Rep. McClintock Says NO To Obama Stimulus
Rep. Tom McClintock was only sworn in a week ago and he is already making his mark in Washington DC. Here are a couple of great news stories highlighting Rep. McClintock's opposition to Obama's Stimulus plan.
Sacramento Bee, "McClintock ready to just say no as he starts House term"
By Rob Hotakainen
Published: Monday, Jan. 12, 2009
WASHINGTON – Tom McClintock arrived in Washington last week, ready to say no.
He'll say no to President-elect Barack Obama's plan to spend roughly $800 billion to rev up the economy. He'll say no to spending billions to bail out the auto industry. And he'll say no to his home state of California and others looking to Congress to get out of their budget messes.
He said the federal government doesn't have the money and needs to spend less to avoid "the same folly" as California, which is projecting a $40 billion shortfall in the next 18 months.
"My state is going to hell in a handbasket, and my country's not far behind," McClintock said in an interview in his new and sparsely decorated office on Capitol Hill.
McClintock, who survived a recount to defeat Democrat Charlie Brown in California's 4th Congressional District, said he wants to concentrate on fiscal issues in his first term. But for now he's busy settling in, adjusting to the rhythms of a new city and new job.
McClintock, the district's first new congressman in 18 years, got sworn in on Tuesday, calling it a sobering experience with "a shock-and-awe quality to it."
He bumped into Ted Kennedy on his first day, making eye contact and saying hello to the Massachusetts senator.
He found an apartment in nearby Arlington, Va., discovering it's much cheaper to live on the other side of the Potomac River.
He's trying to master the city's subway system, joining the thousands of Washingtonians who squeeze into jammed train cars each day.
And he has gotten lost, but he says the U.S. Capitol is a good place to get lost if one must get lost.
"It's been a great culture shock going from the dean of the California Legislature to a freshman member of Congress," said McClintock, who served 22 years as a California legislator.
McClintock is in for some long weekend commutes: He plans to fly to Washington every Monday and back to California every Friday for the next two years. But he said the flights will give him much reading time: "Five hours east, and six hours west."
He said he's also making plans to sell his house in Elk Grove, which is outside his district's boundaries. And he vowed to move into the district as soon as possible.
On Thursday, McClintock learned that he had won seats on the House Natural Resources Committee, which was his first pick, and on the House Education and Labor Committee, which he said is quickly growing on him. He said he'll use the latter to fight anti-business legislation and to argue for a repeal of the No Child Left Behind law, which he said has turned Congress into "a giant school board."
Unlike some freshmen, McClintock said he has no plans to sit back and be quiet. After getting "a full understanding" of the House and its customs, he said, "You'll be hearing from me."
McClintock, who replaced Republican Rep. John Doolittle of Roseville, is part of a House GOP caucus that's much weaker after losing more than 50 seats in the last two elections. And while he's ready to oppose big spending plans by Democrats, McClintock knows that his votes aren't going to influence the outcome.
"I learned a long time ago that the minority doesn't get to govern," he said. "The people decided that the Democrats should have the majority and should govern."
Florida Republican Rep. Tom Feeney, honorary chairman of the House Conservatives Fund, said McClintock is one of a dozen solid conservatives who won in 2008 despite a larger "anti-Republican trend."
Feeney predicted that McClintock will strengthen conservative ranks by promoting traditional family values, fiscal responsibility, a strong defense and a limited role for government in the private sector.
Even if Republicans are fewer in number, they still have an important role, McClintock said. If the party is to regain majority status, he said, it must offer a better vision of government and stay devoted to principles, just as it did in 1994, when Republicans won the House and controlled it for 12 years.
For McClintock, that means lower taxes and cuts in spending. On the campaign trail, he warned that Obama and Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco represented "European socialism" and yet more spending. He has already co-sponsored bills that would require Congress to balance its budget and to increase the tax credit for children. And he said his consistent message will be that Congress must stop out-of-control spending.
"It's incumbent upon the Republicans to sound the warning," he said.
McClintock said he'll oppose Obama's stimulus plan because the U.S. budget deficit is predicted to hit a record $1.2 trillion this year. He said the auto companies can file for bankruptcy. And he said California shouldn't get any federal help because the state overspent for years, causing its own troubles.
He has another big difference with Democratic leaders, opposing mandatory controls on greenhouse emissions: "We've tried that now in California, and it has been systemically shutting down California's economy."
On his first two votes last week, McClintock actually voted "Yes." He backed bills establishing new procedures for handling presidential records and requiring more public disclosure on contributors to presidential libraries.
"So far, I'm two 'ayes' and no 'noes,' " McClintock said, "but from reading what is coming down the pike, I imagine that may change fairly soon."
Also here is a radio news piece from KCBS on Rep. McClintock's opposition to the Stimulus plan.