On September 17, 1787, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention met together to sign one of the most important documents in human history. This document, the United States Constitution, is the blueprint for our American government, and has served as an inspiration to those fighting for freedom across the globe for 232 years.
I believe that this founding document and its legacy deserve to be celebrated, and that is why this Constitution Day, I encourage anyone interested in learning more about our nation’s history to contact my Bakersfield office for a free pocket Constitution at (661) 327-3611. They will be available while supplies last. Due to a limited supply, only two booklets will be available per family. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Today, I testified before the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs during a bipartisan hearing to highlight the need for the timely completion of a new, state-of-the-art Community-Based Outpatient Clinic in Bakersfield, California.
For 10 years our local heroes have patiently waited for this facility to be built, but their hopes have been derailed by unreasonable dilatory tactics. The thousands of veterans living in our community cannot be asked to wait any longer than they already have. Enough is enough.
Our veterans deserve better.
P.S. I hope you can take 5 minutes to watch the video below. I won’t rest until the Bakersfield clinic is built.
Today, Congressman Kevin McCarthy testified before the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs during a Bipartisan Member Day Hearing. He used this opportunity to highlight the need for the timely completion of a new, state-of-the-art Community-Based Outpatient Clinic in Bakersfield, California. Though Congress authorized the construction of fifteen new facilities ten years ago, including a new VA clinic in Bakersfield, today it is the only location that remains unbuilt. Kern County veterans deserve better.
You can watch his testimony here or below.
"To the distinguished Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to discuss with you today. I have a story about the veterans in my district in California. This is central California; this is Bakersfield – Kern County. I’ve had the privilege to represent them for quite some time.
"But, for far too long, thousands of veterans throughout Kern County have patiently waited for a new Community-Based Outpatient Clinic to be built in Bakersfield, California. Now, the existing clinic is outdated and cramped — and we can’t fulfill the needs of the growing veteran [population] we have in Kern County. So ten years ago, Congress authorized the construction of 15 new Community-Based Outpatient Clinics, including a clinic in Bakersfield, in Public Law 111-82. Now, the Bakersfield clinic is the only location that remains unbuilt. That’s unacceptable.
"I want to tell you the story [of] why it’s not built…
"Now first, veterans in my district had hope that the VA would break ground on the new clinic all the way back in 2015. However, that hope was derailed when the VA’s chosen site was condemned by the High-Speed Rail Authority for being in the path of the costly high-speed rail project that now the new Governor has actually declined to build. This was among the first of several unnecessary delays and setbacks for the clinic.
"Now last October we thought we solved this one more time. I was thrilled to announce that the VA had finally awarded a contract for a brand-new, state-of-the-art 30,000 square foot Bakersfield clinic, located on Knudsen Drive. This clinic would provide veterans with expanded mental health and… [women’s health care] services. Unfortunately, this award has become subject to…dilatory protests. And you know who’s protesting? The current owner of the land where the current clinic is that’s outdated. One after another after another he protests, because if he protests, there’s a dirty little secret – he gets rewarded. He protests – so the veterans do not get a new facility, but you know what he gets in his? They double his lease. They double his lease payment. The VA was paying him $1 million a month, but now that the new center is delayed he gets $2 million a month. And you know who’s protesting? He’s protesting. So because he protests, he doubles his rent. And because he doubles his rent, the veterans are denied a new facility…Our own law rewards somebody stopping our veterans from having their own clinic and actually puts money in their pocket.
"Enough is enough.
"While I understand that the government contracting process must allow for fair competition, I do not understand how this process can be so manipulated and how the Bakersfield clinic remains unbuilt while other VA facilities authorized in 2009 are currently serving veterans.
"As I said, the taxpayers are now getting ripped off. The veterans are now being denied [care] and the person causing it all is being rewarded. That should not work in this system. He’s approximately getting twice as much – $2 million a month – for a lease on a building that does not fulfill the needs of our own veterans.
"Every day of delay is another day the taxpayer must pay the higher rent. And if he is successful, they’ll go back to the drawing board, and not even use the location that they have already selected that works…
"Lastly, the difficulty in building a new clinic in Bakersfield suggests that the federal government’s process for awarding contracts is liable to inefficiency and abuse.
"I hope my testimony today has shined a light on one part of this larger problem and will inspire future action. I look forward to working with your committee and all Committee Members to ensure that the Bakersfield clinic comes to fruition and that other veteran populations are not impacted by this broader systemic problem.
"If they’re successful with what they’re doing today, I will not be the only district that this happens to. Everyone who has an outdated facility will stop the improvement because they’ll be rewarded in their own process, but who will be denied are actually the veterans. I think we’re better than that, I actually think it says a lot about our nation about how we treat our veterans.
"That’s why I would like to submit a letter from SASD Development Group for the record, and I thank you for the opportunity to testify today.”
Today, Congressman Kevin McCarthy held a community resource forum to discuss ways to reduce homelessness in our community and across the state of California. Representatives from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the California Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council, and the California Department of Housing and Community Development, as well as Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, and other local leaders were all in attendance.
“The only way to solve this problem is to bring everyone together. The number one thing that we found in how to deal with this is that you have to have facilities for treatment. The goal today was to bring in experts and other elements of government, from the federal end to the state end, and have everyone who is involved have a conversation. Then we set some short-term and long-term goals for Bakersfield and Kern County.
“The first goal that we set involves the city and county working together to create additional shelter beds. If you do not have enough beds, you cannot provide the care or the treatment for the individuals who are on the street, and the street is the worst place for those individuals to be. It is not a good place to live and it is not good for the community. So today we discussed ways we can give them the treatment that they need and get them into centers. And a long-term goal for the city – and I give Mayor Goh a lot of credit for the leadership she has shown on this – she and Carlos Baldovinos from the Mission have been down to San Diego to meet with Mayor Faulconer and look at his city and how he has been handling this issue. And with Measure N funding going forward, this resource can help to actually develop a long-term facility.”
Last Friday, Congressman Kevin McCarthy hosted a roundtable discussion with local farmers and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary Stephen Censky. The event served as an opportunity for farmers to discuss current issues with Deputy Secretary Censky while also sharing ideas for solutions to the most pressing matters affecting their industry.
“Whether growing tree nuts, citrus, other specialty crops, or producing dairy, our Kern County, Tulare County, and Central Valley farmers go above and beyond to deliver the best products for Americans and people across the globe,” said McCarthy. “A continuous open line of communication with the agricultural community is invaluable, and I appreciate Deputy Secretary Censky traveling to Kern County – the top agriculture producing county in the state and country – to learn more about our farmers’ priorities directly from them. I look forward to working with Mr. Censky and my colleagues in Congress on the ideas, suggestions, and proposed solutions raised by our communities’ agricultural producers.”
Over 20 members of the agriculture community attended Friday's roundtable.
Last Friday, Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s bill to name Success Dam after Richard L. Schafer, longtime Tule River Water Master, was signed into law by President Trump.
Congressman McCarthy released the following statement:
“I cannot think of a more fitting way to recognize Mr. Schafer, a leader who has dedicated decades of service to our community, than by naming Success Dam in his honor. It is no easy job to ensure the residents of Porterville, Tulare County, and the Central Valley are able to get the water they need, and he continues to go above and beyond for our community. I want to thank President Trump for signing this bill into law, which will ensure that Mr. Schafer gets the recognition he has both earned and deserves.”
Yesterday, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved the State of California and Governor’s Office of Emergency Services’ (Cal OES) request for an SBA disaster declaration for Kern and San Bernardino Counties following the July earthquakes in Ridgecrest, California. This announcement comes only days after Congressman Kevin McCarthy sent a letter to the SBA in support of the request.
McCarthy released the following statement:
“The resilient communities in Ridgecrest, Kern County, and San Bernardino County continue to work toward rebuilding their homes following last month’s destructive earthquakes. Yesterday’s announcement is reassuring news and could not have come at a more crucial time. The disaster declaration will make critical SBA assistance programs available to earthquake victims, helping homeowners and local businesses return to a semblance of normalcy. I thank the Trump Administration and SBA Acting Administrator Chris Pilkerton for their swift approval of this request.”
Yesterday, Congressman Kevin McCarthy sent a letter to U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Acting Administrator Chris Pilkerton in support of the State of California and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services’ (Cal OES) request for the SBA to declare Kern County and San Bernardino County a disaster area following the July earthquakes in Ridgecrest, California. Congressman Kevin McCarthy issued the following statement:
“I strongly support this request from Governor Newsom and Director Ghilarducci for SBA to declare both Kern and San Bernardino Counties a disaster area following the July earthquakes,” said Congressman McCarthy. “This designation will make homeowners and businesses eligible for assistance to help repair physical damage to homes or businesses, as well as allow entrepreneurs to apply for assistance to help mitigate impacts from lost business in the region. I call on SBA Acting Administrator Chris Pilkerton to expeditiously approve the State of California’s request.”
Today, Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s bill to rename the Success Dam after Richard L. Schafer, longtime Tule River Water Master and community leader, passed the Senate by unanimous consent.
Congressman McCarthy released the following statement:
“With the Senate’s passage today, this bill will now go to the White House to be signed by President Trump. Mr. Schafer has fought for decades to ensure that our communities get the water they both need and deserve. His commitment to protecting Porterville, Tulare County, and the Central Valley is unparalleled, and his passion, determination, and persistence serve as an inspiration to us all. I thank my colleagues in the Senate for passing this bill today.”
Today, Congressman Kevin McCarthy led a bicameral letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar and Acting Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Dr. Norman Sharpless requesting the inclusion of Coccidioidomycosis, commonly referred to as Valley Fever, in the FDA’s Tropical Disease Priority Review Voucher (PRV) Program. U.S. Senators Martha McSally and John Cornyn, and Representatives David Schweikert (AZ-06), Ken Calvert (CA-42), Paul Cook (CA-08), Duncan Hunter (CA-52), Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Tom McClintock (CA-04), Devin Nunes (CA-21), and Rob Bishop (UT-01) joined McCarthy on this letter.
"Drug development is a complicated, time-consuming, and capital-intensive process. This undertaking only becomes that much more difficult when a disease afflicts a smaller population of individuals,” the Representatives and Senators wrote. “Given the extremely low prevalence in developed nations and resulting lack of a feasible market, combined with the disease disproportionately impacting poor and marginalized populations—including pregnant women, children, and minorities—we believe Valley Fever merits inclusion on this list based on criteria set forth in statute and regulation so that vouchers can help expedite the development of treatments and preventions of this terrible infectious disease, both here at home and in developing countries in Central and South America.”
You can find a copy of the letter here.
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.
Retweeted by @GOPLeader
We came the closest ever to this country having a coup, and now we need accountability. Andrew McCabe should be ind… https://t.co/O2qMUeXaIt
Retweeted by @GOPLeader
Retweeted by @GOPLeader
In order for American producers to remain competitive on the world stage, we need better trade deals. Read my piece… https://t.co/QlPCJY4hlj
Retweeted by @GOPLeader
Here's what we know about Iran: → They shot down a US drone. → They fund terrorism around the world. → They want to… https://t.co/xJ01Gmimki