Congressman Tom McClintock

Representing the 4th District of California

Vote Notes 113th Congress (2013 - 2014)

Congressman McClintock's Vote Notes for the 113th Congress (2013 - 2014) First and Second Sessions

12/4/14  H.R. 5759 – The Preventing Executive Overreach on Immigration Act: YES.  I co-sponsored and spoke in favor of this bill on the House Floor: 

Mr. Speaker: 

    This question transcends the issue of illegal immigration.  The President’s act has crossed a very bright line that separates the American Republic – that prides itself on being a nation of laws and not of men – from those unhappy regimes whose rulers boast that the law is in their mouths.

    It is true that throughout our nation’s history, presidents have tested the limits of their authority.  But this is the first time a chief executive charged with the responsibility to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed” has asserted the absolute power to nullify or change those laws by decree.  

    Under our Constitution, the President does not get to pick which laws to enforce and which to ignore.  He does not get to pick who must obey the law and who gets to live above it.  And he is forbidden from making laws himself.  “All legislative power herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States.”

    Whether we choose to recognize it or not, this is a full-fledged Constitutional crisis.  If the precedent is allowed to stand, it will render meaningless the separation of powers and the checks and balances that comprise the fundamental architecture of our Constitution and that have preserved our freedom for 225 years.  If it stands, every future President -- Republican and Democrat – will cite it as justification for lawmaking by decree. 

    The measure before us is the first act of this Congress to restore the balance of powers within this government.  The President would be well advised to heed it before sterner measures are taken.

    The seizure of legislative authority by the executive proved fatal to the Roman Republic.  Now it is happening in our own time.  

    Let that not be the legacy of this administration.  For more than two centuries, Americans have successfully defended our Constitution history now calls upon this generation to do so again, which it does beginning with this measure today.

12/2/14 H.R. 3979 – FY2015 NDAA: NO.  This measure authorizes the Department of Defense and related agencies.  Unfortunately, it includes provisions granting authority to arm and equip the Free Syrian Army, an Islamist group that I believe is a completely unreliable ally against the Islamic State.  It also includes massive federal land grabs that have no place in a defense authorization bill.

12/9/14  HR 5781 – California Drought Relief: YES.  I co-sponsored and spoke in favor of this bill on the House Floor.

Mr. Speaker:

    For the past four years, the House has passed legislation to address California’s regulatory drought that has destroyed hundreds of thousands of acres of agricultural land and thousands of jobs.

    A historic natural drought has now compounded this man-made drought.  After years of inaction, the Senate finally produced an emergency measure to provide very limited flexibility for water managers to deal with it.

    This bill largely reflects these provisions.  It is a temporary stop-gap measure that suspends NO environmental laws or regulations.  It simply tasks federal water managers to conserve our water for beneficial human use to the maximum extent possible – once all state and federal environmental and water rights laws have been fulfilled.

    Let me repeat: the bill explicitly requires all environmental laws and regulations to be adhered to.  All the House added to the Senate bill are provisions to strengthen water rights for areas of origin by adding federal protection over these rights.

    During the worst drought in California’s history, we continue to release billions of gallons of water from our dams to adjust river temperatures for the fish.  Sadly, this bill doesn’t even affect this wasteful practice. 

    But during the next year it does give limited flexibility to water managers within these laws.  That’s important, because we are getting some rainfall this season, and once all environmental laws have been fulfilled, we desperately need to store what surplus remains for what could be another very dry year.   To take that surplus – above and beyond what is needed to meet all of our environmental mandates -- and dump it into the Pacific Ocean -- is lunacy.

    The fact that this very modest bill has evoked such apoplexy from the Left is a measure of just how extreme and out-of-touch they have become.  

    I wish this bill did much more. But it’s a start.

12/10/14 S. 2244 – TRIA: NO.  If left alone, Insurance rates reflect the dollar cost of the risk of a calamity.  The higher the risk, the higher the rate.  By taking action to minimize the risk, one reduces the cost of the risk.  IF LEFT ALONE.  The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act corrupts this data by subsidizing insurance rates for terrorist attacks.  This denies building owners, for example, the price signals that would otherwise move them to increase security.  It also shifts the cost of risks from those who take those risks to innocent third parties.  I am opposed to all forms of insurance subsidies for these reasons, and TRIA needs to be abolished; not re-authorized.  The measure also includes a very good end-user exemption on derivatives that passed the floor earlier this year on an overwhelming vote.  It should be taken up by the Senate on its own merits – not joined to this stinker of a bill.

12/10/14 H.R. 4681 - Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015: NO.  This bill explicitly authorizes collection and archiving of the electronic communications of American citizens for the first time – a direct violation of the Fourth Amendment.

7/22/14 HR 1022 More R&D Subsidies: NO.  This bill sets up yet another program for government-sponsored research and development, this time for extraction and recycling of so-called rare earth elements, with enormous discretion given to the President to administer it.  I believe that the private companies which profit from research and development should pay for it themselves.  If we were truly serious about promoting the development of these critical minerals, we would remove the unnecessary permitting and regulatory impediments that make their production extremely costly – an approach I supported in HR 761, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2013, which passed the House in September 2013.  

7/22/14 HR 4450 Charging Tourists to Promote Tourism: NO.  It seems counter-productive to try to promote foreign tourism by making it more expensive for foreign tourists to visit.  This bill would extend that practice.  Tourism promotion once was done by the travel, hospitality, transportation and trade associations that directly profit from it – not by government through a fee making tourism more expensive.  I believe in disentangling government from business.

7/15/14 HR 5021 Highway Transportation and Funding Act of 2014: NO. The Highway Trust Fund was originally designed as a user pays system – the federal excise tax paid by highway users at the pump supported our highways.  Period.  Over the years, however, this revenue has been diverted to purposes other than highway construction and maintenance. The House could have restored the original purpose and structure of the trust fund, which would have restored its solvency.  Instead, this bill uses ten years of savings projected from “pension smoothing” to prop up the fund this year ($6.4 billion) and extends the customs user fee by one year in 2023 to claim savings in 2014 ($3.5 billion). Both are illusory.  “Pension smoothing” allows corporations to pay less into their pension programs, which means more insolvent corporate pension plans that must be bailed out later by the taxpayer-underwritten Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.  The customs user fee (though ostensibly “temporary”) is in practice a permanent fee to support U.S. customs enforcement. 

5/22/14 NDAA AND Freedom Act 

5/22/14  HR 4435 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA): YES.  I have voted against the previous version of the NDAA that allows the indefinite detention of Americans merely suspected of supporting groups that are alleged to support terrorist organizations as a clear violation of the Fifth Amendment.  Although I would like to see this provision repealed in a future NDAA, this year’s authorization is silent on the subject.  Darkening international events in Eastern Europe, Asia, and Russian insertion into the Western Hemisphere make the defense authorization urgent this year.
5/22/14 HR 3361 USA FREEDOM ACT: NO.  The Fourth Amendment is plain and clear: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”  Plainly, it requires that before the government can search your records, it must first provide sworn testimony to a court that there is probable cause to believe you have committed a crime and it must then specify where and for what it is looking. 
The so-called PATRIOT Act has been used to authorize mass collection of American’s records on a vast scale.  As introduced, the USA Freedom Act sought to restore this simple Fourth Amendment principle to the collection of data in intelligence investigations.   I joined as a co-author of that act.
Sadly, it has now been watered down to do very little.  Under its new provisions, the government must only express a “reasonable articulable suspicion” – not sworn testimony of probable cause.  It may then search communications based on a “specific selection term” that could easily be interpreted to include whole zip-codes or area-codes or communications handled through individual Internet Service Providers.
The Royal Governor of Massachusetts, whose abuses gave rise to the movement that ultimately produced the Fourth Amendment, would appreciate this act.  He could claim a “suspicion” that smuggling is going on.  He could then apply a “specific selection term,” such as “north Boston.”  Under the perverted form of the USA Freedom Act, this would be sufficient to search the records of every resident for evidence of smuggling.
Perhaps the best test of the act’s intention comes from the fate of an amendment offered to require that data collection be consistent with the Fourth Amendment.” The amendment was denied consideration.
It can be argued that the small restrictions on current NSA activities are at least a step in the right direction, but the bill now extends the PATRIOT Act’s sunset date from 2015 to 2017, authorizing two more years of unconstitutional searches.  On net, that’s a big step backwards.

5/7/14 HR 863 - Women’s History Museum: No.  This measure establishes a commission to plan the construction of a “Women’s History Museum” on the National Mall.  My principle objection is that the bill lacks any safeguards to assure a politically balanced and neutral approach to presenting women’s issues.  The Board of Directors is overwhelmingly leftist, and its political objective appears obvious.  Placing an institution on the National Mall with such an overtly political agenda is highly inappropriate.   Furthermore, women’s contribution to American history is already extensively documented in the Smithsonian’s American History Museum.

4/10/14 H. CON. Res. 96 - 2015 Budget:  YES.  In August of 2010, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs warned that the greatest threat to our national security was our national debt.  That was $4 trillion of debt ago.  In fact, since Inauguration day, 2009, we have accumulated more total government debt than we had run up from the first day of the Washington Administration through the third year of the George W. Bush administration.  We were told this would jump-start the economy.  It hasn’t. 

2/11/14 S. 540 – Debt Limit Extension: NO.  This measure suspends the federal debt limit until March of 2015.  I have two principle objections to the measure.  First and foremost, it does nothing to bend the debt curve down – a debt curve that the Congressional Budget Office again warns will begin dangerously expanding within two years, reaching unsustainable levels that threaten the future stability and prosperity of the nation.  Second, instead of authorizing a specific amount of debt, it simply vaporizes the debt limit entirely, re-establishing it at whatever amount the Treasury Department has borrowed by next March.  Although borrowing might be constrained by appropriations, appropriations will no longer be constrained by borrowing.  I recognize that the debt limit must be raised as long as deficit spending continues, but I have always insisted that it be increased by specific amounts necessary to finance the deficit over a brief time span of several months and be accompanied by the concomitant reforms to place the nation on the course back to solvency.  This measure does none of that.

2/11/14 H.R. 3448 – Small Cap Liquidity Reform Act: NO.  This measure purports to make stock offerings of small market companies more attractive for investment banks to underwrite by setting share price intervals at 5-cents rather than 1-cent (essentially allowing banks to round up the actual price per share when they sell and round down when they buy).  Although that may be more attractive to banks, it makes it more difficult for the market to set accurate price levels for new stock offerings.  

1/29/14 HR 2642 – Farm Bill: NO.  This bill spends nearly a trillion dollars over the next decade (roughly $8,000 per family) to continue massive subsidies to agribusiness and to support an out-of-control food stamp program.  Yes, it does away with the direct payments program that pays farmers NOT to grow crops.  But it replaces direct payments with a crop insurance subsidy that puts taxpayers on the risky end of a massive derivative scheme.  Proponents say it cuts the program by 1.6 percent (after ballooning 32 percent over the past five years), but if current high commodity prices return to historic averages, taxpayers will pay much more. That’s why most taxpayer groups oppose it.

In a cynical attempt to pressure Western representatives, the House Leadership inserted a one-year extension of the PILT program, which compensates Western rural counties for local tax revenues they’ve lost because of excessive federal land acquisitions.  I strongly support PILT but cannot support the overall bill into which it has been placed.  

1/15/14 HR 3547 Omnibus Appropriations bill for 2014.  NO.  The House is scheduled to take up the omnibus appropriations bill for 2014, and I rise this morning to outline my objections to the measure. 

This is not the “regular order” promised to the American people, in which each of the 12 appropriations bills is painstakingly vetted.  It is all 12 bills rolled into one, with no opportunity for meaningful debate or amendment.

True, it adheres to the budget passed in December – but that is nothing to boast about.   That budget destroyed the only meaningful constraint on federal spending.  

One member said that he is “surprised” by opposition because – quote – “this bill, for the fourth year in a row, cuts discretionary spending.” 

Only by Washington math.  Last year, the discretionary spending of the United States government was $986 billion.  This measure appropriates $1,012 billion. That’s an increase.  And it is $45 billion more than the sequester would have allowed.

After all, they didn’t blow the lid off the sequester because they wanted to CUT spending, now did they?  Read full remarks, "The Wrong Direction."

12/12/13 HJ Res 59 - Making continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2014, and for other purposes.  NO.  The great irony of the Republican decision to bust the budget sequester is that barely two months ago, congressional roles were reversed.  The Democrats insisted on funding the government according to existing law.  The Republicans sought one simple change: that the individual insurance mandate under Obamacare be delayed for one year.  They were trying to spare the American people the Obamacare disaster that is now unfolding, but to no avail.  The American people sided overwhelmingly with the Democrats on the principle that the government should be funded according to current law without any side issues.

            Why wasn’t that principle applied just two months later? Republicans were in the ideal position to hold the budget line simply by insisting on enforcing current law.  Instead, the House Republican leadership pushed through a two-year budget that will allow the federal government to spend an additional $63 billion more than current law allows – money that our country does not have.

            Some of the discussion has focused on how much of the spending spree will be paid with higher taxes.  The answer is, “all of it.”  Once government spends a dollar, it has already decided to tax that dollar – the only questions that remain are who gets the bill and when.      

            Sixty-three billion dollars of new spending – and therefore new taxes in some form – is not a small amount of money.  It averages about $570 of added burdens for every family in America.  Read full column.

11/15/13 HR 3350 – Keep Your Health Plan Act of 2013: YES.  It is important not to over-promise on this measure.  It will not get back the five million health insurance policies that have already been cancelled due to Obamacare.  It MIGHT prevent some cancellations that might otherwise occur in the future.  However, to the extent that it does, it will mean higher premiums for those who have been forced into the Obamacare exchanges.  Any way you cut it this is an unmitigated nightmare.  Ultimately, there is no substitute for the complete repeal of Obamacare and the restoration of a decentralized, free market, patient-centered healthcare system.

10/23/2013 HR 3080 - Water Resource Reform and Development Act: YES.  A legitimate purpose of government is to superintend the infrastructure upon which commercial intercourse depends, including the construction and maintenance of a network of interstate highways and waterways and international harbors and airports.  

One aspect of federal involvement in this infrastructure is through the civil works program of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that began in 1824 with the survey of roads and canals.  

Today, that program is a mess.  It has become seriously detached from its core mission.  It has become hamstrung by regulations.  It has accreted a $60 billion backlog of unfunded and largely obsolete projects.  The “grab-bag” nature of this program is a breeding ground for waste.

HR 3080 makes some long-overdue reforms.  While it authorizes 23 new projects for later funding, it also removes authorization for $12 billion of superannuated projects from the backlog.  It caps the endless environmental review process that has needlessly inflated costs and delayed project delivery.  It increases the leveraging of local funds and expedites the use of Harbor Trust Funds for harbor dredging. 

I am concerned that the bill adds several projects that depart from the Corps’ focus on infrastructure, and believe that the cost-share arrangement for the Olmstead Lock and Dam project in Kentucky sets a terrible precedent.  I am also concerned with features of the bill that would distract from the federal nexus required of federal projects.  

Although I would ultimately like to see the Corps refocused on its core mission to provide vital infrastructure that is truly interstate or international in nature and fully shift its financing from taxpayers to project beneficiaries, in balance the measure is an improvement. 

10/16/2013 (Roll #550) HR 2775:  NO.  House Republicans have fought to protect the American people from the negative effects that Obamacare is already having on the accessibility, affordability and quality of American health care.  

Senate Democrats, backed by the President, refused to resolve the differences between the two houses through the process of negotiation and compromise that is essential to any bicameral legislative system.  As a result, the system seized up and produced a prolonged stalemate, a partial government shutdown and a looming debt crisis.  Worse, unlike previous presidents who acted to minimize the damage caused by such an impasse, this President cynically acted to maximize public suffering and threatened to default on the nation’s sovereign debt.

I believe the measure presented to the House tonight trades short-term relief for long-term suffering.   It relieves the immediate economic damage of the shutdown that has fallen particularly hard on the gateway communities surrounding our national forests and parks, and it will calm credit markets roiled by the dysfunction that caused this impasse.  This relief is much to be desired, and could have been achieved by the conference process sought by the House on September 30th.

I fear adoption of this bill will establish a precedent that will produce long-term harm that will far exceed any immediate relief.  As a practical matter, the power of the purse will have shifted from the representatives of the people to the executive.  The executive bureaucracies will be freed to churn out ever more outlandish regulations with no effective congressional review or check through the purse.  The executive branch will set spending levels and whenever a fiscal deadline approaches, the Senate can simply refuse to negotiate with the House on any measure that does not meet its demands until Congress is faced with the Hobson’s choice of another shut-down or a default.  

The debt will continue to mount, the restraints on government waste will continue to weaken, and the economic prosperity of the nation will continue to slowly bleed away.   

As much as I share and respect the desire of those supporting this measure to end an immediate crisis, I fear it sets in motion a much bigger fiscal and healthcare crisis in the years ahead.  For that reason, I have voted NO on HR 2775.

9/9/2013 (Roll #448) HR 2052 – Global Investment in American Jobs Act: NO.  This is a million dollar study to tell us why America is no longer competitive on the world jobs market.  A Chinese businessman recently told me that for free: America has an export/import problem – for the last 30 years, we have been exporting Capitalism and importing Socialism.  There.  Just saved a million dollars.

7/24/2013 (Roll #414) HR 2397 -- FY 2014 Defense Appropriations Act: NO.  This was a close call for me, with the deciding factor being that I cannot in good conscience vote to continue funding for the NSA to seize the phone records of millions of Americans without warrant.  The good provisions in the bill include prohibitions against involvement in the Syrian conflict without Congressional approval; limitations on aid to Egypt and assistance for Israel’s Iron Dome.  The bad provisions in the bill include funding $22 billion ABOVE the FY 2013 post sequester level, and continued aid to the corrupt regimes of Pakistan and Afghanistan.  In balance, it was supportable with the Amash Amendment to require a warrant for NSA phone record seizures; without that Amendment it crosses a very bright Constitutional line.

7/24/2013 (Roll #412) AMASH AMENDMENT TO HR 2397 – Requiring a Warrant for NSA Seizure of Phone Records: YES.   This amendment ends NSA’s warrantless seizure of Americans’ phone records.  The Fourth Amendment requires that before the government may seize a person’s private records, it must first show there is probable cause to believe that person has committed a crime and specify what the government is looking for. Yet this critical tenet of our Bill of Rights has been pushed aside in the name of national security. Yes, it would be easier to catch terrorists without the Fourth Amendment -- still easier if we could station a soldier in every home without the Third Amendment.  But we draw some very clear Constitutional lines beyond which the government is forbidden to tread, lest we start down a very slippery slope – as Franklin warned, trading essential liberty for temporary safety until we end up losing both and deserving neither.  The requirement of a search warrant BEFORE seizing a person’s records is one of those lines.  This amendment restores it.

7/19/2013 (Roll #374) HR 5 – Student Success Act: YES.  Let’s start with some education basics: schools run best when teachers are in charge of their students; principals are in charge of their teachers; and parents are in charge of their principals through their local school boards.  The more these prerogatives are usurped by state and federal governments, the worse the schools have performed.  The biggest contribution the federal government could make would be to get its nose out of our classrooms.  This bill gets us closer to that objective by gutting the failed Bush program called “No Child Left Behind,” restoring flexibility to states and communities to assess needs and apply solutions, and blocking Obama’s deplorable one-size-fits-all “Common Core” agenda.  Although the bill is still far more federal involvement in our schools than I would like to see, it is a huge improvement over the status quo.  

7/17/2013 (Roll #361 and 363) HR 2667 and HR 2668 - Obamacare Individual and Employer Mandate Delays: YES.   These bills came in response to the President’s assertion that he can nullify laws by refusing to faithfully execute them, this time as applied to the Obamacare employer mandate.  Proponents of these bills argue that it is grossly unfair to excuse employers of the mandate to provide insurance while not also excusing employees of the mandate to obtain insurance, sentiments I certainly agree with.  I also wholeheartedly agree that only Congress has the Constitutional authority to alter laws once they are enacted.  Both sentiments favor evenly balanced Congressional action – not one-sided Presidential fiats.  However, I also believe the people have a right to the faithful execution of their laws so that they can judge those who enacted them prior to elections.   What to do?  It comes down to this: anything that can delay a train wreck is a good thing and Obamacare is a train wreck.

7/11/2013 (Roll #353) HR2642 - Farm Bill:  NO.  {C} 6/20/2013 (Roll #286) HR1947 - Farm Bill:  NO. The Farm Bill is now before us, a measure originating in the House of Representatives whose majority was elected on a clear mandate to stop wasting money.  Yet all this bill does is to continue to waste money.  Yes, it tightens up a little on automatic eligibility for the food stamp program and that’s a good thing.  Yet this modest reform is a poor substitute for the complete overhaul that is desperately needed.  Full House floor remarks.

6/6/2013 (Roll #211) HR 2217 – Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2014: YES.  I have voted against appropriations for this Department in the past in part because of concerns over its administration and particularly the abusive conduct of the Transportation Safety Administration.  While I am far from satisfied by the conduct of the department, provisions of this bill addressing its excessive purchases of ammunition and disinterest in securing our borders begin to point us back in the right direction and I believe justify an AYE vote.

6/4/2013 (Roll #193) HR 2216 – Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act: YES.  This is the annual appropriation for military construction and veterans affairs and reflects a core function of the federal government.  Although I strongly object to funding for the luxurious NATO headquarters (which a very good amendment by Congressman Paul Broun attempted to remove), that is not sufficient reason to oppose the entire package. 

5/23/2013 (Roll #183)  HR 1911 – Smarter Solutions for Students Act: YES.  One of the great tragedies of the “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you” movement is the damage it has done to students.  By throwing billions of dollars a year in tuition assistance into the mix, government has vastly inflated the cost of a college education.  (Here’s a surprise: if you throw money at colleges, they’ll take it.)  In order to cope with this government-induced price spiral, it then offers young people teaser-rate loans that they can’t possibly repay and then sends them into a dismal job market carrying crushing debt.  The student loan program is now in danger of defaulting on billions of dollars of student debt and the interest rates it arbitrarily sets do not reflect market conditions.  This bill at least links student loans to actual real-world interest rates, giving students more accurate price signals of the actual cost of the loans they are taking out, and protecting taxpayers by assuring that at least some risk and inflation is being built back into the rates.

4/26/2013 (Roll #128)  HR 527 – Responsible Helium Administration and Stewardship Act: YES. This measure winds down the Federal Helium Reserve that was set up in 1925 to control the helium market in order to deny foes and assure ourselves an ample supply of the stuff for the cutting-edge military aviation technology of – wait for it – the dirigible.  Since then, it has been a source of sweetheart contracts for various companies that obtain helium at below market costs from this taxpayer subsidized reserve.  Because it controls such a large portion of the world market, its expiration next year would create a massive dislocation.  What to do?  This bill gradually releases the reserve into the market at auction and then phases out this obsolete program for all but a minimal interest the government still has for this element.

4/26/2013 (Roll #125) H.R. 1765 – Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013: YES.  This measure brings some sanity back to the management of sequester cuts by allowing the FAA the flexibility to use $253 million from another account to ensure the continued operations of the air traffic control system.  Still virtually untouched is the just under $200 million “Essential Air Service” program that subsidizes empty flights from tiny rural airports – most of which are within an hour or two drive of a major airport.  One important dividend of the sequester is that it is prompting efforts to identify wasteful spending in order to fund high priority functions.  May this be the first of many such exercises!

4/18/2013 (Roll #117) HR 624 - Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act: NO.  CongressmanMcClintock's floor remarks in opposition:  The House has been considering HR 624, the so-called CISPA bill.  Although its sponsors assure us that a person’s Internet data would be stripped of personal identification, the bill allows this data then to be used to prosecute certain federal crimes.  How could that be?  It turns out, the government, having stumbled upon this evidence, can then seek a warrant to obtain the personally identifying information. 
          This makes it the functional equivalent of the “writs of assistance” used by the English Crown in colonial times.  It is antithetical to the Fourth Amendment which requires that before the government can invade your privacy, it must first present a court with reasonable cause to believe you have committed a crime. 
          This bill effectively allows the government to search through your personal records indiscriminately and then use that information to form the basis of a prosecution.
          Cyber security is an important national security issue.  But it does not trump the Bill of Rights or the American freedoms our Constitution protects. 

3/21/2013 (Roll #89)  HR 933 – Continuing Resolution to Fund the Government: NO.  In addition to the reasons I stated previously for opposing the Continuing Resolution, I strongly object to provisions that increase outlays (reducing the actual sequestration cuts to less than $30 billion through Sept. 30), thwart the Postal Service’s efforts to balance its budget by ending Saturday deliveries, set bizarre defense priorities by docking aircraft carriers while lavishly funding DOD environmental experiments, among many other things.  Sen. McCain’s opposition in the Senate was spot on and I whole-heartedly concur
          The most tragic effect of House passage of this measure is that it effectively postpones any further attempts to control spending through the House’s power to appropriate until September 30th. 

3/21/2013 (Roll #88)  Budget Act (establishing the budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2014).  Congressman McClintock spoke on the House floor in support of the House Budget Resolution (H. Con. Res 25):  "This debate over the budget reflects a great struggle between American families and their government -- over whether they, or the government, can best spend the money that they have earned.
          "This budget bends that struggle slowly back in favor of those families, by returning to them a little of the freedom to spend more of their own money and make more of their own decisions once again." 

3/6/2013  (Roll #62)  HR 933 – Continuing Resolution (CR) to Fund the Government: NO.  By adopting HR 933, the House lost the opportunity to lock in sequester savings through the end of the fiscal year.  The continuing resolution sets federal discretionary funding at the annual pre-sequester level of $1.043 trillion, relying on the continued operation of the sequester to reduce that figure to $984 billion.  Should the sequester be repealed in coming weeks, this CR would automatically revert to a level well above that set by the budget resolutions adopted by the House.  Secondarily, this action also sacrificed an opportunity to forbid funding for Obamacare and effectively postpones any further attempts to control spending through the House’s power to appropriate until September 30th.  I believe that until the normal budget and appropriations process can be restored at a sustainable level, continuing resolutions to fund the government and extensions of the debt limit should be advanced in short increments, within levels set by the House budget resolution, and accompanied by the incremental reforms necessary to remain within that trajectory.  The House’s unwillingness to do so today is disappointing.

3/6/2013  (Roll #60)  H.Res. 99 – Rule Bringing HR 933 (CR) to the House Floor: NO. This rule reported HR 933 (The continuing resolution to fund the government) to the floor while blocking attempts by Republican members to offer perfecting amendments (see discussion on HR 933).   I believe the amendments should have been heard.

2/28/2013  S. 47 – Violence Against Women Act: NO.  Under S.47, ordinary American citizens with no connection to Indian tribes could be prosecuted and tried in Indian tribal courts, instead of U.S. criminal courts, for violations of this act.  In 1978, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Indian tribes do not have inherent criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians; this brazenly unconstitutional bill directly contradicts this fundamental principle.
          In addition, I object to provisions adding federal mandatory minimum sentences in domestic violence cases, which ought to be left to judges on a case by case basis.  The Eagle Forum (a conservative women’s group) cites a similar Florida law which required a judge – against his better judgment – to send a mother of two to prison for 20 years for firing a warning shot at her abusive husband.
          Finally, I object to using violence against women as an excuse to vastly expand a dizzying array of government grant programs, add more than $2 billion to the nation’s debt and generally insinuate the federal government into matters the Constitution clearly reserves to the states.  Federal grants of all kinds (essentially gifts of public money with little or no oversight) are out of control and ought to be abolished -- not expanded.

2/27/2013  H. Res 83. – Rule to bring S. 47 (Violence Against Women Act) to the Floor: NO. Under S.47, ordinary American citizens with no connection to Indian tribes would be prosecuted and tried in Indian tribal courts, instead of U.S. criminal courts, for violations of this act.  In 1978, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Indian tribes do not have inherent criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians; this brazenly unconstitutional bill directly contradicts this fundamental principle. This bill has a wide range of other constitutional, due process and fiscal infirmities, but such a brazenly unconstitutional act should not be reported to the House floor.   

1/23/2013  HR 325 (Raising the Debt Limit).  Congressman McClintock spoke on January 23rd on the House floor in opposition to the measure.   HR 325: Carte Blanche Credit.   Mr. Speaker:  The House is poised to pass HR 325.  I respect the sincerity of its supporters, but I must firmly dissent.  This bill accommodates spending at ruinous levels far beyond the limits set by the House budget.

1/15/2013  HR 152  (Hurricane Sandy Legislation, Including Unrelated and Non-Emergency Spending).  Congressman McClintock voted NO, and and spoke on the House floor during debate.  Rule on Hurricane Sandy, House Chamber, Washington D.C.  Mr. Speaker:  This rule brings us a spending package of more than $50 billion that is supposed to be for emergency repairs in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.  That averages $450 from every household in America.  $450. These families have a right to expect that this money is being used for genuine emergency relief.  But it’s not.  According to the Congressional Budget Office, more than 90 percent won’t even be spent this year.  That’s not emergency relief.  Sixteen billion is to quintuple the size of the Community Development Block Grant Program.  That’s the slush fund that pays for such dubious projects as doggie day care centers – and it doesn’t even have to be spent in the hurricane area.  Congressman McClintock also discussed the issue in a column.

1/4/2013    HR 41 – National Flood Insurance Borrowing: NO.  The National Flood Insurance Program uses taxpayer money to subsidize flood insurance for those who choose to live in flood plains.  This denies consumers accurate price signals that reflect the true costs of the risks they are taking, and robs taxpayers who chose not to take similar risks.  For example, the people of the 4th Congressional District live in fire-prone areas but accept that risk by paying higher premiums for their fire insurance.  They should not be forced to pay for the risks that others accept by living in flood plains.  In the case of Hurricane Sandy, however, consumers have already paid for the subsidized insurance and the question in this bill is whether the government has an obligation to pay out for their claims.  I believe it does.  But this obligation should be met through the normal appropriations process where the money is honestly accounted for.  This bill creates an off-budget fiction that allows the program to borrow more under the pretense it will repay the loans, when clearly it can’t and it won’t.