Washington, D.C. – Congressman Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) spoke on the House floor today on S. 1094, the VA Accountability Act.
Full remarks are below or watch online here.
“Mr. Speaker, first and foremost I want to thank Chairman Roe and the House Committee on Veterans Affairs for their work on this legislation and their focus on reforming the VA. I know they and the secretary are all committed to making sure our veterans get the best and only the best and no excuses.
“Now, the Department of Veterans Affairs has an honorable task to care for and heal our veterans. We made a promise in this country that if you serve, your fellow citizens will take care of you. And it is through the employees of the VA that we as a nation fulfill that promise. It is for this reason that we cannot accept the failures and backlogs in our veterans’ programs.
“Now, we all know that there are thousands of great employees at the VA who consider their duty to care for veterans as much bigger than just a job. But the few bad apples are spoiling the whole barrel.
“We know how this works. You can have an office or a team committed to doing the best job possible. But when one member isn’t pulling his or her weight, when somebody is breaking the rules and getting away with it, when bad people get transferred or even promoted instead of fired, that totally destroys a whole organization.
“It undermines morale, and it makes the team ineffective, and it allows for failures to continue or get worse. And failures at the VA have life or death consequences.
“This has happened for years. Years where a person who was jailed got leave to serve time and then returned to the VA. Years where an employee showed up drunk to work and participated in a surgery. Years where a psychiatrist watched deeply inappropriate videos with a veteran in the room.
“After years of all this and none of them getting fired, the good employees become dispirited. The culture at the VA will decline. And too many of our veterans receive low-quality care, if they can get care at all.
“Mr. Speaker, the VA is steeped in a culture of ambivalence coupled with a lack of accountability, and our veterans suffer as a result.
“Fixing the culture at the VA requires us to acknowledge the great work of the many without leaving them tainted with the incompetence and scandal of the few. It requires removing the bad apples.
“So, I am glad we are finally sending this bill to the President’s desk. You see, the House passed a similar bill in 2015, but the Senate did not act. We passed another in the new Congress earlier this year. And now that our Senate counterparts have voted, we will take our final step today to send this legislation to the President’s desk.
“Once President Trump signs this into law, I predict we will begin to see the cultural change at the VA, and our veterans will get the care we promised them and they deserve.
“I yield back.”
Congressman Kevin McCarthy held a meet-and-greet with local high school students who have accepted appointments to United States military academies.
The announcement of appointees from across the 23rd Congressional District was made May 24. McCarthy met with students at his Bakersfield office on Saturday.
"America's future is bright with these young, rising leaders," McCarthy said. "I am proud of their achievements and am excited to see their future accomplishments in our nation's service academies."
The nominees are:
Spencer Glazer, 18, Independence High School (principal nominee for U.S. Military Academy, West Point)
Cameron Reeves, 18, Bakersfield College; graduate of Bakersfield Christian High School (principal nominee for Naval Academy)
Kaitlyn Ehrlich, 18, Tehachapi High School (alternate for Air Force Academy)
Connor McCormick, 19, Air Force Academy Preparatory School; graduate of Lancaster High School (alternate for Air Force Academy)
Roman Philson, 17, Air Academy High School; eligible because father’s home of record is California City (alternate for Air Force Academy)
Dustin Wagner, 19, New Mexico Military Institute; graduate of Kern Valley High School (alternate for Air Force Academy)
Dylan Simonsen, 18, Garces Memorial High School (alternate for West Point)
Sammie Adams, 19, Naval Academy Preparatory School; graduate of Kern Valley High School (alternate for Naval Academy)
Vanessa Perez, 18, Naval Academy Preparatory School; graduate of Antelope Valley High School (alternate for Naval Academy)Read More
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) joined Speaker Ryan at his weekly press briefing today to highlight record Congressional productivity to date.
Watch Leader McCarthy’s full remarks online here.
To date, the Republican-led House has passed 158 bills, making it the most productive in the modern-era.
To date, President Trump has signed 37 bills into law, placing him ahead of the last four administrations.
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following statement on Secretary Shulkin’s announcement that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) would be upgrading its electronic health records system:
“Secretary Shulkin is leading a long overdue transformation of the Department of Veterans Affairs. After speaking with the Secretary on several occasions about our shared vision for a VA that uses state of the art technology to better serve our veterans this action represents a significant step in the right direction. Technology has advanced the private health care system and has led to more complete care for millions of Americans. Unfortunately, the VA has not kept up and the broken links in veteran’s health records have led to unacceptable wait times and incomplete care. For the men and women who have given everything in service to their country, it is time we provide them top-of-the-line care and accessibility. For years, the VA has tried to solve this problem in-house but despite the effort, the product simply hasn’t produced. This decision underscores that the Trump administration is prepared to take a hard look and objectively evaluate the efficacy of government programs. This basic cost-benefit analysis with equal scrutiny on customer service is long overdue in government. I applaud this decision and look forward to working with the Secretary to advance legislation that will further pull the VA into the 21st Century.”
Townhall | June 1, 2017
Over the course of 2016, the call rang out again and again: “Drain the swamp!” This phrase—second only to “Make America Great Again”—defined last year’s election. Ultimately, the people had this overwhelming sense that Washington wasn’t listening, that the country was on the wrong track, and that faraway elites didn’t care to help them or even hear their opinions.
So while we have big issues to tackle—health care and tax reform top the list—President Trump and Republicans in Congress recognize that if we don’t disrupt the way Washington works, we’ll end up facing the same problems.
So how does Washington work? The truth is, some parts of Washington have gathered up power for decades while simultaneously shedding accountability. States, which have always been more accountable to the people, were reduced to implementers of federal policy. On the other hand, bureaucracies have grown exponentially and began effectively legislating without ever having to respond to growing popular concerns.
It’s no wonder the people felt disenfranchised. Those closest to them were stripped of power and those further away gathered that power up. Republicans in Congress, sent to Washington by the people before Mr. Trump became president, faced this same problem for some time. Although we may not have put it in President Trump’s words, draining the swamp is exactly what we have long called for, and we have already begun working with the president to make Washington serve the people again.
So how do we do that? How do we enact President Trump’s call to drain the swamp? In short: restrain the bureaucracy and empower the states.
The first week of the new year, the House began a regulatory reform push that continues today to scale back the administrative bureaucracy. Regulations from an out-of-touch Washington bureaucracy weigh down businesses and destroy jobs—but this is more than just an economic issue. Career bureaucrats who never stand for reelection have broad authority with almost no accountability. These bureaucracies grow and keep their power regardless of corruption, incompetence, waste, or the backroom deals they make with special interests. There have even been reports that career civil servants who are supposed to be employees of the executive branch are actively trying to undermine President Trump’s agenda.
The bureaucracy is at the core of the swamp, and little else can be done without reform.
To begin this process of reform and restore power to the people, the House passed the REINS Act, requiring congressional approval of regulations that cost $100 million or more, and the Regulatory Accountability Act, which ends a court precedence that stacks the legal system in favor of the bureaucracy and against the people. Together, these bills put a check on what regulators can do and what they can get away with in court.
While these pieces of legislation work their way through Congress, the House and Senate used the Congressional Review Act to overturn Obama administration rules that would have endangered tens of thousands of American jobs, undermined local control over land and education, and threatened our core constitutional rights, from the Second Amendment to due process protections. Though before this year only one Congressional Review Act resolution was ever successfully signed, last week Republicans accomplished something unprecedented when President Trump signed the final one of these 14 resolutions.
But restraining the bureaucracy is only one path to empower the people. People have more power when states have more power because states are, by their nature, closer and more responsive to the people. Besides keeping our promise to repeal and replace Obamacare, the American Health Care Act is the largest devolution of power to the states in decades.
Medicaid reform in the legislation allows states to decide how best to help the poor and disabled, unhindered by the heavy handed federal government. And if some states want to keep Obamacare’s broken system, that’s their choice. When our bill is signed into law, states will be able to choose whether to keep Obamacare’s rules and regulations, or do something better.
This is an approach President Trump wholeheartedly endorsed, and frankly, the president demonstrated an unprecedented degree of involvement in getting this bill across the finish line.
Whatever disagreements Republicans might have—and there are always disagreements over details—we are unified by a simple truth. Washington is too powerful, it has worked against the interests of the people, and the people demand a change. President Trump wants to drain the swamp. Republicans have already gotten to work.Read More
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following statement on President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate deal:
“The American energy renaissance has been good for our country and the world. It created American jobs, freed the United States and our allies from OPEC price controls, and helped to reduce emissions at the same time. The previous Administration refused to recognize that private innovation and clean American natural gas have achieved more than government mandates and misguided international agreements—and that naiveté led President Obama to sign a climate deal that will impose great costs with little gain. President Trump made the right call in leaving a deal that would have put an unnecessary burden on the United States.
“America is once again a world energy leader. We have shown other nations that a growing economy and cleaner energy are not only possible, but best achieved though the power of free enterprise.”
Washington, D.C. –– Congressman Kevin McCarthy is proud to announce the graduation of seven cadets/midshipmen from the U.S. Service Academies.
“Our community is proud of these young men as they complete their military education. Our service academies offer education in academics and leadership and these graduates enter their time of service prepared to represent our community and nation with honor. Their call to serve is admirable and I look forward to seeing the benefits of their leadership in our military for years to come.”
United States Merchant Marine Academy
Ensign Bryan Bumgarner, will graduate from the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Maritime Logistics and Security on June 17, 2017. He is a graduate of Highland High School in Bakersfield, CA. After graduation, he will seek employment in the U.S. Flag Merchant Marine as a licensed third mate.
Ensign Cameron Green, will graduate from the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marine Engineering Systems on June 17, 2017. He is a graduate of Quartz Hill High School in Lancaster, CA. After graduation, he will be working as an Engineer at Naval Sea Systems Command, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, ME.
United States Naval Academy
Ensign Aidan A. Farrell, graduated from the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Oceanography on May 26, 2017. He is a graduate of Paso Robles High School in Paso Robles, CA.
After graduation, he will be attending Naval Pilot training at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Pensacola, FL.
United States Military Academy
2nd Lieutenant Clark Cali, graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management on May 27, 2017. He is a graduate of Mission College Preparatory High School in San Luis Obispo, CA.
After graduation, he will be attending Armor School at Fort Benning, GA.
United States Air Force Academy
2nd Lieutenant Jibraun Asaad, graduated from the United States Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, CO with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics on May 24, 2017. He is a graduate of Quartz Hill High School in Lancaster, CA.
After graduation, he will be attending Pilot training at Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, TX.
2nd Lieutenant Andrew H. Daughtery, graduated from the United States Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, CO with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Behavioral Science on May 24, 2017. He is a graduate of Centennial High School in Bakersfield, CA. After graduation, he will be attending Remotely Piloted Aircraft Training at Randolph Air Force Base in Universal City, TX.
2nd Lieutenant Daniel Villarreal, graduated from the United States Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, CO with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Engineering on May 24, 2017. He is a graduate of Sherman E. Burroughs High School in Ridgecrest, CA.
After graduation, he will be attending Undergraduate Cyberspace Training at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, MS.
Human trafficking is one of the largest and fastest growing crimes in the world. In Washington, lawmakers are addressing the issue head on, voting on 13 pieces of legislation this week aimed at bringing an end to modern day slavery.
It's estimated that more than 20 million people worldwide are victims of human trafficking, with cases reported in every state in the U.S.
"So many times you find it around the world, but it's right here in America. They had more than 7,000 cases just last year reported," House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said.
This week, Congress zeroed in on the issue, passing a number of bills aimed at protecting victims and increasing punishments for convicted offenders.
A top priority is dealing with legal loopholes that predators take advantage of to avoid being convicted.
Republican Rep. Martha Roby's Global Child Protection Act would close those loopholes.
"Under the current definitions, it does deal with people who travel abroad to have sex with children, but the definitions don't include people who travel abroad to force children to do sexual acts on them," the Alabama lawmaker told CBN News.
"It's these types of unintended loopholes in the criminal code where Congress can change the law," she said.
And Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., is also offering a measure that would prevent criminals from getting away on a technicality.
Johnson's bill deals with a 2015 case where a man who recorded a sexual assault on a child was able to escape a federal conviction.
"There's a provision where the courts have said if a predator has sexual activity with a minor and they record any of those images on their phone, their smart phone, other devices, and they didn't intend to record them, then somehow they'd be able to evade prosecution," he told CBN News.
"We think that's outrageous," he charged. "It's a violation of Congress's obvious intent to protect the most defenseless among us."
Meanwhile, Congress has another major item on its plate with the release of President Donald Trump's budget plan of over $4 trillion.
The White House budget reduces Washington's spending plans for future years.
"The budget's a framework, and what's so refreshing here is how honest he is in the process, that he balances a budget in 10 years. We have not had that in the last administration," McCarthy said.
But Democrats quickly attacked the proposal, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., calling it a "nightmare" that hurts the middle class and relies on "fantasy numbers."
And while not all Republicans gave it a ringing endorsement, many are encouraged to see the Trump administration taking steps to try to limit spending, eventually balance the budget and help get the economy growing strongly.
"When I look at what else he's doing in the budget, he's looking at welfare reform, actually putting people back to work, giving them a sense of accomplishment at the same time," McCarthy said.
"Those are tough things to do," he noted. "And sometimes you get politically attacked for it, but in the end you create and help individuals to buy homes, send their kids to college."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., says the president's budget is just a recommendation, and now it's up to Congress to figure out what to do with it.
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) spoke on the House floor today on the House’s anti-human trafficking and exploitation legislation.
Full remarks are below, or watch online here.
“Mr. Speaker, they didn’t list her name in the report, and that makes sense. It all happened before she even reached the age of 16. So to protect her identity, they call her Tonya. She ran away from home and ended up living with a man they called Eddie. Eddie was the stepdad of one of her classmates. Tonya and Eddie started a relationship. Tonya felt that she really loved him. Eddie took advantage of that, and he pressured her into a life no child should have to live.
“Tonya was saved in large part by luck. A tip to the police led to action by a federal special agent. And now Eddie is behind bars finishing the second year of his twelve-year prison sentence. Meanwhile, Tonya is just trying to return to a normal life.
“Mr. Speaker, I wish I could say this story wasn’t true, that these fictitious names didn’t reflect hard reality. I wish I could say it was isolated. I wish I could say that this type of thing doesn’t happen here in America. But it does. It repeats itself with different details, many even more disturbing than Tonya’s story, in towns and cities across our nation. And it’s not just sex trafficking. It’s forced labor. It’s exploitation. It’s slavery. And every single instance cries out against the moral truth written on every human heart.
“Now, the numbers are staggering. 20.9 million people are trafficked globally. Of that number, over a quarter are children. The majority are pressed to work for little to no wages. 4.5 million of these people are victims of forced sexual exploitation.
“Here in America, there were 7,572 cases of human trafficking reported in 2016. That’s an increase of 35 percent just of the year before. My home state of California is particularly dire. Of all the cases in the nation, 1,323 come from California.
“Though we need no explanation for why we’re passing anti-trafficking and exploitation legislation today, I think it helps that we understand the magnitude of this evil.
“We have, in this body, voted on eleven bills so far. Today, we will vote on two more by Susan Brooks and Mike Johnson. Altogether, these bills address many aspects of this problem: international trafficking, recording and transmission of child pornography, abuse uncovered on the U.S. Olympics Teams, the handling of trauma cases in our justice system.
“Now, I don’t believe that these bills alone will end human trafficking or exploitation in and of themselves. But they will help. They’ll help prevent these crimes. They’ll help the victims recover. And they’ll bring us closer to a world where every person, especially those who need us most, won’t be abused, but will be truly loved.”
Congressman Kevin McCarthy released a statement on the Army Corps of Engineers Fiscal Year 2017 Work Plan, which includes $200,000 for the Success Reservoir Enlargement Project (SREP). Last year, Congressman McCarthy welcomed senior officials from the Corps on a visit to Success Dam with community leaders where a shared commitment on the enlargement project was agreed to. As a result of that meeting and local partner engagement this is the first direct funding commitment to the project in over ten years.
“This direct funding for the Success Dam Enlargement Project is a decade in the making and marks a significant step in advancing the project. After bringing Army Corps officials to Success Dam, we were able to showcase the urgency needed for this project to get it back on track. This is a win for our entire community and I look forward to continuing to work with all of the stakeholders to move this project forward expeditiously. Our nation and community’s infrastructure is long past due for major upgrades that will keep us safe and allow our communities to grow and flourish. Working together with the Trump Administration we can finally start to improve to critical infrastructure for future years of continued growth.”
Mr. Richard L. Schafer, Tule River Association Water Master Secretary, issued the following statement:
“We are pleased funding has been provided to once again proceed with the Success Reservoir Enlargement Project that will double the flood protection for the City of Porterville, the surrounding community, and downstream lands. The local stakeholders have been supporting this project for the last 30 years, and we are most grateful to Congressman McCarthy for his efforts on our behalf with the Army Corps of Engineers to advance this critically important project.”
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.