In the first 100 days of the new Congress, the House Democrat majority has fallen short on its promises.
In her first speech as Speaker, Nancy Pelosi said we must build “an economy that gives all Americans the tools they need to succeed in the 21st Century,” yet Democrats have refused to release their budget, much less pass a budget, for the federal government as required by law. She said that she wants Americans to “have confidence that government works for the public interest” and wants to restore “integrity to government,” yet their highest priority bill was a massive federal government takeover that would undermine our elections. She said that this Congress would be “unifying” and that Democrats would “seek to reach across the aisle,” yet their divisive language and behavior prove otherwise.
Promises made. Promises broken.
House Democrats are wasting the responsibility they were given by the American people. Rather than actually helping the people they took an oath to serve, Democrats are quarreling amongst themselves, legislating ineffectively and pushing for radical, socialist policies that if enacted, would threaten the freedoms of Americans everywhere. Their inaction has not gone unnoticed – at this point in the last Congress, Republicans had passed 141 bills out of committee and 132 out of the House. By contrast, Democrats have passed 68 bills out of committee and 97 out of the House. Since the end of January, rather than passing legislation, one in five votes this Congress has taken have been non-binding “messaging” resolutions. Just last week, Democrats offered a symbolic and worthless resolution on health care to distract from their support of proposals where government would control all health care, virtually eliminating choice for patients and their doctors.
Had Democrats spent just a fraction of the time they spend bickering amongst each other working to enact real change on health care, maybe Americans would not be burdened by skyrocketing premiums and limited health provider choice. Republicans, however, stand for solutions that will protect Americans with pre-existing conditions while offering greater choice and more affordable health care options.
Despite being in the minority, House Republicans have listened to the American people and have acted. We have condemned anti-Semitism, a stance the Democrats have simply refused to take. We have fought tirelessly against infanticide, a brutal practice of murdering infants born alive after a botched abortion; this is not a pro-life issue — it is a matter of doing what is morally right. We have fought to end the humanitarian crisis at our southern border by supporting stronger border security which include barriers to stop the influx of crimes and drugs. During my recent visit to the border last week, border agents informed us that the wall there is working. Illegal crossings in that region have drastically dropped by about 70 percent.
In the same way that Republicans are redefining Congress, Republicans are also working to improve the lives of Californians.
With the failed high-speed rail project, strongly supported by Sacramento liberal bureaucrats, finally coming to an end, I proudly introduced legislation — the RAILWAY Act — to repurpose federal funds that would have gone to high-speed rail projects for desperately-needed water infrastructure in California and the West. This investment would help build water storage that could collect water during wet years for use in dry ones. With California’s most recent drought still fresh in our minds, it is imperative that we take appropriate measures now to ensure that we are prepared for the future.
I am also working with my colleagues in California to stamp out valley fever, an infectious and deadly fungal disease spread by virtually any activity that produces dust. In an effort to increase awareness, just last month I organized a Valley Fever Roundtable at the U.S. Capitol and invited leading researchers and members from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health and the Valley Fever Institute at Kern Medical, as well as passionate local patient advocates, to provide us with updates on where we stand in combatting this disease and what we can do further. They presented invaluable information that will help us better understand how to mitigate and fight valley fever in our communities.
We are only 100 days into the 116th Congress and House Republicans are working relentlessly to honor their civic responsibilities by listening and acting on behalf of the American people. But I pose this question to House Democrats: what have you accomplished for the American people in your first 100 days controlling Congress? The American people deserve better and that is why Republicans are focused on policies that aim to strengthen our economy and help solve the problems facing our communities.
Kevin McCarthy is Bakersfield's representative for the 23rd Congressional District and House minority leader. His office can be reached at 661-327-3611.