Congressman talks water, politics, mood
Congressman Kevin McCarthy told a group of Porterville Rotarians that the American people have the power to set the course of the nation, but they will need to come together first.
McCarthy, the majority leader of the House of Representatives, touched on a number of topics Tuesday during at talk at the Noon Rotary Club, but his theme was getting the nation back on track.
“This country has become too divided, too partisan,” admitted the Bakersfield Republican.
He cited both Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan, both Republican presidents, and what advice they may give today.
“Lincoln would tell us to believe in the exceptionalism of this country and the power rests with all of us,” he said, adding, “There’s problems out there, but don’t be afraid to solve them.”
He said Reagan would tell his fellow Republicans to not be so angry and be “happy conservatives.” He said Reagan would remind people that “Peace without freedom is meaningless.”
McCarthy said much of the nation’s troubles today can be attributed to stagnant economic growth, but admitted that both parties are to blame and many issues go back longer than President Barack Obama.
“We need to be more about policy than personalties,” he said of the House of Representatives.
He said today the Middle Class is worth less than eight years ago and that lack of economic growth has stirred strong feelings among the American people. He suggested to bring growth the tax system needs to be changed and regulations on businesses need to be reduced.
“We have agencies doing things they were not created to do,” he said, adding the House just passed legislation to require new regulations go to them for a vote before being enacted.
He said a new approach must be taken to curb growing poverty in the nation.
“We’ve had five decades of the war on poverty. Maybe we should take a different approach,” he said.
On other topics:
Water: Said the water bill is now in Appropriations and when Congress goes back in session he’ll add a California water bill. “We’ve got to stop the water from going out to the ocean. We’ve got to bring that water down here,” he said.
Foreign policy: Saying that it seems “America has taken a step back,” he said more investment must be made in the military and America needs to be strong again.
Obamacare: He said the Republicans need to articulate how they would change the Affordable Care Act.
Election: Said he felt the GOP will retain control of the House, but said “there’s no telling in the Senate.” He added this has been a very different election year.