Congress is back in session with a new party in command. Valley representatives were asked for their thoughts on what’s ahead.
Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, the House majority leader:
This week marks the start of a new Congress — one in which the House remains committed to expanding freedom and opportunity for all Americans, and holding our government accountable to the highest standards. In the coming weeks and months, these three focuses of freedom, opportunity and accountability will be the foundation of the House’s work. And with a new Republican-led Senate, we anticipate many of these bipartisan solutions to finally reach the President’s desk.
Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove:
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When Bill Clinton’s policies were rejected by voters in 1994, he reached across the aisle to the newly elected Republican Congress and together they achieved great things for the American economy: They cut spending by a miraculous 4% of GDP; they attacked entitlement spending and abolished the open-ended welfare system of the time; they enacted what amounted to the biggest capital gains tax cut in American history and they balanced the budget. That model is available to us again today, the necessity is greater, and I fervently hope the opportunity is not squandered. I know that House Republicans would be eager to replicate these achievements.
David Valadao, R-Hanford:
I look forward to working with my colleagues in both the House and Senate to achieve real solutions for California. Fighting for water, reforming our immigration system, and ensuring economic opportunity for all remain my top priorities moving into 2015.
Devin Nunes, R-Tulare:
As usual, a new year brings new opportunities. As usual, the House stands ready and able to deliver much needed relief to the Valley as a result of the regulatory drought. We have clearly shown we’re willing to compromise ... will the Democrats in the Congress and the president join us, or will they, as usual, ignore the valley?
Jim Costa, D-Fresno
Republicans are now in charge of both the House and the Senate, and they have an opportunity to prove whether or not they are willing to govern in a responsible way that requires working with the president and the administration, and ultimately requires compromise. I think on tax reform and the trade bills and possibly a transportation bill, we can make progress in the next 12 months. I’m doubtful we can make much headway on immigration reform or that we will be able to tackle fixing areas of the Affordable Care Act that should be addressed because their position remains to eliminate it.