House Whip McCarthy visits Sacto Press Club

March 1, 2013

By Katy Grimes

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SACRAMENTO — U.S. House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from the 22nd District, visited the Sacramento Press Club today and shared his insight into the future of the California Republican Party.

McCarthy started off with the word now in everyone’s vocabulary: Sequestration.

Sequestration, automatically cuts the federal budget across most departments and agencies, including America’s military. Congress included the threat of sequestration in the Budget Control Act of 2011 as a way to encourage compromise on deficit reduction efforts.

While the plan, according to McCarthy, was that all segments of the government would get cut evenly, but Congressional leaders were counting on the super committee to act ahead of the Feb. 28 deadline. The committee didn’t act.

McCarthy said the House knew 18 months out that this could happen.

The sequestration amounts to a 2.3 percent across-the-board cut.

“The Senate never took it up, and the President spent more time on a road show to put the blame on Republicans,” McCarthy said. “A divided government means there is no check and balance, and no way to say ‘whoa, you’re going way too far.’”

Woodward-gate

Recently, White House press secretary Jay Carney accused Woodward of being “willfully wrong” on holding the White House accountable for its part in sequestration. McCarthy reminded the press club attendees that President Obama signed the sequestration legislation.

“The fight between Obama and journalist Bob Woodward hasn’t played out well with other presidents,” McCarthy said, referring to the Watergate scandal with former President Richard Nixon, who was impeached.

Why can’t we all get along?

“When Ronald Reagan became President, there was a Democratic House, a Democratic Senate, Tip O’Neil was Speaker. Rostenkowski controlled Ways and Means,” McCarthy said. “But they reformed the tax code together.”

The difference between Reagan, former President Bill Clinton and Obama, according to McCarthy, “the first two were governors first.” McCarthy said we should have a President who has been a governor first.

“A governor knows they have to solve something at the end. Obama does not,” McCarthy said.

Current fiscal mess

The current fiscal situation in the U.S., according to McCarthy, is only $2.4 trillion is brought in through revenues, but the federal government spends $3.45 trillion.

“It’s like making $24,000 a year but spending $35,000, and when we already owe $160,000 on credit card,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy said that $85 billion needs to be cut from the $3 trillion budget. “Can’t we do that?” McCarthy asked. “We borrow that in one month.”

Still no budget

McCarthy said that America still doesn’t have a budget. “The President is not going to produce a budget because he is worried about politics,” McCarthy said.

“The last time the Senate had a budget, the iPad hadn’t been introduced. And there was no chevy volt.”

“We passed a bill asking the President when his budget will balance,” said McCarthy. “The President is supposed to produce a budget at the beginning of February.

McCarthy said everyday 10,000 people qualify everyday for entitlements in America. “We need to force pres to say what he is for, and not for. Cutting is not enough. We must grow the economy,” said McCarthy. “We need tax reform, to let people compete. I was hopeful the President would have learned that in the first four years.”

“RR invited anyone into the party. We have to show our policies matter to the individual,” McCarthy said. “If we can win in California, we can win anywhere in country. If we build now, we will be ready for the next Presidential election.”

High-speed rail

McCarthy said it would be cheaper to buy travelers first-class airline tickets to and from the North to the South in California, than to ride high-speed rail. “I don’t believe the ridership is true,” McCarthy said about the inflated ridership numbers the rail authority produced.

“The Authority they built… name one thing they’ve ever built.”

McCarthy said high-speed rail was ushered in when the state had a budget surplus. “They think the federal government is going to pay it for them,” McCarthy said.  “$3.3 billion won’t go as far as they think,” he said, referring to the federal funds California will receive.

“I would hate to see them start a process they can’t finish.

“I have Conversations with our governor,” said McCarthy. “He always talks about high-speed rail. I say to him, put your high-speed rail passion into our water system. It’s a better fight, and a better system.”

On immigration…

“The only thing to stop us from getting immigration reform is the unions,” McCarthy said. And he said he believes there should be pathway to legal status.

Will McCarthy run for California Governor? He successfully dodged that question.

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