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Bakersfield Observed: McCarthy: No To Raising The Debt Ceiling Until President Obama Agrees To Significant Spending Cuts

Jun 3, 2011
In The News
By Kevin McCarthy
June 3, 2011

It was great to be in Bakersfield on Monday to spend Memorial Day with my family and those who have served from our community. I was honored to participate in events at both Union and Hillcrest Cemeteries to thank the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much for our freedoms. The Memorial Day Weekend also marked the first wildfire of the season in our area. As always, our firefighters did a great job and acted quickly to contain this fire.

I arrived back in Washington on Tuesday where I went straight to the House floor to vote 'no' on raising the debt limit without accompanying spending cuts and budget reforms. I made it clear from the beginning of this debate that not one House Republican would vote for an increase in our debt limit without spending cuts and budget reforms, and Tuesday's vote proved that we're serious about getting Washington's fiscal house in order.

Our nation is over $14 trillion in debt and borrows 40 cents out of every dollar. This is unsustainable and threatens America's economic vitality and credibility. Any increase in the debt limit must be accompanied by substantial spending cuts and budget reforms that start the process of getting our borrowing addiction under control.

This was reiterated to the President on Wednesday when I was joined by the rest of the Republican Conference for a meeting at the White House. I urged the President to present a credible deficit-reduction plan. I left the meeting cautiously optimistic, and with the President's assurance that he was committed to discussing real spending cuts and recognized the need to reform our critical health and retirement security programs. I am hopeful this isn't just Washington political speak, and that we really will be able to work with the President and our colleagues across the aisle to implement solutions that will create jobs, pay down our debt and put our budget on the path to balance.

On Thursday, the Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on the San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act, legislation I introduced with Reps. Nunes and Denham earlier this month to get water running in our communities and get people back to work. I had the honor of introducing Jim Beck, General Manager of the Kern County Water Agency, who was testifying in support of this bill that is critical to our local economies. I will continue to work to move it forward.

Several families from Bakersfield were in Washington this week. I was pleased to see the Georgino, Pisano and Etcheverry families and Donice Boylan. I also want to send my congratulations out to all our students who have graduated in May and that will be graduating this month. These graduates are the key to the future of our community and nation, and I wish them the best of luck. The teachers and parents who have supported these young people are also deserving of our gratitude, and I want to thank them for their commitment.