This evening, Congressman Kevin McCarthy urged his colleagues to support his amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which prioritizes repairs and modernization work at the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake following last week’s earthquakes.
You can read highlights of his speech below or watch it here.
"Mr. Chairman –
"On July 4th a 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit Ridgecrest, California. A day later, our Ridgecrest community experienced a 7.1 magnitude earthquake.
"People felt this throughout Southern California, but the epicenter of these earthquakes were located on Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. Hundreds of aftershocks have already occurred, and are still occurring.
"The Navy announced that due to the earthquake-related damage, China Lake was not mission capable and that non-essential personnel had to be evacuated.
"This is significant because China Lake, along with neighboring installations, form a cornerstone of our national defense architecture that integrates all operational domains - air, land, sea, space, and cyberspace. The men and women who work here help test and develop the technology needed to equip our warfighters with the very best weapons and tools to ensure our military remains second to none.
"My amendment, which I offered with Congressman Cook, and was included in this en blocpackage, would:
"Authorize $100M to help address China Lake’s most immediate needs; and,
"Require the Department of Defense to develop a plan by October 1st to assess, repair, and modernize the infrastructure and facilities at China Lake and other installations in the R-2508 Special Use Airspace Complex damaged by the earthquakes.
"The extent of the damage is still being assessed, but we need to ensure that we are not only repairing this important base to address the threats facing our nation today, but in the years ahead.
"But, Mr. Chairman, I want to be clear to my constituents in Ridgecrest and Kern County – this amendment is just an initial step in helping China Lake and the communities I represent impacted by these earthquakes recover.
"Over the coming days, weeks, and months, I ask my colleagues in this Chamber and in the U.S. Senate to join with me to ensure Ridgecrest, China Lake, and all communities impacted by earthquakes and natural disasters have our full support and are provided the resources they need to quickly rebuild and get back to normal.
"I also ask my colleagues to join me in thanking all the local first responders and local, state, and Federal emergency response officials who have worked non-stop over the past several days to ensure our constituents affected in Ridgecrest were safe, have food and water, and a place to sleep. Finally, I also want to thank the thousands of residents across our communities for their help, their actions, and their prayers for their neighbors in need.
"It is said that “adversity does not build character, it reveals it.” Earthquakes can shake our foundations, but the residents of Ridgecrest should hold their heads high – in this time of adversity, their true character has shown, and it is an inspiration to all of us.
"I urge my colleagues to support this amendment. I yield back."
Yesterday, President Trump signed an executive order creating a White House Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing. The Council will be comprised of members from 8 federal agencies, and chaired by Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Ben Carson.
Congressman Kevin McCarthy released the following statement on the Council’s creation:
“For generations, achieving the American Dream has meant owning a home. But unfortunately, burdensome regulations have made this dream impossible for many Americans.
“State and local regulations – such as zoning restrictions which limit the ability to increase supply and unnecessary solar mandates for new construction – can add an additional 25-42 percent to new home costs. These types of regulations have also made it harder for people to find affordable rental units. This is unsustainable.
“That is why the creation of the Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing is so important. The Council will work towards identifying and removing troublesome obstacles that hinder one’s ability to purchase a home or afford rent, helping to make the American Dream more attainable.
“Regulatory barriers disproportionately affect California, the second most expensive state and home to 12 of the 25 costliest places to live in the country. With California’s housing market growing increasingly expensive, the creation of this council could not come at a better time, and I thank President Trump and Secretary Carson for working to make it more affordable.”
Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, the House unanimously passed H.R. 2695 to name Success Dam, located in Tulare County, after Mr. Richard L. Schafer, the longtime Tule River Water Master.
“I am pleased to see this bill pass with unanimous support out of the House. Richard Schafer has been a pillar of strength in our community for over half a century, and it is appropriate that Success Dam, which he continues to enthusiastically fight to improve, is one step closer to being named after him,” said Congressman Kevin McCarthy.
“For decades, Mr. Schafer has served on countless water boards, working tirelessly to help ensure that Porterville, Tulare County, and the Central Valley have access to water when they need it, helping our neighbors, farmers and agricultural producers throughout our community.
“It is my hope now that the Senate acts expeditiously to pass this bill and honor a man who has helped shape California’s water infrastructure. I thank Richard for his continued leadership and guidance throughout the years - this honor is much-deserved,” said McCarthy.
Washington, D.C. – Today, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer appointed Bakersfield resident and co-owner of Grimmway Farms, Barbara Grimm-Marshall, to the USDA’s Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee (ATAC) for Trade in Fruits and Vegetables.
"I want to thank Secretary Perdue and Ambassador Lighthizer on appointing Barbara to the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Fruits and Vegetables. As co-owner of Grimmway Enterprises, the largest carrot producer in the world and the single largest organic grower in the United States, Barbara understands firsthand how Federal laws and trade policy directly affect our community and the nation’s farms and agricultural producers,” said Congressman Kevin McCarthy. “Through her work experience and business acumen, she is poised to play a leading role advising the Administration on trade policy and will be an effective voice for Kern County, the Central Valley, and California agriculture on this advisory committee.”
“I would also like to recognize Joel Nelsen of California Citrus Mutual on his reappointment to the ATAC for Trade in Fruits and Vegetables. Our community is fortunate to have knowledgeable Californians working to make our nation’s laws fairer for our farmers. Joel’s continued service on this committee will only continue to help ensure our agricultural producers are well represented to Secretary Perdue and Ambassador Lighthizer,” said McCarthy.
“It is an honor to be chosen to serve on the USDA Trade Advisory Committee for Fruits and Vegetables. I look forward to bringing another voice from the Central Valley to this vitally important agency.” –Barbara Grimm-Marshall, Co-Owner, Grimmway Enterprises
“The announcement by USDA Secretary Perdue and Trade Ambassador Lighthizer is both gratifying and humbling. I trust I bring valuable insight to the Administration and that has always been my goal on behalf of California citrus producers and California agriculture. It is also humbling because when I asked Congressmen McCarthy and Nunes for a support letter, they jointly submitted one on my behalf without hesitation. No doubt this helped my reappointment to a position that helps establish trade policy. I am very grateful to them for their communication. There are many applicants for these positions. Having the two of them in my corner was a tremendous benefit.” –Joel Nelsen, Past President, California Citrus Mutual
Today, Congressman Kevin McCarthy released the following statement on the implementation of the VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks (VA MISSION) Act:
“Seventy-five years ago today, our brave WWII veterans stormed the beaches of Normandy and changed the course of history forever. As we celebrate their victory and reflect on the selfless sacrifices they made on D-Day, we also pledge to ensure the United States has a VA health care system in place that works for them,” said Congressman Kevin McCarthy. “Today, Secretary Wilkie announced the formal launch of the Community Care Program (CCP) and urgent care access, required by the VA MISSION Act, for veterans enrolled in VA benefits. Under the VA MISSION Act – signed into law by President Trump one year ago today – veterans receiving VA benefits will have expanded access to care and greater control over their healthcare benefits so that they and their families can decide what works best for them. I look forward to working with Secretary Wilkie and the VA to ensure a smooth implementation of the MISSION Act.”
Background: President Trump signed the VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks (VA MISSION) Act into law on June 6, 2018. The VA MISSION Act requires the VA to develop a Community Care Program (CCP), as well as urgent care access, for veterans enrolled in VA benefits. The CCP allows enrolled veterans to visit VA-contracted private healthcare providers if qualified through new access standards for drive and appointment wait times. Under these standards, veterans will be able to visit non-VA providers if they must:
- Drive over 30 minutes to the nearest VA facility for primary, mental health, or non-institutional extended care services;
- Drive over 60 minutes to the nearest VA facility for specialty care;
- Wait 20 days or longer for primary, mental health, or non-institutional extended care services, from the date of the request for appointment; OR
- Wait 28 days or longer for specialty care, from the date of the request for appointment.
Today, the VA adopts final rules on the CCP and urgent care access and begins to implement the VA MISSION Act. The final rule on the Community Care Program can be found here and the final rule on urgent care access for veterans can be found here.
Today, Congressman Kevin McCarthy published the following op-ed about aerospace and innovation, reflecting on Kern County’s storied history in the space industry.
You can read it here or below:
American Leadership in Space Begins in California
“Our travels beyond the Earth propel scientific discoveries that improve our lives in countless ways here, right here, at home: powering vast new industry, spurring incredible new technology, and providing the space security we need to protect the American people.”
-President Donald Trump
December 13, 2018 marked a momentous day in American space history. For the first time in nearly a decade, Americans traveled to space on-board a spacecraft built in America, but this time they lifted off from the California desert. Most impressively, this was not a government mission. This feat was accomplished by a private entity with a groundbreaking vision to expand horizons and ignite space travel opportunities.
Nearly every aspect of our modern lives touches space. From financial services and navigation, to science, weather, farming, entertainment, and aviation; the use of satellites is seamlessly integrated into our daily routines. Similarly, our military relies on space to decisively project power and protect national security. However, amidst the excitement and revival in space travel, the U.S. and our allies face competition from foreign countries for maintaining military, civilian, and commercial dominance in space. China and Russia have deliberately developed weapons and taken steps to directly challenge American space dominance and leadership. Space is woven into the very fabric of our American way of life, but we must not allow it to become our Achilles heel.
For this reason, I applaud President Trump for leading the discussion on American space dominance and for reviving the National Space Council to focus on national policy and strategy to ensure the United States remains at the cutting edge in space technology. I also support our Commander-in-Chief’s decision to establish the Space Force as a new branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, which will unify and focus our efforts in space to ensure unfettered access to and freedom to operate in space, and maintain our military superiority over China, Russia, and other foreign nations.
As the Space Force takes shape, it must focus on innovation and it must be nimble if we are to retain our dominance in space and remain ahead of emerging threats. Kern County demonstrates the storied history of inspiring remarkable individuals towards ground-breaking achievements, seen across the California space industry. It was here, Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier, where engines were developed that rocketed astronauts into space and to the Moon, and where the world’s largest aircraft was built and flown by a private company with a vision to revolutionize access to space. Across generations the innovative men and women at Edwards Air Force Base, the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, and the Mojave Air and Space Port have solved some of our nation’s greatest security challenges and pushed the limits of human travel on earth and in space because they embrace a culture of courage, confidence, and grit. It is pioneers such as these who demonstrate that Americans still possess the qualities and conditions necessary for achieving greatness and who would be invaluable assets for the Space Force.
We are a nation that has never been afraid to confront a challenge head on, and today is no different. As we enter this new chapter in American history, the Space Force under the bold leadership of President Trump will continue to protect our vital U.S. interests in space, maintain our military superiority in space, and ensure the security of the American people and our way of life. I am confident the men and women of Kern County and California will continue to play a larger role in these efforts for our nation as this new chapter in America’s history begins.
Every year Members of Congress have the privilege of nominating local high school seniors to attend one of our U.S. Service Academies. These students strive for greatness and go above and beyond in their desire to serve our country.
“Four years ago, I had the distinct honor of nominating these outstanding students to receive a nomination to attend one of our nation’s most prestigious academic institutions. Now they graduate from their respective schools as members of the Class of 2019, prepared to lead our men and women in uniform across the different branches of our armed services. We are proud of them and are cheering them on as they embark on the next chapter of their lives,” said Congressman McCarthy.
Congressman Kevin McCarthy is proud to announce the graduation of six cadets/midshipmen from the U.S. Service Academies:
United States Merchant Marine Academy
Ensign Kiani G. Espiritu will graduate from the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marine Engineering on June 15, 2019. He is a graduate of Stockdale High School in Bakersfield, CA. After graduation, he will be joining the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association Union as a USCG-licensed Third Assistant Engineer. He will also be fulfilling his military obligation with the Navy Reserve as a Strategic Sealift Officer.
United States Naval Academy
Ensign Joshua L. Bailey graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ocean Engineering on May 24, 2019. He is a graduate of Frontier High School in Bakersfield, CA. After graduation, he will be joining the USS BAINBRIDGE (DDG 96) homeported in Norfolk, VA.
United States Naval Academy
Ensign Nelson J. Chandler graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science Degree in English on May 24, 2019. He is a graduate of Bakersfield Christian High School in Bakersfield, CA. After graduation, he will be attending Naval Pilot Training at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Pensacola, FL.
United States Military Academy
2nd Lieutenant Samuel J. Oliver graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nuclear Engineering on May 25, 2019. He is a graduate of Frontier High School in Bakersfield, CA. After graduation, he will be attending Infantry Basic Officer Leader Course at Fort Benning, GA.
United States Air Force Academy
2nd Lieutenant Gabrielle A. Evey will graduate from the United States Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering on May 30, 2019. She is a graduate of Desert High School in Edwards, CA. After graduation, she will be attending Pilot Training.
United States Air Force Academy
2nd Lieutenant Anna C. Leland will graduate from the United States Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Systems Engineering on May 30, 2019. She is a graduate of Desert Christian High School in Lancaster, CA. After graduation, she will work as an engineer at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX.
Bakersfield, California– Congressman Kevin McCarthy held a meet and greet Saturday with seven local high school students who have accepted appointments to United States Service Academies.
“Today’s event was an excellent opportunity to celebrate and recognize the achievements of these hardworking students who have gone above and beyond, including in their pledge to serve our country,” said Congressman McCarthy. “I am very impressed by their accomplishments, and I look forward to hearing about their future successes. They make our community proud.”
Class of 2023 for the U.S. Service Academies pictured with Congressman McCarthy: Michael Stegeman, U.S. Naval Academy appointee from Frazier Mountain High School/ The Kiski School; Jessica Riggs, U.S. Naval Academy appointee from Tehachapi High School; Enrique Arjona, U.S. Air Force Academy from Lancaster High School; Congressman Kevin McCarthy, Ryan Aguilar, a U.S. Military Academy appointee from Liberty High School; Jonathan Parham, U.S. Military Academy appointee from Frontier High School; Isaac Bowers, U.S. Air Force Academy appointee from Garces Memorial High School and Nathan Jones, U.S. Military Academy appointee from Centennial High School.
Not pictured: Grant Snyder, U.S. Air Force appointee from Porterville High School/United States Air Force Academy Preparatory Academy; and Nathan Roodzant, U.S. Naval Academy appointee from Bakersfield Christian High School.
Yesterday, Congressman Kevin McCarthy met with Zach Skow, Executive Director of Marley’s Mutts – an organization that re-homes death-row dogs living in Kern County shelters. Zach came to Washington, D.C. to talk about the great success of Marely’s Mutts’ Pawsitive Change Prison Program.
Pawsitive Change connects California inmates with shelter dogs to create mutual, meaningful experiences. Through the course of the program, Pawsitive Change has seen inmates and dogs benefit from interactions, which ultimately could help reduce inmate recidivism.
Congressman McCarthy sits down with Cora Rose and Zach from Marley's Mutts.
“Marley’s Mutts and the Pawsitive Change initiative are not only reshaping the lives of California inmates and dogs, they are transforming our community for the better. Pawsitive Change has a 100 percent success rate – no graduates have returned to jail after completing the program and serving their time in prison,” said McCarthy.
Cora Rose takes a stroll around the office. In early 2018, Cora Rose had a broken pelvis and a bone infection in her front legs. Since then, she has recovered and is thriving with the help of Zach, his family, and the team at Marley’s Mutts.
“I have known Zach for several years and I am proud of what he’s accomplished from our own backyard of Tehachapi. I look forward to seeing the continued success of this great organization and am confident that Pawsitive Change is creating experiences that will last a lifetime,” said McCarthy.
“Additionally, I was proud to support the First Step Act which was signed into law last December. This critical criminal justice reform legislation includes pilot programs to expand recidivism reduction strategies - similar to Zach’s Pawsitive Change - in federal prisons," said McCarthy. "I applaud Zach for putting together such an innovative solution to fight recidivism and providing lessons that will last a lifetime.”
Popcorn poses for the camera.
2421 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Kevin McCarthy represents the 23rd District of California, which spans Kern, Tulare, and Los Angeles counties. First elected in 2006, Kevin is a native of Bakersfield and a fourth-generation Kern County resident. He is committed to policies that give small businesses and entrepreneurs the confidence they need to hire, expand, invest and innovate. After the 2010 midterm elections, Kevin was elected by his colleagues to serve as Majority Whip of the United States House of Representatives.
Kevin started his own small business before the age of 21. He built Kevin O’s Deli from the ground up, even enlisting his father’s help in building the deli’s counter in their garage. He worked hard, hired employees and enjoyed success in his community. That’s also where he first encountered government overregulation. The countless frivolous and redundant rules, as well as the taxes small businesses like his were burdened with, spurred Kevin’s interest in public service. When Kevin sold his business, he used the profits to put himself through college and graduate school. He received both his undergraduate degree and his Masters in Business Administration from California State University, Bakersfield.
During college, Kevin accepted an internship with then-Congressman Bill Thomas, and soon became a member of Congressman Thomas’s staff. Kevin won his first election in 2000 as Trustee to the Kern Community College District. In 2002, McCarthy was elected to represent the 32nd Assembly District in the California State Assembly. As a freshman legislator, he was selected unanimously by his Republican colleagues to serve as the Assembly Republican Leader, becoming the first freshman legislator and the first legislator from Kern County to assume the top Republican post in the California State Assembly. Kevin worked with his colleagues in the Assembly and Senate and with the Governor to reduce California’s budget deficit, overhaul the state worker’s compensation system and enhance California’s business climate to create more opportunities for California workers and businesses until he ran for Congress in 2006.
Kevin brings his personal experience as a small business owner and as an effective leader in the statehouse to Washington D.C. In his role as Majority Whip, Kevin leads the effort in Congress to advance common sense policies that will put America back on the path to prosperity. Since gaining control of the House in November 2010, Kevin and his Republican colleagues have blocked the largest tax increase in American history, cut out-of-control government spending by historic levels and passed numerous pieces of legislation that will help create jobs in America. These bills reduce the burden on small businesses, increase our nation’s energy security by promoting domestic energy production, knock down barriers for small business owners to access capital and help increase certainty for the private sector.
Kevin will continue to fight to get Washington’s fiscal house in order while promoting policies that empower the private sector to invest and create jobs.
When Kevin is not in Washington fighting for the constituents of California’s 23rd District and for the future of America, he is home in Bakersfield with his wife Judy and two children Connor and Meghan.
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