bankruptcy cannot apply to sovereign states – only territories.

This, too, is nonsense.  Chapter IX specifically provides for municipal governments to declare bankruptcy and municipal governments ARE divisions of the states.  If bankruptcy can be constitutionally afforded to divisions of the states, it can obviously be afforded to the states themselves.  All that it takes is an act of Congress.  With this bill, Congress clearly declares that it is perfectly willing to undermine the full faith and credit provisions of a territorial constitution and therefore perfectly capable of undermining the full faith and credit provisions of any state constitution.

Some have proposed imposing an all-powerful oversight board of appointed officials in exchange for this bankruptcy protection.  But this doesn’t solve the problem of preserving the full faith and credit of state debts.  It still re-writes the rules after the fact and calls into question the reliability of every constitutional debt owed by every state in the union.

So what should we do?   I suggest two remedies.

First, honor the rule of law and maintain the terms under which these loans were originally made.  This would be a powerful signal to bond markets that the United States stands by its promises, even when it is inconvenient.   Until the prospect of a congressional bailout arose, Puerto Rico was negotiating terms of a debt restructuring with the mutual consent of its creditors.  Under current law, it is in the interest of both sides – debtor and creditor – to work out terms that both can live with to restructure and repay this debt.  It is also in the interest of the people of Puerto Rico to hold accountable the elected officials that got them in this mess.

But that alone is not enough.  The Puerto Rican economy is in a death spiral as its population flees and new investment is repulsed by crushing taxes and leftist economic policies.   

Puerto Rico is an island paradise that people should be flocking to – not fleeing from.  Change these policies and Puerto Rico could become the Hong Kong of the Caribbean.  

Here’s what I would suggest:

•    Exempt Puerto Rico from the Jones Act which makes it virtually impossible for the Island to trade with the mainland.  

•    Change the corporate tax laws to allow Puerto Rican companies to be taxed territorially to begin repatriating American overseas investments.      

•    Exempt Puerto Rico from the stultifying effects of environmental and labor laws that aren’t necessary to protect the public’s health and safety.

Puerto Rico faces both crisis and opportunity: a crisis born of slavish devotion to failed leftist economic policies and an opportunity to replace those policies with proven free market solutions that can create a fresh start for the people of Puerto Rico and shine as a beacon of hope for other similarly afflicted states.

I fear the net result of this legislation will be to spread the crisis to other states with heavy debts by dramatically increasing their debt service costs, while squandering the opportunity to revive the Puerto Rican economy and restoring the American dream to that beautiful island.

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Forest Fire Prevention


Letter to the Editor - Sacramento Bee
February 18, 2016
Matt Weiser grossly misrepresents both Republican federal lands policy and my leadership of the House subcommittee that oversees it.

Tahoe Restoration Act of 2015 Introduced
July 30, 2015 Press Release
Congressman Tom McClintock (R-CA) and Congressman Mark Amodei (R-NV) introduced legislation yesterday to address catastrophic wildfire and invasive species threats to Lake Tahoe and the Tahoe Basin.  The Federal Lands Subcommittee chaired by McClintock had already considered the preliminary draft of H.R.

Resilient Forests Act
July 9, 2015 Press Release
Excess timber comes out of the forest one way or the other.  It is either carried out or it is burned out. When we carried it out, we had healthy forests and a thriving economy. We managed our National Forests according to well-established and time-tested forest management practices that prevented vegetation and wildlife from overgrowing the ability of the land to support it.

Federal Lands Subcommittee Hearing: Litigation and Increased Planning’s Impact on Our Nation’s Overgrown, Fire-Prone National Forests
May 14, 2015 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands held an oversight hearing on the impact of litigation on forest management, the U.S. Forest Service’s response to the growing challenge of litigation and related impacts upon forest health. 

Federal Lands Subcommittee Hearing: The Devastating Impacts of Wildland Fires and the Need to Better Manage our Overgrown, Fire Prone National Forests
April 23, 2015
Over the past thirty years, we have seen an 80 percent reduction in timber harvested from our national forests, and in the same period a concomitant increase in acreage destroyed by fire. This phenomenon far predates the Western drought and was best summed up by a forester long ago who observed, “All that excess timber comes out of the forests one way or the other. It is either CARRIED OUT or it is BURNED OUT. But it comes OUT.”


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California Water Crisis


July 16, 2015 Speeches
H.R. 2898 – California Water Bill Passes House
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.

July 8, 2015 Press Release
California Water Bill - HR 2898
Droughts are nature’s fault.  They happen.  But water shortages are OUR fault.  Water shortages are a deliberate choice we made nearly 40 years ago when we stopped building new dams.  We have not added a single major reservoir in California since 1979; meanwhile the population of our state has nearly doubled.

May 1, 2015 Press Release
House of Representatives Adopts McClintock Amendment to Stop Federal Agencies from Purchasing Scarce California Water for Fish
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.

April 22, 2015 Speeches
Save Our Water
California is now in its fourth year of the worst drought on record. Hydrologists estimate it is the worst drought in 1,200 years.

March 26, 2015 Press Release
Congressman McClintock Introduces H.R. 1668 the Save Our Water Act

March 26, 2015 Press Release
State Water Resources Control Board Letter
Congressman McClintock and Congressman Jeff Denham authored the attached letter to the State Water Resources Control Board.  The letter expresses support for the adjustments contained in the Bureau of Reclamation's Temporary Urgency Change Petition (TUCP) for New Melones operations in the 2015 water year.  The TUCP aims to protect municipal, agriculture, recreation, power water supply, steelhead population, and preserve a least a modicum of water storage behind New Melones Dam for the remainder of the water year.  

March 20, 2015 Press Release
McClintock Opposes Flows From New Melones - Letter to Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner

March 13, 2015 Press Release
Representatives McClintock and Denham Call on Federal Regulators to Take Immediate Action to Save Reservoir Water this Summer

March 10, 2015.
Letter from Congressman McClintock to President Barak Obama on convening the Endangered Species Committee (ESC).  Once convened, the ESC would have the authority to suspend or modify mandates, providing water managers with the necessary authority to prioritize California's water supply.   Click to read letter.

December 3, 2014
The California Emergency Drought Relief Act (HR 5781)
House Floor Debate Remarks in Support
Congressman Tom McClintock California’s regulatory drought was causing enormous economic damage and human hardship long before the historic natural drought that has now stricken the state; and through all of those years the House has passed legislation, repeatedly, to address it...more

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Rules Changes to Restore Budget Discipline


The memo below from Congressman McClintock outlines four proposed budget process reforms:

TO: Interested Colleagues
FM: Tom McClintock
RE: Rules changes to restore budget discipline
DT: March 3, 2016

On our present course, interest on the national debt will exceed our current defense spending in six years.  Ten months ago, Congress adopted a budget that balanced by 2024.  It called for $1.040 trillion in discretionary spending for the coming year.

The budget now before us spends $1.070 trillion and balances in 2026 – but ONLY if we summon the discipline to stick to the budget in future years that has eluded us again this year.  Maintaining budget discipline becomes particularly crucial given the deteriorating economic picture.

We absolutely must have a budget if we are to restore congressional control over appropriations and trigger reconciliation.  But if we still bankrupt the country because we can’t stick to numbers we agreed to just ten months ago, what is the point?

If for various reasons we can’t stick to last year’s budget, then this year’s budget must be accompanied by ENACTED process reforms that will keep us on course in future years, as the RSC recently called for.  Since we do not control the Senate or the Presidency, we must look to the House and Conference rules to do so.    I recommend four reforms.

FIRST AND FOREMOST: AMEND THE HOUSE RULES TO ALLOW REDUCTIONS IN MANDATORY SPENDING IN THE APPROPRIATIONS BILLS.  We are constantly reminded that mandatory spending is killing us, but we can’t amend mandatory spending in the appropriations bills.  The only reason we can’t is that House rules don’t allow it. We can change those rules any time, but we have chosen not to.  That is a bad choice.  We should amend House Rule XXI, clause (2)(b) as follows: 

 “A provision changing existing law may not be reported in a general appropriation bill, including a provision making the availability of funds contingent on the receipt or possession of information not required by existing law for the period of the appropriation, except germane provisions that retrench expenditures by the reduction of amounts of money covered by the bill (which may include those recommended to the Committee on Appropriations by direction of a legislative committee having jurisdiction over the subject matter), except rescissions of appropriations contained in appropriations Acts, and changes in direct spending programs that reduce expenditures.” 

This would need to be accompanied by a directive to the Appropriations Committee, either from leadership or by the Conference, to seek such reductions in the Labor/HHS appropriations bill that keep us within the overall spending levels set by the May, 2015 Budget Resolution.  This would isolate the reductions to one must-pass bill for the Democrats.

SECOND: RESTORE A POINT OF ORDER AGAINST UNAUTHORIZED APPROPRIATIONS.  Although we won’t waive Rule XXI(2)(b) to allow for mandatory reductions, we routinely wave Rule XXI(2)(a) that forbids appropriations not authorized by law.  This practice can be proscribed by inserting into House rules: “It shall not be in order to consider a rule or order that waives the application of rule XXI 2(a)(1).”  Alternatively, it can also be done in Conference rules by inserting language that “No bill or amendment shall be made in order that appropriates funds for a purpose not authorized by law, unless as otherwise ordered by majority vote of the Conference.”
The principal argument against this is that there are certain vital functions which are not currently authorized.  Let a majority of the Conference decide exceptions (under a Conference rule) or a majority of the House (by appeal).  Moreover, let us use this mechanism to review all unauthorized programs and in reforming and reauthorizing them, let us take back the legislative and judicial powers improperly delegated to the executive.

THIRD: RESTORE A POINT OF ORDER AGAINST APPROPRIATIONS THAT EXCEED THE BUDGET.  Section 302(f)(1) of the Congressional Budget Act forbids appropriations above the 302(a) and (b) levels.  Waiving this statutory rule should also be proscribed, either in the House rules (“It shall not be in order to consider a bill or amendment that waives the application of Section 302(f)(1) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.”) or the Conference rules (by inserting language that “No bill or amendment shall be made in order that appropriates funds in violation of Section 302(f)(1) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 unless as otherwise ordered by majority vote of the Conference”).

FOURTH: FORBID EXPANSION OF MANDATORY SPENDING JUST AS WE FORBID EARMARKS.  This reform can be implemented either in the Conference rules (“No bill or amendment shall be made in order that authorizes spending not subject to annual appropriation, unless as otherwise ordered by majority vote of the Conference”), or by House rules (“No bill or amendment shall be in order that authorizes spending not subject to annual appropriation, nor shall it be in order to consider a rule or order that waives this provision”).

These four reforms are well within the ability of the House Republican Conference to enact without the President, without the Senate and without a single House Democrat in a single morning.  In my opinion, enacting these reforms would justify supporting a discretionary budget at the $1.070 trillion spending level. 

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Letter to the Editor - Sacramento Bee


The attached letter to the editor from Congressman McClintock has been submitted to the Sacramento Bee:

Matt Weiser grossly misrepresents both Republican federal lands policy and my leadership of the House subcommittee that oversees it.

Our committee seeks to restore responsible stewardship of our national forests and protect the public’s right to enjoy the public’s lands.  

Excess timber is either carried out or burned out.  Because of the restrictive environmental laws of the last 40 years, our forests have become dangerously overgrown and are now ravaged by disease, pestilence and fire.  Timber harvests on federal lands have declined roughly 80 percent, while acreage destroyed by wildfire has increased concomitantly.  The mountain communities of the Sierra that I represent have been economically devastated in the process.

Weiser falsely accuses me of “hand-picking” witnesses to support pre-determined conclusions and chortles at the testimony of Dan Gibbs who “didn’t follow McClintock’s script.”  In fact, in addition to Obama administration officials, the Democratic minority always selects at least one witness at our hearings, and Gibbs was one of them. 

Indeed, the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015 that our committee produced last year passed the House on a strong bi-partisan vote that included 19 House Democrats.  This measure streamlines regulations to prevent wildfire, salvage dead timber and generate additional revenues for the management and protection of our forests.

Weiser is correct that I have strongly opposed banning traditional tourist activities from Yosemite Valley such as ice skating, bicycle and equestrian rentals, river rafting, and the shops that serve Yosemite visitors.  But I believe he fundamentally misunderstands the reason for our National Parks.  It can be found in the original Yosemite Grant Act: “public use, resort and recreation…for all time.”
The pioneers of our public lands understood that preserving them for future generations does not mean closing them to the current generation.  John Muir once wrote of Yosemite, “The valley is filled with people…but they do not annoy me.”  Mr. Weiser and his ideological companions would replace this inclusive philosophy with a highly restrictive policy of “Look but don’t touch.”

Not on my watch.

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The Economy


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Committee Assignments


Natural Resources

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.

Serving With

Doug LaMalfa


Paul Cook


Jeff Denham


David Valadao


Devin Nunes


Kevin McCarthy


Steve Knight


Ed Royce


Ken Calvert


Mimi Walters


Dana Rohrabacher


Darrell Issa


Duncan Hunter


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