Monday, May 15, 2017

U.S. service-members: Our nation's #1 defense asset




Last week I traveled to military facilities in several areas of the United States to get briefings on military, intelligence, and missile-defense issues. I spoke to officers, junior enlisted service-members, and customs and border protection officials to get a comprehensive review of the country’s defense posture. I also had the opportunity to pay tribute to a military intelligence professional—who was a family friend—who lost his life in service of this nation. I am constantly amazed at the selfless dedication of American service-members and law enforcement officials—please remember them in your thoughts and prayers.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Just what the doctor ordered on healthcare


Yesterday the House of Representatives took a big step toward abolishing the failing Obamacare system and replacing it with something much better, both for Central Valley residents and for Americans across the nation.

I have worked for years on these sorts of free-market healthcare reforms, and they’re needed now more than ever—Obamacare is collapsing before our eyes as premiums skyrocket and insurers flee the Obamacare exchanges in droves.

The American Health Care Act (AHCA) will clear away the thicket of mandates, penalties, taxes, and regulations that bog down Obamacare, fundamentally changing the way the healthcare system works. It will create an entirely new system in which all Americans who want coverage will have it, including those with pre-existing conditions. By providing credits for families in need, the bill creates a new system centered on you—and your ability to choose your own doctors and healthcare plan—instead of the centrally-planned Obamacare program that is run out of Washington.

I’ve held years-long discussions with local healthcare providers about ways to move large numbers of Medicaid participants out of the program and into better, private coverage plans. I’m happy to say this bill will accomplish that goal. As Medicaid participants already know, simply having a Medicaid card does not mean you actually have access to care. Burdened by its acceptance of far more participants than the program was designed to handle, Medicaid is so broken that in some parts of the Valley participants have to resort to hospital emergency rooms for basic care or have to travel to the Bay area or Los Angeles to see a specialist. The AHCA, however, will use credits of $2,000 - $14,000 to transition people into private coverage. Unfortunately the bill will not move every Medicaid participant into a private program, but this is a great start to allowing more Valley residents to choose their own healthcare.   

I have fought hard in Congress for reforms that would improve care for Medicaid participants who are now treated as second-class citizens in healthcare. It’s gratifying to see the House pass a bill that will begin turning that wish into a reality.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Defying the global warming alarmists



President Trump today signed an executive order that could expand offshore energy drilling. Among other measures, the order rolls back an executive order issued in the final weeks of the Obama presidency that banned energy drilling in hundreds of millions of acres of offshore land.

As a long-time advocate of offshore energy exploration, I believe it's utterly absurd to ban ourselves from developing vast energy resources that would help lower fuel prices, relieve our dependence on unstable and hostile foreign energy suppliers, create jobs, and strengthen America's international influence.

We all know what comes next—a long campaign of lawsuits by radical environmental groups, which is the same tactic they used to choke off the Central Valley's water supply. These groups typically oppose the use of all fossil fuels and even natural gas, the building of energy pipelines, energy exploration both on land and offshore, car transportation, and many other facets of modern living. They act according to a philosophy of apocalyptic global warming that was recently expressed by University of Michigan Professor Juan Cole, who argued that carbon dioxide emitted as part of everyday modern life is "a far more deadly gas" than the chemical weapons used by the Syrian regime to massacre its citizens.

I mean no offense to the global warming prophets of doom, but I welcome more offshore energy exploration and want to see it move ahead quickly.

Friday, March 31, 2017

A few reports on the Russia investigation


A few reports on the House Intelligence Committee's Russia investigation came out today that I'd like to share with you:

Friday, March 3, 2017

Russia investigation, bin Laden documents, and tax reform: this week's interviews


I'd like to share with you a few of my media appearances from this week.

On Monday, I spoke to KMJ's Ray Appleton about a wide variety of local and national issues. To listen to the interview click here.

On Wednesday I appeared on Special Report with Bret Baier to discuss the House Intelligence Committee's Russia investigation, the need to declassify the documents captured in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, and tax reform. Click here to watch the interview.

On Thursday I gave a press conference about the Intelligence Committee's Russia investigation. Click here to watch the press conference.

Friday, January 13, 2017

A premature victory dance by CA water agencies


The recent storms in California have brought some relief to families and farmers suffering from the water crisis. Reservoirs are filling up for the first time in years, while the snowpack in the Sierra Nevadas has increased significantly.

And yet, those who are rushing to declare an end to the crisis are acting on little besides hope. The problems that caused the crisis—laws and environmental regulations that restrict pumping and mandate huge water flows be flushed into the ocean—all remain unchanged. As long as we get record-breaking rainstorms indefinitely, we'll be on the road to recovery. But if the weather eventually reverts to its usual pattern—and it's a safe bet it will—then we'll see that our solution was just a short respite.

I'm unwilling to stand aside and hope for everlasting rain, so I am continuing the fight to end the destructive regulations that favor fish over families. That's the only way to permanently solve the water crisis and guarantee we will not perpetuate the government-made catastrophe the San Joaquin Valley has experienced in recent years.

In Washington, we have a much better chance to see meaningful action now that we'll soon have a president who wants to help end the crisis rather than one who'll shrug his shoulders and blame global warming. It will still be a challenge to get comprehensive legislation passed in the Senate, but there is room for cautious optimism.

We've already started our work in the House of Representatives with the introduction of Rep. David Valadao's new water bill, the Gaining Responsibility on Water Act of 2017 (H.R. 23). Supported by the entire Republican California delegation, the bill would repeal the most damaging regulations causing the water crisis and would clear the way for crucial new water storage projects.

Representatives of water agencies and agriculture groups were in Washington this week, but they seemed to think the recent rains were cause for a victory dance. Most didn't advocate for the new water bill to members of the House and Senate, or educate members about the dire situation still facing the Valley—that is, unless we resolve our 2.5 million acre foot water shortfall, then a million acres of farmland will have to come out of production. A month of rain, unfortunately, will not change that.

Make no mistake—the fight for water continues. I hope the water agencies and agriculture groups understand that completely.