Washington, D.C. – House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following statement on the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court:
“The confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch is nothing short of a victory for our Constitution and the rule of law. Too many public institutions have lost the faith of the American people by abusing their authority and acting outside of their constitutional limits. Justice Gorsuch will help restore trust in the Supreme Court by remaining true to its purpose—adjudicating cases according to the text of the law and the Constitution above all other considerations. Republicans, Democrats, and everybody in between should celebrate that a man of such principle and clarity has taken the seat of the late, great Justice Scalia.”
Washington, DC – Congressman Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) introduced legislation today promoting a program within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to cover costs for non-traditional technology education programs. H.R. 1989, The Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses (VET TEC) Act, empowers America’s veterans to leverage new education models such as Massive Open Online Courses and coding boot camps to attain the technological skills needed in the 21st century workforce. McCarthy released the following statement on the introduction of the bill:
“This legislation will prepare our veterans to thrive in a changing economy. America’s veterans are the best our country has to offer, and their service experience and work ethic are unparalleled. With these fundamental qualities, veterans can be our greatest asset in the modern economy if only we empower them to learn the skills of the 21st century workforce. While the post-9/11 GI Bill provides funding for veterans to pursue traditional education programs, rapid technological advancements have created jobs that our veterans interested in careers in the technology economy can and should fill. The benefits designed to help veterans transition to civilian life must be updated to expand educational opportunities and fit the changing times. Our veterans have the character and drive to do any job. We must support them to learn skills for the jobs of the future.”
The VET TEC Act would:
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following statement after the United States conducted air strikes against the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria:
“I commend our troops for their professionalism in carrying out these strikes. Assad has made his disregard for innocent human life and longstanding norms against chemical weapons use crystal clear. Tonight’s strikes show these evil actions carry consequences.”
WASHINGTON – House Republican Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy says veterans need more educational opportunities that meet the demands of the fast-paced technology industry.
The California lawmaker is introducing legislation Thursday giving the Department of Veterans Affairs $75 million to start a pilot program to provide accelerated computer courses in everything from robotics and basic programming to artificial intelligence and virtual reality.
McCarthy, who is second-in-command to the House speaker, said the GI bill doesn’t cover many such courses and the VA approval process for changing curriculums or course offerings creates bureaucratic delays that are not conducive to the quickly changing technology fields.
Under his proposal, veterans, instead of going to a traditional college — or in addition to a traditional degree — could get a shorter-term nano degree or micro credential.
“And they could be in the work force right away and be a major asset,” McCarthy told USA TODAY. “So I want to provide greater flexibility there.”
Some 450,000 veterans in the United States are unemployed and 40% of them are between 18 and 44 years old, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The tech industry, meanwhile, is expected to add a half million jobs by 2024.
McCarthy’s legislation would not expand the GI bill, which provides veterans with money for school. Instead, it would expand a separate program started in 2015 under the Obama administration. That program provided free technology courses known as accelerated learning programs to veterans.
Under McCarthy’s bill, the VA would contract with companies to provide the training and pay them in installments: 25% when a veteran starts a course, 25% when the veteran finishes, and the rest when the veteran then lands a job. In addition, participating veterans would receive a housing allowance while they are in training.
McCarthy told USA TODAY that he first learned about such programs when his son, a graduate of Georgetown University, was taking a course with a company called Udacity, which provides “Nanodegrees” in web and software development, robotics, and artificial intelligence, among other fields.
McCarthy went to meet last year with the company’s founder, Sebastian Thrun, a computer science professor at Stanford University who led the development at Google of self-driving cars. Thrun founded Udacity in 2012 after offering a free online class on artificial intelligence and 160,000 students in more than 190 countries signed up.
McCarthy said he was struck by the employment opportunities that such non-traditional courses could provide to veterans.
“Think about when you’re in the military, the type of weaponry and other stuff that you use. Technology, right? They can’t go to Udacity; the GI bill doesn’t work,” he said. “And it’s not about the accreditation, it’s because if you want to get (VA) approval, you’ve got to freeze your curriculum. Well, the companies that you go to work for after Udacity, the Googles and the others, they’re changing and adapting all the time.”
He said companies like to hire graduates from the programs because they’re up-to-speed on cutting-edge technology.
McCarthy said the cost of the program is not offset in his legislation with any so-called “pay-fors” — or cuts or revenue-raisers in other areas of the federal budget.
“To me the pay-for is people are going to start getting jobs and be in the workforce,” he said.
A total of 211 new jobs at China Lake will be filled, according to Congressman Kevin McCarthy on Friday. McCarthy stopped short of saying that President Donald Trump has been persuaded to exempt Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake from his federal hiring freeze. McCarthy did say, however, that the individual jobs had been approved to be filled.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman William McClellan “Mac” Thornberry added that while there may or may not be another round of BRAC closures, he does not think China Lake has much to worry about.
McCarthy was in town to take Thornberry on a tour of the base on Friday. Afterward, the two spoke at a luncheon hosted by the China Lake Alliance at the Springhill Suites.
Talk centered largely on the future of China Lake. McCarthy kicked things off by answering the obvious question about Trump’s federal hiring freeze. “I had a quick conversation with him [Trump] on that as well. He said go ahead and work through it.” McCarthy said seven positions were initially approved, then 204 more.
“All the vacancies are gone,” he said.
In an interview later at the Daily Independent office, McCarthy said that he had spoken with Rear Adm. (retired) Kevin Sweeney, chief of staff for Defense Sec. James Mattis on the subject.
“When I talked to him, I had just gotten a letter back and said that I this really didn’t solve my problems,” McCarthy said. When asked whether he should bring it up with the president at a meeting later that day, McCarthy said Mattis took a look at it.
“Within the week we had moved through a backlog of 204 and they had cleared [those],” McCarthy said. “I feel that we had worked out the difficulty, because there is no backlog now.”
He said that, as Thornberry touched on during the China Lake Alliance luncheon, it supposedly wasn’t the president’s intent for a hiring freeze to affect military installations like China Lake.
“When you think of military, you’ve need the essentials and you got to get those,” McCarthy said.
Thornberry, meanwhile, was cautiously reassuring about the prospect of another round of base realignment and closures. He said that while another BRAC may take place, it is highly unlikely China Lake has much to worry about.
“No one should take anything for granted but I don’t think you all have anything to worry about,” he said. “Your ranges and so forth are a unique invaluable asset here which we could not possibly throw away. They could never be replicated. I see zero prospect that anything adverse would happen to the facilities, the land or to the mission.”
Thornberry stated emphatically that he does not want to see another BRAC similar to the one in 2005, which he said actually cost the country money.
“As long as I am around and have a say-so, I will not have another 2005 BRAC. That was a disaster. And as of last year, it still had not gotten to even [financially] yet. In other words it’s costing the country more money 11 years later than it saved. We can’t afford a repeat of that.”
Thornberry said that an alternative to actually closing facilities would be to downsize outdated infrastructure on the installations. He said the Obama administration failed to comply with his request for data on excessive infrastructure.
“I am not inclined to support another BRAC until I see hard empirical evidence that there is too much infrastructure,” he said.
He added that even if there is excessive infrastructure, “maybe we need to devote some funding to tearing down and consolidating buildings within facilities and installations. In other words, shrink the footprint of the installation, but not necessarily close it. Because if you close it you are never going to get it back.
“I don’t know that there won’t be another BRAC. Maybe there’s some other ways to reduce infrastructure on installations without the whole BRAC process.”
Fresh from his tour, Thornberry spoke in glowing terms about China Lake, praising the installation, the workforce and the surrounding community. Both McCarthy and Thornberry emphasized several times that the international situation makes the unique research and development capabilities of China Lake more valuable to the US than ever.
“A lot of what we do in the armed services committee is have classified briefings about what the bad guys are doing. I think I saw much of the answer this morning to what the bad guys are doing . . . it’s our young, incredibly, smart committed people who, if we can give them the resources and get the bureaucracy off their neck, can find answers to just about any problem,” Thornberry said.
“Our new president said the military has to be fixed, it has to be funded,” McCarthy said.
According to Thornberry, the military budget was cut more than 20 percent since 2010-2011.
“The world is not 20 percent safer than it was then. We are not asking less of the men and women who serve,” he said.
He said the cuts have damaged the military.
“I hate to say this, particularly in the shadow of China Lake, but the Navy has testified before us that more than half the planes the Navy has cannot fly today because they are waiting on maintenance or spare parts or other things,” Thornberry said. “I can give you statistics that are equally bad for every one of the services.”
He added that a fully ready and supported mission is critical.
“My bottom line is it is fundamentally wrong at every level to ask somebody to go out and perform a mission for which they are not fully prepared and fully supported with the best equipment this nation can provide,” Thornberry said. “We’ve got a lot of repair work to do to make up for the damage that has been done through several years of sequestration and so forth.”
Thornberry also said that defense is 14.7 percent of the federal budget, as opposed to 50 percent when John F. Kennedy was president.
“Under sequestration it had to absorb 50 percent of the cuts,” he said. “The military got hurt worse than anything else and meanwhile the world did not get any safer.”
He said timeliness is key in research and development. “The world is moving too fast, technology is moving too fast, our enemies are moving too fast for us to move at the speed of 1950s bureaucracies. So acquisition reform has been a key part of what we are working on and what we have so much more to do.
“If we take another 20 years to build the next airplane, it’s going to be out of date by the time it gets there. Take these brilliant young people and let them do things at the full speed at which they can perform and not have bureaucracy holding them back.”
Another question was about the possibility of a per diem increase, putting the amount assigned to Ridgecrest more on par with the larger Los Angeles area.
“I am still very hopeful that we are going to make that happen,” McCarthy said.
Ridgecrest falls under Kern County/Bakersfield area. Travel per diems allocate an average of $96 per night for lodging, versus the Los Angeles area, which is afforded an average of $150 per night for lodging (this area includes Los Angeles/Orange/Ventura, and Edwards Air Force Base, and excludes Santa Monica).
At the DI office, McCarthy noted a few things have already been done., but per diem remains an ongoing matter.
Locality pay for those who work at China Lake, which takes into account cost of living in the places where people work, was shifted to the Los Angeles area rate.
“Per diem is important, but the way we’re tied in — and we’ve been working on this — one thing we think we need to going forward is to get some more information,” McCarthy said. “We think there is a way we can get it done and we are working with the mayor on getting more information to get it through.”
He added that commissions are the ones who determine per diems.
“We’ve got to show them how we are closer tied, because [people] come up here for a meeting, but they go stay in LA because of the difference and the locality of where and how close we are,” McCarthy said. “I always think the aerospace corridor should be one [area], because of how close everything is. I think once we make the case all the way through, we’ll get that. That’s one we’ve been working on.”
In the end, he called it a matter of fairness. “The reality is we are in the aerospace corridor, you’re not going to drive over to Bakersfield, but that’s the area you’re being tied into.”Read More
Washington D.C. – Congressman Kevin McCarthy released the following statement on President Trump signing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Transition Authorization Act of 2017:
“Today with President Trump’s signature, American space exploration is poised for continued breakthroughs. As a nation, we have always looked to the stars for the inspiration that has fueled our pioneering spirit, leading to technological advances. Our past success only encourages our future endeavors and this legislation provides the resources and stability necessary to bolster core missions and expand commercial space support. Our community is at the forefront of space exploration and aeronautics innovation from the Mojave Air and Space Port to NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center. Together, with the support from the President of the United States, we will enter the next frontier of space exploration with the readiness and vigor to inspire the world.”
Washington, D.C. – House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following statement on House passage of S. 442, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Transition Authorization Act of 2017:
"The exploration of space has long united this country––we are born adventurers with a spirit of freedom and curiosity unmatched in human history. Every time I look up into space, I think not only of our vast achievements, but also of the great potential and necessity to lead the world in the next era of innovation and adventure. That is why I’m proud to support this bill that will become law to provide NASA with the stability necessary to bolster core missions and expand its commercial space support. This bipartisan effort will ensure the innovative minds working in Kern County and across the country have the resources necessary to carry us to the next frontier of space exploration."
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Kevin McCarthy released the following statement on the President’s recent action to begin rescinding the EPA’s Water of the United States rule:
“Today President Trump took action to begin rolling back one of the worst regulations targeting private property rights -- an executive order implemented by the Obama administration that greatly expanded the EPA’s jurisdiction to regulate waterways – including on private property. This rule was an example of how unreasonable and illogical the Washington bureaucracy can get, especially when applied to the water needs of the west. More broadly, this rule would have greatly impacted our communities and farmers ability to use their land. In the House, I have voted to repeal this rule numerous times and today’s action from the president represents the joint commitment to return rationality back to government and restore freedom and opportunity to all Americans.”
WASHINGTON, DC -- Congressman Kevin McCarthy released the following statement on Lake Isabella:
“Lake Isabella is fundamental to our community's wellbeing. It is a mainstay to the vibrant tourism industry that makes the Kern River Valley a destination for thousands every year and supplies our community with precious water for farming and other purposes. This weekend’s emergency at Oroville Dam has caused some concern within our community about the status of Lake Isabella given the safety work underway at Main and Auxiliary Dams. I have spoken with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District Commander Colonel David Ray about Lake Isabella and he has assured me that Lake Isabella is safe. Furthermore, he told me the Corps is working to ensure the water levels in the reservoir do not go above 360,000 acre feet, the current capacity limit to maintain safety. Any release of water into the Kern River is also being done in coordination with downstream users and water rights holders, including Bakersfield.
“Over the years, I have worked to hold the Corps accountable to the timeline needed to expeditiously complete the safety work needed at Main and Auxiliary Dams at Lake Isabella, something I reiterated again with Colonel Ray. This weekend’s events at Oroville Dam only further demonstrate the need to get the repairs at Isabella done quickly and why I have secured over $85 million to date for this project.
“While our parched state has been blessed with much-needed rain and snow this year, I will remain vigilant and continue to work with our community partners and the Corps to ensure our dams remain safe.”
WASHINGTON, DC -- Congressman Kevin McCarthy released the following statement on Lake Success:
“Lake Success is important to our community's wellbeing, providing recreational opportunities for tourists while also ensuring important water supplies to Porterville and the surrounding area, which has suffered during the recent drought. This weekend’s emergency at Oroville Dam has caused some concern within our community about the status of Lake Success. I have spoken with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District Commander Colonel David Ray about Lake Success - he has assured me that Lake Success is safe and the reservoir remains well below the spillway.
“With all of the recent rain, this is another example of why raising the Success Dam spillway is so important – a project I have been fighting for. Raising the spillway increases the capacity at Lake Success in a safe manner and would enable us to capture more water, like from the current storms, to hold for future use. I again expressed my support for this spillway project to Colonel Ray and he agreed.
“While our parched state has been blessed with much-needed rain and snow this year, I will remain vigilant and continue to work with our community partners and the Corps to keep our communities safe and raise the Success Dam spillway.”
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.