By Representative Kevin McCarthy
"Bakersfield's athletes just keep making news. Not only did our own Colby Lewis pitch in the World Series game Thursday, Jake Varner won gold in free style wrestling at the Pan American Games.
"As with athletes, competition is vital to spurring growth in our economy. The latest estimates indicate North Dakota will overtake California in oil production, in part because of California's onerous regulatory climate, and America has dropped four spots in global competitiveness. Just like we can't expect our athletes to successfully compete with hands tied behind their backs and weights on their feet, our economy will struggle to compete until we lift unnecessary regulatory burdens. I'm working with Governor Brown now to help lift regulatory restrictions and bureaucratic delays that are limiting oil production here at home, threatening jobs and millions of dollars of investment, as well as much-needed oil and gas royalty revenue to our state.
"My colleagues and I are pushing policies to encourage small business investment, and the good news is that some are garnering bipartisan support. The Free Trade Agreements that will create an estimated 250,000 jobs nationwide were sent to the President's desk with strong bipartisan support. Also, the House passed legislation (H.R. 674) this week with a bipartisan vote repealing the onerous 3 percent withholding tax, which would have allowed government to capture and waste money that entrepreneurs could -- and should -- be using to innovate and hire. This rule just doesn't make sense and I am glad the President has indicated support for its repeal. Furthermore, my legislation (H.R. 2940) to rescind a Depression-era securities requirement to increase access to capital for entrepreneurs and small businesses was approved by the Financial Services Committee with bipartisan support and should be voted on the House floor next week.
"These are encouraging steps, but there is much more to be done, starting with the Senate taking up the 15 jobs bills the House has passed. These "Forgotten 15' are simple, straightforward pieces of legislation that could create hundreds of thousands of jobs, reduce energy costs and help put our economy back on track. There is no excuse for them to still be sitting dormant in the Senate, and I will continue to pressure Leader Reid to bring them to the floor. I know American businesses and workers can compete with anyone in the world, we just have to give them the opportunity, and I will continue to fight for policies that do just that.
"Regulatory and administrative burdens aren't just a business issue. Earlier this week, I requested a Government Accountability Office audit to help determine why too many of our local veterans are experiencing delays in benefit processing and long wait times to receive care. Our veterans deserve the utmost respect for their and their family's sacrifices for our nation, and I hope this audit, requested by a bipartisan group of Congress members, can start the process of correcting these problems and ensuring our veterans receive the quality care they deserve.