Tom McClintock

Tom McClintock


H.R. 4038 – American SAFE Act: Yes


H.R. 4038 – American SAFE Act: Yes.  This bill requires that refugee applicants from Iraq and Syria not be admitted to the United States until and unless the FBI Director, Homeland Security Secretary and Director of National Intelligence all certify that the applicant is not a security threat.  To the extent that it requires an official to take direct responsibility for this certification, it is a small improvement over current law, but I am afraid will simply be used as a rubber stamp.  Indeed, unless they come into contact with government agencies, we know NOTHING about them, and the fundamental problem is that this IS the screening process under which they will be certifying.  Furthermore, our wide-open southern border is a vastly greater security problem which feel-good measures like this one studiously avoid.  

Read More

H.R. 511 Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act


Congressman McClintock delivered the following remarks on the House floor in support of H.R. 511 the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act:

H.R. 511 Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act
November 17, 2015

Mr. Speaker:

    There is no need today to catalog the litany of promises made and broken by this government to the American Indian Nations.  

    The sum total of these broken promises amounted to the banishment of these, the first Americans, to the most desolate and undesirable lands in the nation.  We left them with one thing only – their sovereignty over these lands.  

    In the past half century, many of these tribes have created from their sovereignty great engines of prosperity with which to provide for themselves and their posterity.

    And suddenly, our government’s disinterest in their welfare, its benign neglect of their affairs, has changed.  Now that they are prosperous, our government has developed a canine appetite to intervene in their affairs.

    For 70 years after the enactment of the National Labor Relations Act, the federal government recognized the internal independence of these tribal governments, established of, by and for their rightful members.  It recognized that unless Congress specified otherwise, the Indian nations were free to conduct their own affairs on their sovereign lands and to organize their enterprises according to their own traditions, customs, conditions and necessities.

    That is, until 2004, when the National Labor Relations Board decided to shatter these decades of legal precedents and to usurp the legislative powers of the Congress.  

    The NLRA was never intended to apply to governments and the American Indian Nations have always been recognized as governments.  That is, until the NLRB decided to radically and fundamentally change the law that created it in the first place. 

    The question before this House is whether Congress will reassert its authority over a rogue executive agency and -- for a change -- honor the promises of tribal sovereignty made to these nations more than a hundred years ago.

Read More

Veterans Day 2015


Veterans Day 2015

    In his Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln defined the two days our nation would later set aside to honor those who protect us.  In one passage, he speaks of “those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.”  We set aside Memorial Day in May to honor and mourn them.

    In another passage, he speaks of “the brave men, living AND dead, who struggled here,” for whom we set aside this day, the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

    The armistice declared on that day in 1918 ended what was then called “The Great War.”  Indeed, so great had been its horror and carnage, it was expected to be the last war in the history of mankind.

    But it wasn’t.  So Armistice Day become Veterans’ Day, which we set aside to reflect upon and to honor the patriotism of ALL those who step forward when their country calls – the heroism of ALL those who place themselves in harm’s way in defense of our Constitution and the freedom it protects.

    We come here today to take measure of what we owe them.  And we ask ourselves, how can we possibly repay them?

    First, we owe it to them to assure the time they lost, the careers they postponed, the family lives they sacrificed, the wounds they sustained – all on behalf of our nation – are fully compensated as they return to civilian life.  And that begins with the help they need to resume those careers and secure for their families the prosperity and security that they had foregone in service to our nation.

    Many have come home with life-changing injuries with which they will do battle every waking moment for the rest of their lives.  And once the parades are over and the speeches are done and we all go home to our own lives – these wounded warriors will go home to struggle nobly and often alone to do even the most basic tasks we take for granted.  In a sense, they never leave the field of combat, and they need to know that their countrymen will never forget that.

    Let us also remember that our fallen veterans left behind grieving families that will never recover from their loss.  For these Gold Star families, every day is Memorial Day and the pain you see in their eyes is the same pain first seen by those who delivered them the terrible news years ago.  Every member of these Gold Star families is a veteran, too, whose enlistment never ends and whose wounds never heal.

    We have a solemn obligation, as Lincoln said in his second inaugural, “to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and his widow and his orphan.”  

    What else do we owe the men and women we honor today?  More important than having their backs when they leave service is having their backs while they are in service.  In order to commit this nation to war and to place our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines in harm’s way, the Constitution requires an act by the representatives of ALL the people – and not the whim of one person.  And when that terrible decision is forced upon us, this nation owes those who defend us its undivided and total commitment – its will, its might and all of its resources -- and to apply every ounce of fortitude to win through to absolute victory.  

    We owe the recent generations who served in Korea, Vietnam and the Middle East an extra measure of gratitude for the unique challenges they have had to confront.  They willingly answered our nation’s call without our nation’s total commitment.  They operated under rules of engagement that often prevented them from fighting back.  They often found themselves with inadequate equipment and hamstrung with inept policies imposed by distant and often disengaged politicians.  MacArthur was right, “In war, there is no substitute for victory.”

    But the most important way we can repay our veterans is to assure that the Constitution they protected from foreign enemies is honored, respected, and obeyed by those who exercise its powers here at home.  This we do through our votes.  For if the American people ever cease to insist that their Constitution be obeyed by our public officials, that Constitution will cease to exist and all the sacrifices made by all the veterans in all the wars down through history will have been for naught.

    We owe it to them to defend at home the freedoms they defended abroad.  That is the most fundamental responsibility of a citizen, and we dishonor those who sacrificed so much for us if we fail to meet that responsibility.  

    But if we meet it and secure the blessings of liberty at home as they did abroad, we assure that their sacrifices were not in vain.  We owe them much, but they don’t ask for much -- for themselves.  What they do ask for – and have every right to expect – is that their sacrifice means something, as Lincoln said, “That that nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth.”


Read More

H.R. 1314 – Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015: NO (Another $650 Per Household in Current and Future Taxes)


H.R. 1314 – Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015: NO.  M. Stanton Evans once observed that there are two parties in our country: the evil party and the stupid party, and when they adopt a bipartisan measure it is usually something evil and stupid.  This deal replaces the budget that Congress enacted in May, which pointed the country back toward fiscal solvency, with a plan that puts us on a trajectory that never balances.  It adds $80 billion of new spending authority for this year and next – that’s nearly $650  for every household in America that will be added to your current and future tax bills.  The budget gimmicks used to claim it doesn’t add to the deficit are absurd, among them: allowing employers to short pension funds, selling off the strategic petroleum reserve at the bottom of the market, doubling down on IRS audits (doesn’t that sound like fun), and raiding the Social Security retirement fund to shore up run-away costs in the disability system.  It also eliminates the debt limit all together until March of 2017 – meaning President Obama can borrow whatever he wants without returning to Congress for permission for the rest of his administration.  So here’s what you get: another $650 per household in current and future taxes, a higher chance you’ll be audited by the IRS, and don’t plan on Social Security being there in about 15 years or so.  On the plus side, we get to ignore the impending debt crisis for another year and a half.

Read More

Default Prevention Act Approved by House of Representatives


Washington, D.C. – The House of Representatives today passed H.R. 692 by Congressman Tom McClintock on a vote of 235 to 194.  The legislation guarantees the sovereign debt of the United States Government by authorizing the Treasury Secretary to continue to borrow to pay interest and principle on the debt, even in the event of complete gridlock in Washington.  

“If credit markets doubt that their loans to the federal government will be repaid in full and on time, we could suffer an interest rate spike that could sink our nation in a sea of red ink,” McClintock said.  “This bill is an absolute guarantee that the sovereign debt of the United States is solid and will be honored.”

“The full faith and credit of the United States should not hang in the balance every time there’s a fiscal debate in Washington,” remarked Congressman McClintock about the measure.

The legislation next moves to the Senate.
Congressman McClintock delivered the following remarks on the House floor during debate on the measure:

Default Prevention Act
HR 692

Mr. Speaker:

This bill simply guarantees that the sovereign debt of the United States will be paid in full and on time.  Period.  

 How can that possibly be controversial?

 The sovereign debt of the United States is what makes it possible for us to pay all of our other obligations in the era of chronic deficit spending we are now in.  This bill provides an absolute guarantee of that credit.

 Although the Constitution explicitly commands that the public debt of the United States is not to be questioned, it provides no practical mechanism to achieve this aim.  This bill provides that mechanism.   It says that whenever we reach the debt limit, the Treasury Secretary can continue to borrow to pay interest and principal on the debt.  

  It amazes me that many of our friends on the other side of the aisle support loan guarantees to foreign corporations and special interests, but are unwilling to guarantee loans to our own government.

  The national debt is now larger than our entire economy and has doubled in the last decade.  The interest on that debt is the fastest growing component of the federal budget and threatens to exceed our entire defense budget in just eight years.  

If there is ever any doubt over the security and reliability of the debt owed by this government, the rates we pay to service our debt would quickly rise and sink our country in a tidal wave of red ink. 

The Default Prevention Act says loudly and clearly to the world that no matter how much we may differ and quarrel here in Washington, the sovereign debt of this nation is guaranteed and their loans to this government are ABSOLUTELY SAFE.

 We hear the charge that this would pay debts owed to foreign governments before paying our troops.      

 Actually, more than half our debt is held by Americans, often in American pension funds.  China holds just 7 percent.    But whether our loans come from China or Charleston, without the nation’s credit we cannot pay the troops or meet all of our other obligations.  

Opponents charge that this is an excuse not to pay our other debts.  What nonsense.  This maintains the credit necessary to pay our other debts.

Most states guarantee their sovereign debt and have done so for generations.  Do our friends actually suggest that any of these states has ever used these guarantees as an excuse not to pay their other bills?   

 On the contrary, by protecting their credit first, they actually support and maintain their ability to pay for all of their other obligations.

 The President contends that this is tantamount to a family saying it would make its house payment but not its car payment.  I sure hope he’s getting better economic advice than that.

But let’s continue the analogy.  If the family is living on its credit cards as we are, it had better make the minimum payment on its credit card first, or it won’t be able to pay the rest of its bills.

And when that family has to increase its credit limit because it’s spending above its means, it had better have a serious conversation about what’s driving its debt and what to do about it.

Principled disputes over HOW the debt limit is addressed are going to happen from time to time.  Just a few years ago, then-Senator Barack Obama vigorously opposed an increase in the debt limit sought by the Bush administration.  

When these controversies erupt – as they inevitably do in a free society – it is imperative that credit markets are supremely confident that their loans to the United States are secure.  

Providing such a guarantee could prevent a future debt crisis and give Congress the calm it needs to negotiate the changes that must be made to bring our debt under control before it authorizes still more debt. 

The voices in opposition are the same voices that have cheered the most profligate spending and borrowing in the nation’s history.

It is time we managed our affairs responsibly, and guaranteeing our debt is an important step toward doing so.

# # #

Read More

Tahoe Restoration Act of 2015 Passes House Natural Resources Committee


Rep. Tom McClintock’s (R-CA) and Rep. Mark Amodei’s (R-NV) H.R. 3382, the “Lake Tahoe Restoration Act of 2015” passed the House Natural Resources Committee today.  The legislation focuses resources on fire prevention and additional measures to protect the lake from the introduction of invasive species. 

“The House measure is specifically designed — after extensive input from fire districts throughout the Tahoe region — to reduce excess fuel loads in the Tahoe Basin before they burn. It streamlines the planning process that has severely hampered past attempts at forest management,” McClintock said. “It calls for new revenues generated within the Tahoe Basin to stay in the Tahoe Basin for environmental improvements. It also augments efforts to protect the lake from invasive species that have already devastated many other lakes in the West.”

“For the last eight years, Tahoe legislation has been introduced in the Senate and has not moved off the Senate floor,” continued McClintock.  “This bill has been carefully crafted to fit within the budget parameters set by Congress and it addresses the two most immediate environmental threats to the Tahoe Basin.  I believe this bill has an excellent prospect for passage out of the House.”

The bill:

--- Expedites active forest management and fuel reduction projects consistent with the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit land and resource management plan.

--- Guarantees that funds generated by timber sales and recreation will stay in the Tahoe Basin to provide for further fuels management and promote public access.

--- Supplements and expands the current inspection regimen of boats launched into Lake Tahoe and provides for fee-supported private, local, and state inspection and decontamination stations.

--- Provides for disposition of federal-owned parcels of land in urban areas and acquisition of in-fill parcels within the national forest to streamline management and reduce the inefficient “checkerboard” pattern.

--- Makes the involvement of local governments mandatory in land acquisition decisions that directly impact their communities.

--- Promotes tourism by prioritizing public access to the federal lands.

# # #

Read More

Congressman McClintock Today Announced His Resignation from the House Freedom Caucus


Congressman McClintock today announced his resignation from the House Freedom Caucus:

September 16, 2015

Congressman Jim Jordan
Chairman, House Freedom Caucus
1524 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C.  20515


Dear Jim:

When the House Freedom Caucus formed in January, I fervently hoped that it would provide responsible and effective leadership to advance conservative principles in the House of Representatives.   

I know that every member of the HFC sincerely supports these principles, but as I have expressed on many occasions during our meetings, I believe the tactics the HFC has employed have repeatedly undermined the House’s ability to advance them.  Allow me to review a few examples.

On February 27th, we faced the imminent shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security over the funding of Obama’s unlawful amnesty orders for illegal immigrants.  Although the American people overwhelmingly opposed these orders, they also overwhelmingly opposed shutting down DHS.  House Republicans attempted to pass a three-week stop gap bill so we could avoid a catastrophic shutdown of our security agencies while continuing to bring public opinion to bear to de-fund the orders.  At the behest of its board, most HFC members combined with House Democrats to defeat this effort, resulting in the full funding of these illegal orders for the fiscal year. 

In May, the House had the opportunity to adopt the most important free trade bill in nearly two decades, restoring the long-standing and essential process that has made it possible for our nation to negotiate free trade agreements with other nations.  At the behest of its board, most HFC members combined with the vast majority of House Democrats in an unsuccessful attempt to defeat this legislation.  

Last week, the House was scheduled to adopt the Resolution of Disapproval of the disastrous Iran nuclear agreement – the only legally binding action available to Congress under the Corker Act.  Once again, the House Freedom Caucus leadership threatened to combine with House Democrats to defeat the Resolution, forcing the House leadership to abandon it in favor of a symbolic and legally meaningless vote.  Ironically, while Harry Reid and Senate Democrats blocked a vote on the Resolution of Disapproval in the Senate, the House Freedom Caucus leadership was instrumental in blocking its consideration in the House.

For several months, Harry Reid and Senate Democrats have threatened to shut down the government on October 1st unless Congress unleashes another unsustainable cycle of tax increases and borrowing.  Last week, the House Freedom Caucus formally vowed to shut down the government over funding Planned Parenthood.  

I have strongly opposed the public funding of abortions throughout my 29 years in public office, but this tactic promises only to shield Senate Democrats from their responsibility for a government shutdown and to alienate the public from the pro-life cause at precisely the time when undercover videos of Planned Parenthood’s barbaric practices are turning public opinion in our favor.  I suspect this is why the leading pro-life organizations have been conspicuously unwilling to endorse the HFC position.     
A common theme through each of these incidents is a willingness – indeed, an eagerness – to strip the House Republican majority of its ability to set the House agenda by combining with House Democrats on procedural motions.  As a result, it has thwarted vital conservative policy objectives and unwittingly become Nancy Pelosi’s tactical ally.  

I feel honored to know and work with every member of the House Freedom Caucus.  I have never served with a group of patriots more devoted to our country and dedicated to restoring American founding principles.  However, I feel that the HFC’s many missteps have made it counterproductive to its stated goals and I no longer wish to be associated with it.  

Accordingly, I resign.


                    Tom McClintock

Read More

Retreating from Responsibility (Iran Nuclear "Deal")


Congressman McClintock delivered the following remarks on the House floor regarding the Iran Nuclear "Deal":

Retreating from Responsibility
House Floor Remarks
Congressman Tom McClintock
September 10, 2015

Mr. Speaker:

I rise to express my deep disappointment in the decision by the House leadership to back off from a direct vote on a resolution of disapproval of the Iran Nuclear Accord as provided under the Corker Act.

Clearly the administration has not complied with the requirements of this act to provide Congress will the full text of its agreement with Iran, most specifically the side deals referenced in the agreement between Iran and the IAEA.  

House Resolution 411, that declares the administration out of compliance with the Corker Act, is well-founded.  

But this is not a valid reason to delay a vote on a resolution disapproving the agreement, as specified in Corker and promised by the House Leadership for the last six weeks.  

H. Res. 411 rightly disputes September 17th as the deadline for congressional action to stop this treaty from taking effect, because of the Administration’s failure to disclose these details and I support that resolution.  But it cannot authoritatively settle this dispute.  That leaves the deadline as an open question and this House must not let that deadline pass without definitive action as provided under the Corker Act.

I opposed that act because it guts the Treaty Clause of the Constitution that requires treaties to be ratified by a 2/3 vote of the U.S. Senate.  Despite the President’s contention that this is an agreement and not a treaty – the fact that it explicitly modifies the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty makes it obvious that it requires Senate ratification.  

Unfortunately, the Congress overwhelmingly approved the Corker Act, establishing a very different framework with respect to this particular treaty.  Instead of a 2/3 vote of the Senate to ratify it, Corker in essence requires 2/3 of both houses to reject it through a Resolution of Disapproval – an almost impossible threshold.  But these are the rules that Congress made and must now deal with.     

Under the Corker Act the Resolution of Disapproval is the specific legal act required to reject this treaty.  This is what the leadership had promised the House would vote on this week.  Until yesterday.  

Now, we are to vote on a bill to approve the treaty which is expected to be voted down.  This is designed to have no legal effect, but merely to give members political cover.  

Thus, the House will have failed to take action on a Resolution of Disapproval under Corker by the disputed September 17th deadline.  On that deadline, the President will declare victory, implement the treaty, and the Congress will be left sputtering.  The world will correctly interpret this dereliction as a capitulation by the House to this treaty.   And years from now, maybe, possibly, the courts will intervene to declare the President’s action illegal.  Or maybe not.

Mr. Speaker, the House is right to dispute the September 17th deadline, because clearly the President did not comply with the provisions of Corker and provide the full text of the side agreements to the Congress.  

But the House is dead wrong to refuse to take action on the Resolution of Disapproval prior to the disputed deadline.  The House must speak clearly, unambiguously and according to the provisions of the Corker Act that Congress enacted in May.  Once it has taken that action, it can still dispute whether the President’s submission meets the requirements of Corker – but must not leave this momentous question dangling in dispute and unresolved.

The argument we hear for this course is that the Senate is unlikely to take up a Resolution of Disapproval; therefore we should hold the President to the letter of Corker with respect to submitting language.  What the Senate does is up to the Senate.  But for OUR part, the House has a moral obligation to act within the UNDISPUTED time frame to legally reject this dangerous agreement.

There is little doubt that this treaty will trigger a nuclear arms race in the Middle East – the leaders of Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia have already made that abundantly clear.  There is little doubt that it is unverifiable.  There is no doubt that it will release $150 billion of frozen assets to Iran with which to finance its terrorist operations and continue its nuclear research.  

I fear this agreement may be just as significant to the fate of the 21st Century as the Munich Agreement was to the 20th Century.  The American people and the world deserve a clear, unambiguous and INDISUPTABLE act of the House to repudiate it.

What the House leadership is now pursuing falls far short of this moral imperative.

# # #


Read More

Folsom Dam - Third Phase Completion of Improvement Project


Congressman McClintock delivered the following remarks at the Third Phase Completion ceremony at Folsom Dam:

Third Phase Completion of Folsom Dam Improvement Project
Folsom, California
August 27, 2015

    It’s ironic that we are celebrating progress on a facility to rapidly release water out of Folsom Lake while we are in the fourth year of an historic drought and the lake is nearly empty.  

    This spillway project is a reminder that the previous generation built these great dams not only to protect us against water shortages in dry years, but also to protect us against floods in wet ones.  This combination of water storage and flood protection is what makes it possible to sustain a thriving and prosperous human population throughout this region.    

    And if the early observations of building El Nino conditions come to pass, we may be moving very rapidly from one of the driest periods on record to one of the wettest, and the worth of this project may become quite clear in the not-so-distant future. 

    It bears repeating on this occasion that the purpose of these dams is to protect the human population against water shortages in times of drought and from inundation in times of flood.  The Sacramento metropolitan area would be a very different and diminished place without them.  

    A happy byproduct of these dams is that they tame the catastrophic cycle of flood and drought that ravaged riparian habitats since time immemorial.  Without these dams, in a drought like this, there would be no rivers and there would be no fish.  

    We don’t build these facilities to more efficiently move water to the ocean for the fish – water is very good at running downhill on its own and tends to get to the ocean without our help.  We build these facilities to benefit the HUMAN population – to store water in wet years so that we have it in dry ones, and to protect our communities against catastrophic flooding.

      As we look at the very low level of Folsom Lake today, and reflect on the fact that throughout the worst drought on record our government continues to release massive volumes of water for no other purpose than to adjust water temperatures to make the fish more comfortable, I think we have to question the fundamental operation of these facilities and the policies that produce such follies.  

    This is especially true today, as Californians are going to extraordinary lengths to scrimp and save every drop of water in their homes, and hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland have been lost to water cutbacks.     

    This spillway project is part of a multi-billion dollar program to protect the Sacramento region against a 200-year flood.  Folsom Dam stores over one million acre-feet of water and produces nearly 200 megawatts of electricity. We should note, however, that just upstream from this spot is the abandoned site of the Auburn Dam, that if completed, would have given this region nearly 2 ½ million acre feet of storage, 800 megawatts of hydro-electricity, and 400-year flood protection for the Sacramento Delta.  Two and a half times the water; four times the hydro-electricity and twice the flood protection as currently provided by Folsom.   Indeed, if the Auburn Dam had been completed, Folsom Lake would be brim full today, and the Sacramento region would be safe from a 400-year flood with all the added prosperity that cheap and abundant water and electricity would have provided.  

    So while we celebrate progress on this spillway, we should recognize that a great deal more needs to be done and CAN be done to fulfill the vision of California’s generation of great builders, whose works we have enjoyed without seriously contributing to them since we walked away from the Auburn Dam in mid-construction more than forty years ago.

    Speaking as a member of the House Water, Power and Oceans sub-committee, I can tell you that we are determined to restore that promise of abundance as a centerpiece of the federal government’s resource policy.

# # #

Read More

Lake Tahoe Summit 2015


Lake Tahoe Summit
Lake Tahoe, California
Remarks Delivered by Congressman Tom McClintock
August 24, 2015

    Tahoe rests on the northern boundary of California’s Fourth Congressional District.  Meanwhile, right now – as we speak – a catastrophic wildfire is raging in the King’s Canyon region on the southern boundary of this very same district.  That fire has already consumed 78 square miles of national forests and at latest report is only 17 percent contained.

    In this same district two years ago, the Rim Fire in this district destroyed 400 square miles of Sierra forests near Yosemite.  Last year in this same district, the King Fire incinerated 150 square miles and came close to wiping out the entire communities of Foresthill and Georgetown.

    By contrast, the Angora Fire destroyed just five square miles in 2007. Yet it destroyed 254 homes and 75 businesses, cost the local economy a billion dollars and left a scar on the landscape that lingers today.  If a super-fire of the size we’ve seen in other parts of this district were to strike the Tahoe Basin, it could decimate this lake and its surroundings for a generation to come.  

    The alarms are ringing all around us.  The number of acres burned by wildfire in the Lake Tahoe Basin has increased each decade since 1973, including a ten-fold increase over the past decade.  Eighty percent of the Tahoe Basin forests are now densely and dangerously overgrown.  At lower elevations, there are now four times the number of trees compared to historic conditions.  Modelling by the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit warns that in two thirds of the forest, conditions now exist for flame size and intensity that are explosive.

    Just last week, one of our Tahoe Fire Chiefs told me, “Good forest management IS good forest protection.”  Or put more bluntly, excess timber comes out of the forest one way or the other.  It is either carried out or it is burned out.

    Ever since the last Tahoe Restoration Act expired, a successor bill focusing hundreds of millions of dollars of lake clarity has been introduced in every congressional session since 2009.  None has moved off the floor of either house, during both Democratic and Republican majorities.  The good news is that lake clarity has improved on its own, with visibility increasing from an average of 64.4 feet in 2010 to 77.8 feet this year.  The bad news is that forest fuel loads have continued to increase perilously.

    The clarity of Tahoe’s water contributes uniquely to Tahoe’s beauty.  We need to recognize that the greatest environmental threat to that clarity is a catastrophic fire the likes of which we are seeing right now on the southern end of this very same Congressional district.

    That is why I have introduced a version of the Tahoe Restoration Act in the House (in partnership with my Nevada colleague Mark Amodei) that focuses our resources on fire prevention and additional measures to protect the lake from the introduction of invasive species.  

    Some have sought to portray this as competition with the expansive Senate version aimed at lake clarity.  It is not.  

    The House measure is specifically designed – after extensive input from fire districts throughout the Tahoe region -- to reduce excess fuel loads in the Tahoe Basin before they burn.  It streamlines the planning process that has severely hampered past attempts at forest management.  It calls for new revenues generated within the Tahoe Basin to STAY in the Tahoe Basin for environmental improvements.  It also augments efforts to protect the lake from invasive species that have already devastated many other lakes in the West.  

    But most importantly, the House bill is carefully crafted to fit within the budget parameters already set by Congress, which vastly improves the prospect of it actually being enacted.  We can thump our chests all day at summits like this, but unless legislation addressing this crisis is actually enacted, all we have done is to waste precious time, and lest we forget, time is NOT our ally.

    We can still see the scars from the Angora Fire today.  The Rim Fire was 80 times larger and struck the same high-risk forest conditions that today surround Tahoe.  When we consider what the landscape could look like at next year’s summit if the Tahoe Basin were to suffer a similar fate, we should realize how desperately important this issue is.  

    Next year, I hope we can say instead that a new era of scientific forest management and fire prevention is well underway, and that every year hence the danger of a Tahoe super-fire will be receding rather than growing.  

    # # #

Read More

Loading legislation ... one moment please
Loading votes ... one moment please

Contact Information

434 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-2511
Fax 202-225-5444

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


Recent Videos