Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s 23rd District mobile office returned to Three Rivers for their third consecutive monthly visit on Wednesday, April 19. The meeting was held at the Three Rivers Arts Center.
In addition to staffers Cole Karr and Keenan Hochschild, who regularly conduct the hour-long meetings, Trevor Smith, a legislative analyst, also attended, representing Congressman McCarthy.
Prior to the meeting, Karr outlined three critical areas of concern where local constituents have asked for clarification of Congressman McCarthy’s positions. These position statements were emailed to those who have signed up at previous meetings. Karr wrote:
Military Spending— Congressman McCarthy is in favor of a strong national defense, and there is a great deal of defense interests in the 23rd District, including China Lake Naval Weapons Station and Edwards Air Force Base. The presidential budget request proposes a large funding increase… and is very unlikely to be taken up in full. The Congressman’s support for reinvestment in the military pre-dates the Trump administration.
Immigration— The Congressman is not necessarily favorable of the wall-only approach. When it comes to further reforming immigration policies, Congressman McCarthy would like to see a stable workforce with an E-Verify system to check status of workers coupled with a sound guest worker program, apprehending and deporting undocumented individuals who have committed violent crimes (and focus on those individuals first rather than those going about daily life), followed with broader visa reforms and other immigration policy tweaks.
Medicaid— Will continue with the policy as it is now. With the American Health Care Act now dead, the plan to reduce Medicaid population’s reimbursement from 90 percent to 50 percent for Medi-Cal is also dead. There are currently negotiations ongoing between the White House and various ideological coalitions on Capitol Hill. The Congressman, to our knowledge, is not involved in those. A new plan has not been crafted for ACA reform and we will not comment until legislation is filed to move forward.
At Wednesday’s meeting, Karr said the most important item on the upcoming congressional agenda is the April 28 deadline for a budget resolution.
“We remain cautiously optimistic that an agreement will be reached,” Karr said.
Carol Berryhill said she is concerned with what is going on in international relations. She urged McCarthy and Congress not to follow President Trump’s lead and seek compromise.
When asked the Congressman’s position on climate change, Karr answered: “There’s a consensus that the climate is changing, but there is disagreement as to its causes.”
George Tomi reiterated that the U.S. is the only industrialized nation without a single-payer healthcare system. We need to take the profit out of being sick, he said.
Another audience member urged the congressman not to pass bills that approve public/private partnerships for rebuilding infrastructure as they are usually plagued by graft and corruption.
Frank Avalos mentioned that the Congressman had written a letter urging the High Speed Rail project be de-funded. Karr answered that the Congressman’s opposition is because the project is over budget and there are significant funding issues.
Have an issue of concern or want to join in the dialogue? Email Cole.Karr1@mail.house.gov or call (661) 327-3611.