House Speaker Kevin McCarthy spent the day in his Central California home district speaking to farmers, police departments and leaders from Valley cities.
It's the first time he's been back in Fresno County for a formal visit since being elected to represent the area in the new 22nd district.
McCarthy started the day in the south Valley at the World Ag Expo where he spent the morning with other members of congress at a Farm Bill listening session--touting the legislation and getting input from farmers.
"The funding to make sure that you can take care of diseases that can wipe out products as well. The ability to open up more trade," said McCarthy. "All of this and research and development."
Later in the afternoon, the Speaker traveled to Clovis. Among the issues discussed when meeting with leaders and agencies from Fresno County and the cities of Fresno and Clovis--California's water Crisis. The Speaker pointed to bi-partisan legislation in past years intended to store water when big storms hit. He blamed Governor Gavin Newsom for the water that slipped away after the big storms earlier this year.
"Many times we have worked to try and have the storage," he said. "Gavin Newsom has stopped us to be able to bank this water during a wet year. But it is inconceivable to me that you would let millions of acres of freshwater go out to the ocean and not bring it down to the Valley."
McCarthy is set to visit the border with members of congress next week. It's a visit that he says will be important to combat one of the most significant issues the Valley faces: fentanyl.
"A number of people from China are coming across our border. We are catching a number of people on the terrorist watch list coming across our border," he said. "But one of the worst things that's happening is the fentanyl that is coming into America and killing Americans."
When asked about more federal funding for his home district, Speaker McCarthy said more money isn't everything.
"If I compare Fresno to Clovis, just in the school district, Fresno has more money, but the school district in Clovis with less money goes further," he said. "Their test scores are higher."
As debates over raising the debt ceiling continue in Washington D.C., Speaker McCarthy says he's hoping for bipartisanship to determine where to cut spending instead.
"We have more revenue than any time into government, so you don't need more taxes, you don't need more revenue, it is how you are spending it," he said. "And I think it's fair that people from both sides of the aisle come together and find ways that they can eliminate the waste of fraud and abuse while protecting social security and medicare. Because as I said, it's off the table."
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