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Bakersfield Observed: McCarthy: Interns Have Front-Row Seat Of Government In Action, But What Kind Of World Will They Inherit Upon Graduation?

Jul 15, 2011
In The News
By Kevin McCarthy
July 15, 2011

In the midst of the ongoing spending debate in Washington are our interns. These young men and women sit at the front lines answering phone calls from constituents, drafting responses to letters, watching and transcribing floor sessions, taking notes at hearings and giving tours. Besides getting a taste of what life is like in the working world, they're seeing how the government really works. And there has probably never been a better time for it.

This is an historic time. There is no question that we're facing some very difficult decisions right now. My colleagues and I are continuing our fight to get Washington's fiscal house in order and create an environment that encourages investment and job creation. I've said this before, but I believe now is the time we either rise up and create a better America or begin our long fade into history.

For this reason, I think it's important to have our next generation of innovators and leaders here in the thick of it. I was able to spend some quality time with the interns this week, two of whom started Monday. Andrew Gillies, a graduate of Bakersfield High studying government and international politics at George Mason University and Meaghan Sullivan, a graduate from Paso Robles High and political science major at Cal Poly. I took a group on a tour of the White House and hosted a question and answer session. Not only was I impressed by their knowledge and passion for the political process, I was glad to hear that they are learning and are excited about being a part of what's happening in Congress right now. One intern expressed that just interacting with staff and watching C-SPAN on a daily basis has given her a profoundly new understanding of how Congress works.

These young people are our nation's future. When their internships conclude, they will return to their respective colleges to continue studying. But what happens when they graduate? Will they be able to find jobs in today's economy? These kids are the reason that my colleagues and I are so staunchly committed to reigning in federal spending, reducing job-crushing regulations that make America less competitive and holding the line on raising taxes on families and small businesses.

If we allow our nation to continue down the path it is on – a path of soaring debt and deficits – there will be fewer opportunities for them to succeed. These interns are incredibly smart. They're committed, hard-working and have the drive and ideas to contribute to our country's greatness. As we move forward in negotiations over spending, I hope that every elected official thinks about how the decisions we make now will affect them and our nation