Friday, December 2, 2016

I'll be on the Kelly File tonight

I'll be discussing the Trump transition and other topics on the Kelly File on Fox News tonight in the 9:00 EST/6:00 PST hour.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Trump transition gets underway

As a member of the executive committee of the Trump transition team, I'm gratified to see the future Trump administration starting to take shape. Today, the Trump team announced it is nominating Congressman Mike Pompeo as CIA Director, Congressman Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, and retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as National Security Advisor. I think these are excellent candidates, particularly Mike Pompeo, who serves with me on the House Intelligence Committee. Mike has spent an immense amount of time in the field all across the world meeting with our intelligence professionals and service members on behalf of the Committee, and he's one of the most respected voices in the House of Representatives on national security issues. I am confident that these three men will help shape strong national security policies to keep Americans safe during these dangerous times.

I discussed the transition and some other issues with Bret Baier last night on Fox News. You can watch the video here.

Friday, November 4, 2016

The Obamacare Death Spiral Continues

The Obama administration recently revealed that premiums for Obamacare's benchmark silver plan will jump an average of 22 percent in 2017. This means premiums have now skyrocketed 116 percent in the last three years. 

Obamacare defenders argue that the price hikes are not as bad as they seem, since many enrollees will get more subsidies. Of course, these defenders didn't mention escalating costs at all when they were selling the Obamacare idea to the American people—to the contrary, Obama repeatedly promised that his plan would lower the typical family's premiums by $2,500 per year. Since that has proven false, we're now told that everything's fine because of magical subsidies that, in fact, are paid for by American taxpayers.

Of course, rising prices are not the only problem with Obamacare—insurers are fleeing the exchanges in droves, leaving consumers with dwindling options. As CNN reports, "The number of carriers will drop to 228 next year in the federal exchange and selected states, down from 298 in 2016." It also relates that 21 percent of customers returning to the exchanges will only have one available carrier next year, and that five states will only have one insurer providing plans on the federal exchange.

Think about what an honest explanation of Obamacare would have sounded like before its enactment: "We will create a healthcare system that features spiraling premiums, steadily decreasing choices, and a giant bill for taxpayers. Oh, and by the way, if you like your doctor, you can't necessarily keep your doctor."  

I'm guessing that would not have been an effective sales pitch.

As Obamacare continues its death spiral, House Republicans are proposing far-reaching healthcare reforms that would lower costs, increase competition, expand choice, guarantee coverage, and accelerate medical breakthroughs—you can read about our plan here.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Hillary Clinton should not have access to classified information

Today I released the following statement about the FBI reopening its investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server:

“Since tens of thousands of emails traversed Hillary Clinton’s unauthorized server, including 30,000 that she deleted to avoid disclosure, it’s no surprise that the FBI has found additional problematic emails. FBI Director James Comey is right to reopen the investigation and pursue all leads until we know the full extent of Clinton’s misconduct and the full extent of the harm she did to our national security. In light of these circumstances, it’s impossible to see how Director of National Intelligence James Clapper can believe Clinton or any of her implicated staffers should ever again be provided access to classified information.”

Friday, September 30, 2016

Governor seeks money pile for high-speed rail

Governor Jerry Brown on Wednesday vetoed a bill to strengthen the California legislature's oversight of high-speed rail. The measure, introduced by Assemblyman Jim Patterson from Fresno, would have simply required the High-Speed Rail Authority to provide more information on the cost and schedule for each planned segment of the high-speed rail system. The provision of this information had been recommended by the Legislative Analyst's Office.

It's no surprise that Governor Brown would resist attempts to infuse some transparency into high-speed rail. Projected construction costs have already doubled from the initial $33 billion estimate, and the final bill will surely top $100 billion. The Governor is even raiding his cap-and-trade fund, but that has not been enough to cover the project's $43.5 billion shortfall.

So where will the money come from to keep this boondoggle going? According to the Los Angeles Times, the rail authority chief "has said repeatedly this year that it should not be necessary to specify where all of the money will come from, noting that backers of the project were surprised by some sources of the money now available. He said there’s no reason to doubt that unanticipated sources will provide additional money."

So the financing plan, it seems, is to hope and pray that a giant pile of money will appear out of nowhere. Meanwhile, I leave it to you to decide whether the billions being shoveled into this absurd scheme would be better spent building new water storage projects and improving the state's road and freight-rail infrastructure. 

In his veto message, Governor Brown called Assemblyman Patterson's bill "unnecessary." Seeing as the bill passed unanimously in both the Assembly and the Senate, it appears that every member of the California legislature disagrees.  

Sunday, September 11, 2016

9/11 and its aftermath

Today is the 15-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The images of bodies falling through the sky, collapsing towers, a plane wreck in an empty field, and a giant hole in the Pentagon are permanently seared into my memory.

In the wake of the attacks, our nation set out to lead the world in a campaign to eliminate al Qaeda and other Islamic terror groups that seek to attack us, kill our citizens, and impose their twisted ideology on every country on Earth.

Fifteen years later, it's clear we have more work to do. Despite some initial successes against al Qaeda, the group is once again expanding its network throughout the Middle East and beyond. Meanwhile, their close allies, the Taliban, are resurgent in Afghanistan, seizing wide swathes of once-liberated territory from the Afghan government.

And then there is ISIS, an organization spun off from al Qaeda whose atrocities are beyond belief. Its members' bloodlust is known intimately not only by their legions of Middle Eastern victims, but throughout Europe and the United States, where the group has developed expertise at conducting or inspiring terror attacks on innocent civilians.

It is a heavy burden to lead this fight, but history has shown that when America withdraws from its leadership role, unstable forces and malign powers fill the resulting power vacuum. There is no quick and easy solution - we are engaged in a generational fight against ruthless enemies. We have already paid a high price in this war, but 9/11 demonstrated that in today's interconnected world, threats halfway across the globe cannot always be confined to a safe distance.

On this anniversary, I'd like to pay tribute to the nearly 3,000 people who perished on 9/11 and to the members of our military who died in the ensuing battles. I also hope you'll take a moment to thank the everyday heroes of today - the servicemen and women, first responders, and police officers who go about their jobs, often in dangerous circumstances, with little recognition or reward. On 9/11, when I saw these heroes run into burning buildings and get crushed in the carnage, their sacrifice stunned and humbled me - and filled me with pride to be an American.

Friday, September 2, 2016

1 mln acres - the key number at my water forum

I'd like to thank all my constituents who came to my water forum on Wednesday—with nearly a thousand people attending, the event was an extraordinary demonstration of our community's commitment to overcoming our government-made water crisis. 

As I argued at the forum, our best hope for resolving our 2.5 million acre-foot water shortfall is for our elected officials, ag groups, and water districts to unify behind a common agenda of reforming the Endangered Species Act, the Central Valley Project Improvement Act, and the San Joaquin River Settlement, as well as building myriad new water storage projects. Without this sort of concerted action, a million acres of farmland will be forced out of production. 

Although the radical environmentalists believe they've already won this fight, the great turnout at the forum has renewed my conviction that it's not too late to turn things around—if we act fast and smart. 

Special thanks to Rep. Valadao, Westlands' Johnny Amaral, Friant's Jason Phillips, Kole Upton, and KMJ's Ray Appleton for participating in the panel at the forum, and to all my constituents who submitted questions for the Q&A period. You can read about the forum here, here, here, and here

Friday, August 26, 2016

Five days until my Tulare water forum

I'd like to offer you a final reminder to register for my water forum taking place in Tulare on August 31. At the event KMJ's Ray Appleton, farmers, water district representatives, and I will discuss the likely consequences of the ongoing water crisis and possible solutions to the problem. It will be held at the Heritage Complex at 4500 S. Laspina St. from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm PST. The event is free and open to the public, but you must register at this link to attend. I look forward to seeing you there.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Invitation to attend my Tulare water forum

The 2015 Fresno County Crop Report found that Fresno’s crop value declined by $400 million last year. A Fresno Bee article on the report quotes Fresno County Agriculture Commissioner Les Wright as saying simply, “The lack of a reliable water supply continues to fallow productive land.” The story also quotes West side farmer Dan Errotabere: “The water shortage with the fallowing and cost of farming being much higher means the margins are even tighter yet for farming.”

For many Valley farmers and communities, the water crisis has reached an emergency phase. Accordingly, I’d like to invite you to a water forum I will be hosting on August 31 in Tulare. At this event, I will share my thoughts on the consequences facing the Valley if the crisis continues and outline possible solutions to this pressing problem. The forum will be held at the Heritage Complex at 4500 S. Laspina St. from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm PST. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. You can register at this link – I hope to see you there.

Friday, July 29, 2016

A radical reform to kickstart the economy

The economy grew by just 1.2 percent in the second quarter, the Commerce Department announced today, while first quarter growth was revised downward to 0.8 percent.

With our unrivalled workforce and abiding entrepreneurial spirit, America can do so much better than this. And the starting point for sparking economic growth is no secret – we need to radically reform our convoluted and unfair tax system that makes it so hard to start up a business, run a small business, and expand virtually any business. We also need to lower tax rates on working people so they can keep more of the money they earn and spend it however they wish.

The House Republican tax blueprint will make these drastic changes to finally kickstart an economic recovery. Bloomberg this week published an article on the blueprint and its inclusion of ideas that I've been developing for years. Please read the article here and email me at this link if you have suggestions for refining our tax reform plans.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Our plan for a tax revolution

Today, House Republicans published our blueprint for comprehensive tax reform. But in fact, the proposal is so bold and so innovative that it's probably more accurate to call it a tax system replacement plan than a reform plan.

Our current tax system is one of the main impediments to economic growth. It's punitive, impossible to understand, and easy to manipulate for the benefit of big business and special interests. It discourages entrepreneurs from starting new companies and drives existing businesses overseas. If we want to reverse the anemic economic growth rates of recent years, then we need a tax system that encourages investment, start-ups, and business expansions instead of one that suppresses entrepreneurial activity.

Our blueprint, which includes the key elements of my ABC Act, encourages business investment by allowing for 100 percent, immediate expensing of business investments. It stops the exodus of U.S. businesses overseas by adopting a territorial tax system. It levels the playing field for small businesses and start-ups by eliminating scores of loopholes and special deals. It simplifies and lowers tax rates across the board and effectively abolishes the IRS as it exists today.

If you're satisfied with our feeble economic growth, and if you like paying as much in taxes as you do now, and if don't mind spending countless hours every year deciphering your tax returns, and if you enjoy interacting with the IRS, then this plan might not be for you. But if you're interested in an aggressive, transformative plan that lets you keep more of what you earn, file your taxes on a postcard, and keep the tax man further away from your affairs, then I urge you to read about our plan by clicking on the "tax reform" icon at this link. We are now asking for feedback as we refine the plan, so if you'd like to share your thoughts or suggestions, please send me an email at this link. Finally, to read more about my ABC Act, click here.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

My statement on the Orlando terror attack

"The initial indications clearly point to the Orlando shooting being an ISIS-inspired act of mass murder – one that is gruesome even by ISIS’s sickening standards. These mass killings of innocent people cannot be stopped by half-measures. Terror groups like ISIS and al Qaeda cannot be reasoned with or moderated, and co-existence with them is impossible. Along with our allies, we must engage these enemies more forcefully throughout the vast areas in which they operate, while ensuring that our intelligence agencies have all the authorities they need to detect and stop these kinds of attacks. The only way to guarantee our security is to eliminate the jihadists’ entire organizations and expel them from the safe havens in which they operate. Tolerating periodic mass attacks on American and allied civilians is simply not an option.”

Friday, June 3, 2016

My KMJ interview on water, high-speed rail

You can listen to my recent discussion with KMJ's Ray Appleton about the California water crisis and high-speed rail here: 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Memorial Day tribute: A debt that can never be repaid

On this Memorial Day weekend, I'd like to offer a brief tribute to all those Americans who gave their lives in service of our nation.

The concept of freedom is so deeply ingrained in Americans that we sometimes take it for granted. But it's important to remember that throughout history, free societies have been extremely rare and exceptional things. Most of us were born free, in a country founded on the very idea of freedom. Some may say that makes us lucky, but I see it differently—we're not free due to luck, but due to the fact that other Americans have been willing to lay down their lives to gain and defend our liberty.

Many brave, selfless residents of the Central Valley have made this sacrifice. And the soldiers themselves are not the only ones—when a soldier is lost, it is a sacrifice made by the whole family. The mothers, fathers, spouses, kids, and siblings left behind—all of them pay an immense price for the defense of our country. They need to know that a grateful nation loves them, cherishes them, and owes them a debt that can never be repaid.

During this weekend, please keep our fallen soldiers and their families in your thoughts and prayers.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday, May 13, 2016

Ripping up the tax code

A recent survey of more than 500 CEOs ranked California dead last out of all fifty states for its taxation and regulation policies. This will probably come as no surprise to most Californians, who have watched a growing parade of frustrated businesses pack up their jobs and move elsewhere in recent years.

Sacramento needs to let people get back to work by passing drastic reforms that make it easier to start up, operate, and expand businesses. In Congress, I introduced a tax reform bill that would implement these sorts of reforms at the federal level. By lowering tax rates, simplifying the tax code, and eliminating loopholes and special deals, the ABC Act would allow start-ups and small businesses to compete with bigger companies on a level playing field. According to the Tax Foundation, it would also create more than a million jobs, kick-start economic growth, and raise wages. Finally, the reform would stop the flow of U.S. businesses moving overseas—not by forcing them to stay here, but by creating a fair, simple tax system that makes businesses want to stay and want to bring back the $2 trillion they are now holding overseas. Please take a look at the recent review of my plan by the Heritage Foundation, which called it "economically strong and an excellent place to start the process of reforming business taxes."

Separately, I'll be speaking about intelligence and national security issues at the API Liberty summit in Fresno on May 21. You can listen to a recent interview I did on these topics here (beginning at 16:20).

Monday, May 9, 2016

Greens strike at global warming heretics

A group of state attorneys general announced earlier this year they would investigate ExxonMobil for fraud due to company statements that cast doubt on the supposedly catastrophic threat posed by global warming.

In an amazing coincidence, the officials took action shortly after a coalition of global warming activists, including Greenpeace and the Rockefeller Family Fund, held a fateful meeting in which they discussed plans to launch a full-scale attack on ExxonMobil. The plans included actions to "delegitimize" the company, provoke divestment from it, create the public perception that the firm is a "corrupt institution," and most notably, create "scandal" through judicial actions by attorneys general and others that would force Exxon to divulge documents demonstrating its climate heresies.

One would think the attorneys general would at least pretend they were not doing the bidding of environmental extremists. But apparently they can't even be bothered to go through the motions. As the Washington Times recently reported, Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker has issued a subpoena targeting around 100 academic institutions and free-market think-tanks with alleged links to ExxonMobil. In yet another fantastic coincidence, the majority of those organizations are listed on a Greenpeace website as groups that help ExxonMobil spread climate denial—and they are even listed on the subpoena in almost the exact same order as they appear on the website!

The catastrophic predictions of global warming alarmists have a habit of not coming true, but the facts aren't important to them. They're engaging in a scorched-earth attack on a U.S. business as part of their all-out war on fossil fuels—the energy sources that gave rise to the modern American economy. We've already seen what these groups are capable of here in California, where they successfully engineered the water crisis. It should be no surprise to see them once again resort to the judicial system to achieve their goals.

Personally, I believe fuel and water are vital components of modern life that help create vibrant communities, foster economic growth, and enable food production. The extremists have a far different vision, so I will continue exposing their agenda and opposing their excesses in Congress.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Nunes Digest for your weekend reading

The Nunes Digest is updated for your weekend reading. To view the Digest, click on the picture below:

Friday, April 15, 2016

A warning from Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is struggling with a fiscal crisis stemming, to a large degree, from its unfunded pension liabilities of $46 billion. Unable to cope with this disaster, Puerto Rico's governor signed a bill allowing his government to stop paying its debt. He also declared a state of emergency at the Government Development Bank in hopes of preserving essential government services.

The results of these catastrophic pension debts should serve as a warning in the mainland United States, where state and local public pension debts are growing rapidly. It's hard to tell exactly how big these debts are because officials often disguise them by assuming unrealistic rates of investment returns and by using other accounting gimmicks. However, Standford University Professor of Finance Joshua Rauh recently calculated the total shortfall at an astounding $3.4 trillion.

If these funds begin going insolvent, the consequences would likely include pension cuts, big losses to creditors, government fiscal crises, and damaging ripple effects throughout the wider economy. In fact, some pension fund officials seem to think they don't need to stabilize their finances at all—because if they do go bust, they believe the federal government would bail them out rather than deal with the ensuing disruptions.

I'd like to impose some discipline on these officials and rid them of their fantasies of a taxpayer-funded bailout. That's why I recently reintroduced the Public Employee Pension Transparency Act in the House of Representatives. The bill would do two main things: give state and local pension funds incentives to stop using accounting tricks when reporting their liabilities, and prohibit the federal government from bailing out any of these funds.

It's not too late to instill some accountability on public pension funds. Since many are unwilling to act responsibly on their own accord, let's give them some extra motivation.

Friday, April 1, 2016

No April Fool's Day Joke: Westside Gets 5% Allocation

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced today that westside farmers will receive a minuscule 5 percent water allocation for 2016, following zero percent allocations for the previous two years. This means westside growers will continue to struggle with critical water shortages for the near future.  

Water bureaucrats will undoubtedly continue blaming the drought and global warming. But those excuses are becoming even harder to believe in light of the wet conditions brought by El Nino. So what could possibly be responsible for this crisis? The Sacramento Bee offers a hint: "Federal and state officials have throttled back their water pumping from the Delta in recent weeks because of concerns over potential harm to Delta smelt and other endangered fish species."

As you probably know, in the House of Representatives we have passed four bills in the last four years to ease federal regulations that limit Delta water pumping. Every one of our bills has died in the Senate amid opposition from Senators Boxer and Feinstein. Last December, we made a last-ditch attempt to negotiate a compromise with Senator Feinstein that would allow us to capture more water during El Nino this year - and the senator walked away.

As extreme environmentalists continue to grieve over their precious little Delta smelt - which are not even being saved by these draconian water restrictions - westside farmers will be fallowing more land. Seeing as these people feed the nation, we need to keep fighting for them - no matter how long it takes - until their water supply is fully restored.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Alert: Avoid phone scammers this tax season

I'd like to warn you about a series of scams my constituents have reported to my office. Seeking to exploit the tax filing season, scammers are impersonating IRS agents or other government officials to cheat people out of their money or obtain personal information like social security numbers. The scams take various forms, but one of the most common is that a scammer calls people, declares that they have an outstanding tax bill, and demands immediate payment over the phone, often threatening some kind of police or court action if they fail to comply.

If you receive a call like this, hang up immediately and report the scammer to the Treasury Inspector General on this page.

These are ruthless con-artists who are stealing money from anyone they can fool or bully into cooperating with them. If someone calls you claiming to be from the IRS, keep in mind that the IRS will never:

Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.
Here are links for more information about these scams:

Friday, March 4, 2016

California farmers stand tall

Capay Valley, a rural area northwest of Sacramento, recently had a big turnout to celebrate its 101st annual Almond Festival. This caught my eye because extreme environmental groups have blamed California farmers in general and almond growers in particular for the state's water crisis. Of course, they rely on grossly distorted statistics to make their case, but that doesn't seem to bother many of the media outlets reporting on growers supposedly using too much water.

Like Central Valley farmers, the people of Capay Valley are defying their misguided critics. California farmers help feed the nation and ask little in return except for an adequate water supply. And even though that is no longer being provided, the state's agricultural communities continue to take pride in what they do and how they do it. Our state's farming families are steadfast and dependable—they have earned our gratitude.  
Separately, the Nunes Digest is updated for your weekend reading here.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Nunes office seeking interns

Spring and summer internships are available in my Washington, D.C. and Visalia offices. If you know someone who is interested in politics and public affairs, wants to gain professional experience, and can excel in a fast-paced environment, please pass along this message.

Interns provide critical staff support and are often called on to work at public events, conduct research, and help with special projects. The application process is now open. For spring internships, candidates must submit their applications immediately; for summer internships, applications must be submitted by April 1, 2016. I accept both part-time and full-time applicants.  

All interns must be high school graduates who are enrolled in or have recently graduated from an accredited college or university. Applications can be downloaded from my website here

For answers to questions about my intern program, please call (559) 733-3861 or (202) 225-2523.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Obama's preposterous budget buster

This week President Obama unveiled a $4.1 trillion budget proposal for fiscal 2017 that takes everything into account except economic reality.

If you value a balanced budget then you won't be impressed with this plan, which racks up $9.8 trillion in deficits over the next ten years. The lavish spending programs include the usual slew of Obama's global-warming schemes, including a $32 billion green-transportation program. Think of it as a nationwide extension of California's green energy plan - since that has worked out so well for us. The President's transport program will be funded with an oil tax of $10 per barrel, which will raise the price of gasoline by about 24 cents per gallon. That measure is among nearly $3 trillion in tax hikes proposed in the budget. 
So if you want to pay higher taxes, pay more for gasoline, and you don't think our $19 trillion national debt is enough, then this is a good budget for you. As for me, I'll be opposing it.

Separately, two months after killing the final opportunity for Congress to pass a compromise California water bill that would have allowed us to capture more water from the current El NiƱo rains, Senator Diane Feinstein recently introduced a new water bill in the Senate. Although the bill would not deliver much water to the Central Valley, it could pave the way for a new compromise bill. It must first pass the Senate, however, where water bills typically go to die. But if the Senator succeeds in passing the bill, she will have partners in the House of Representatives ready and willing to act - again

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Statement on implementation of the Iran nuclear agreement

Today I issued the following statement on the implementation of the Iran nuclear agreement:

“Today, Iran--the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism--will receive sanctions relief from the U.S. and the international community for allegedly taking steps to scale down its nuclear program. It is almost impossible to verify these actions, and we remain highly skeptical that the regime will follow through on any agreement. In the past month, Tehran has repeatedly violated international law, including testing ballistic missiles, seizing U.S. personnel, and firing rockets near U.S. ships. It is clear that the nuclear agreement has emboldened the regime, a foreseeable outcome that drove Congress to oppose the nuclear deal in the first place. As Iranian hardliners, including the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, reap the financial windfall of this agreement and use it to meddle in places throughout the world, the United States must be prepared to confront further Iranian aggression.”

Friday, January 15, 2016

Overhauling taxes and State of the Union response

This week I introduced in the House of Representatives a billthe American Business Competitiveness Act (ABC Act)that will reform the business tax code. Actually, my bill doesn't reform the code as much as it totally abolishes it and replaces it with some clear, simple rules that everyday, small-business owners can actually understand without help from accountants and lawyers.

A key feature of the bill is that it eliminates all the loopholes and special deals that riddle the business tax code. It treats all businesses equally, no matter their size or how they're organized, so that startups and small businesses can compete with bigger businesses on a level playing field. It would also boost economic growth by an estimated 7.3 percent and create more than a million jobs. You can read my article on the bill here and get more details about it here.

Separately, I watched President Obama's State of the Union speech this week in disbelief as he tried once again to put a smiley face on our deteriorating national security situation. Personally, I don't believe his plan to take in thousands of refugees from ISIS-infested Syria is in our national interest, and I don't think Iran's recent seizure of American sailors was a U.S. diplomatic victory that warranted top U.S. officials thanking Iran for its supposed cooperation. You can read my statement on the State of the Union here

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Scrapping the business tax code

Today I introduced a bill to overhaul the way businesses are taxed. It would drastically simplify taxes, encourage startups, and create a level playing field for small businesses to compete with bigger firms. The Wall Street Journal covered it here.