Friday, January 23, 2015

A Brooklyn water fight?

In a meeting with reporters this week, California Senator Barbara Boxer lashed out at House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who had blamed the senator for killing House-Senate negotiations on a California water bill. Pronouncing herself a Brooklyn street-fighter, the senator accused Leader McCarthy of not consulting closely enough with her and some of her allies.

In previous Congresses, the House approved numerous major water bills (see here, here, and here) that the Senate refused to pass. When the Senate finally approved a weak bill last year, we thought a path had opened to negotiate a compromise bill that would at least ease the water crisis to some degree. But apparently, a water solution is not about providing relief to water-starved families or struggling farmers or devastated communities – instead, it’s all about Barbara Boxer and her demand that everyone pay her the proper respect.   

Senator Boxer also argued that any water solution was pointless that favors only one part of the state. Of course, one part of the state – the Central Valley – is suffering much worse than other parts. For example, San Francisco, a bastion of the environmental movement, enjoys a pristine water supply piped in from Hetch Hetchy reservoir that is not subject to the environmental regulations that have devastated the Valley’s water resources. Nevertheless, a solution seemingly needs to benefit everyone equally – the Central Valley and San Francisco alike – or it will not win the senator’s support.

House Republicans will continue proposing solutions to the water crisis in the new Congress, and we hope Senator Boxer, who has opposed every one of our efforts, will realize that none of us in the House really wants a Brooklyn street fight in California.  

Monday, January 12, 2015

New Congress gears up

I am currently working to organize the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Two articles were recently published discussing my plans and goals as the committee’s chairman. You can read them here and here.  

Separately, two articles also appeared on my tax reform proposal. You can read those here and here.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

What I saw in the Middle East


I recently returned from a trip to the Middle East that included visits to the Iraqi cities of Baghdad and Erbil. There was some good news out of Iraq recently, as Kurdish fighters – helped by U.S. airstrikes – pushed back ISIS forces around the town of Sinjar. This advance broke ISIS’s siege of Mount Sinjar, where thousands of civilians had fled after ISIS launched a calculated campaign of mass murder. Despite this progress, ISIS’s recent publication of a manual approving the beating and trading of Christian and Jewish sex slaves, alongside harrowing reports of the widespread murder and forced conversion of Christians – including the killing of children – should remind us of the terrible fate that will befall millions if these depraved zealots are not defeated.    

Not many Americans would want to live amid this dangerous war. Yet in Iraq, I met U.S. servicemen and women who are risking their lives to assist the battle against ISIS. I am in awe of their selfless courage. These Americans are spending Christmas there – in a warzone far from friends and family – so that we can celebrate Christmas in safety here.

So I’d like to offer my gratitude and appreciation to military veterans as well as active duty, reserve, and national guard servicemembers, especially those now on deployment, and wish my friends and constituents a Merry Christmas.        

Friday, December 12, 2014

U.S. Senate to Central Valley: “No water for you!”

The House of Representatives this week passed its third bill in three years to alleviate the California water crisis. Based on extensive, bipartisan House-Senate negotiations, the California Emergency Drought Relief Act (H.R. 5781) included numerous Senate demands. The bill did not even strive to permanently solve the crisis, instead proposing measures simply to bring some short-term relief to families and to help farmers get through the upcoming growing season. Nevertheless, the Senate refused to approve even these minimal, temporary actions, just as it declined to act on the previous House water bills. The House was also prepared to pass the measures as part of the Omnibus spending bill, but the effort was killed by Senate opposition.   

Having rejected all our initiatives, the senators should explain their plan for relieving the water crisis. As I argued on the House floor, by the way they’re acting, it’s almost as if they have no plan at all . . .  

Separately, the Nunes Digest is updated here

Monday, November 24, 2014