McCarthy says border, water crises hitting California hard

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) recently said that the issues and concerns affecting the people of his district and home state, including border security and the current water crisis, remain at the forefront of his mind.

McCarthy, the soon-to-be House Majority Leader, made the remarks at a recent breakfast meeting of the Ripon Society. He said that even though the last nine districts he visited were not on the border between the U.S. and Mexico, the border remained the top issue in every district, according to a press release.

“Despite what (Sen.) Harry Reid (D-Nev.) says, the border is not secure,” McCarthy said. “And you watch: with all of our principles – no matter where someone stood in the Republican Party on immigration – the first thing they say is, ‘Secure the border.’ I think what has to happen is exactly that.”

McCarthy said the focus over the next two weeks would be to secure the border and create a functional immigration system.

“Forty-two percent of people who are here illegally came here legally,” McCarthy said. “So our focus now is to secure the border and create a system that actually works.”

McCarthy was joined by two of his colleagues from California, Reps. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) and David Valadao (R-Calif.), who McCarthy said represent a new generation of commonsense conservative leadership. Denham and Valadao are also key members, McCarthy said, of the House effort to create jobs, strengthen border security and pass other critical legislation that is being blocked.

“In the House we have passed seven of the 12 appropriations bills and we’ve done it in a wide open process,” McCarthy said. “(Rep.) Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) has had 50 percent more amendments just in the appropriations process than the entire Republican Senate Conference in the last year. Just think about that for a moment. There are 321 bills passed by the House that are now sitting in the Senate. It’s not a do-nothing Congress. It’s a do-nothing Senate.”

Denham, who was elected to the House in 2010, called immigration one of the biggest problems facing the nation.

“Part of the challenge of politics at any level – but certainly in Washington, D.C. – is that nothing happens until it is a crisis or until there is a deadline,” Denham said. “We had the fiscal cliff. We had the dairy cliff. There is always some sort of cliff. But there has not been an immigration cliff yet. Well, that time is here. This has gone on for nearly 30 years now. It affects our tech companies. It affects our agriculture companies. It affects everyone across our entire nation. We’ve got to get it done, and we’ve got to get it done right.”

Denham also said that a major water crisis is having a significant impact on California’s economy.

“It is now an issue where we are going to shut down California’s agriculture economy – the largest (agriculture) economy in the nation and the largest in the world – if we do not address this water crisis,” Denham said.

Valadao said that the water crisis is affecting the entire agricultural industry.

“This water crisis has been a huge deal for us,” Valadao said. “It’s having a huge impact. Most people in the valley who don’t farm think we’re doing fine. But it’s just like anyone who loses a job – you still have a savings account, and you continue to pull money out of that savings so you can eat and drive to where ever you are looking for a job.”