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Where I Stand: Making California more affordable

By Congressman Kevin Kiley

 

For generations, California was the state where anyone could achieve their dreams. Yet today, the California Dream is on life support. For more and more of our residents, it has simply become too expensive to live here and maintain a high quality of life.

California has the highest gas prices in the nation. The highest income taxes. The highest energy costs. The second highest home prices. Runaway inflation is stretching family budgets to the breaking point. As a result, people are leaving our state in record numbers – an estimated 900,000 residents in the past three years alone. Everyone has a friend, neighbor, or relative who has packed up a U-Haul bound for a more affordable place to raise a family, buy a home, or retire.

I love our state. There is no place like it, and I am truly honored to represent a district that reflects the very best of California. As your representative, I am doing everything in my power to protect the quality of life in our district and reverse the misguided policies that have made life in the Golden State so difficult for so many. Since being sworn into Congress three months ago, I have focused like a laser on ways to address the affordability crisis that is gripping our state, and increasingly, our country.

In my very first vote, I voted to repeal the 87,000 IRS agents funded by last year’s Congress. These agents would have targeted middle-class families and small business owners with audit after audit to fund even more government spending. The legislation I supported is estimated to protect over 700,000 Americans making less than $75,000 a year from intrusive audits.

In February, I secured guidance from the IRS preventing the Middle Class Tax Refund (MCTR) payments, sent to Californians as inflation relief, from being taxed as income by the federal government. This guidance overrode previous state instructions and saved taxpayers hundreds of dollars on their taxes this year.

Most recently, I joined colleagues to pass the Lower Energy Costs Act (H.R. 1). This bipartisan, landmark legislation will lower gas and grocery prices, reduce utility bills, and make everyday goods more affordable. It is the most significant legislation in recent history for making our country more energy independent. The United States is blessed with enormous potential to produce our own energy. H.R. 1 unlocks that potential by removing the political barriers that stand in the way.

For instance, the bill reforms our broken permitting process. Currently, vital energy infrastructure projects are blocked for months, years, or indefinitely through never-ending federal reviews and frivolous litigation. The bill balances robust environmental protections with the need to expand our energy supply by capping the review process at one or two years, more than enough time to thoroughly vet a project.

H.R. 1 also eliminates $6.4 billion in taxes on natural gas that would result in higher utility bills and skyrocketing prices at the pump. Altogether, these reforms will unleash American energy production, create good-paying jobs, and reduce the cost of gas. Every product, whether it be groceries, school supplies, or everyday necessities, will be cheaper to transport and the savings passed on to consumers.

These are important steps, but they are only a beginning. To get inflation under control and make life affordable again, we need to rein in government spending, reduce regulations on small businesses, lower taxes, and make the dream of homeownership attainable for more Californians. I will continue to work with colleagues in both parties to forge constructive policies that deliver concrete results in these areas, and I would love to have your input in the process.

You can get in touch with me by calling (916) 724-2575 or visiting Kiley.House.gov to provide your thoughts on legislation. In addition, if you need help with a federal agency, scheduling a D.C. tour, or simply aren’t sure where to turn, my office is here to assist.

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