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Washington, D.C. – At a weekly press conference, Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) delivered the following remarks on the House Democratic leadership’s inability to maintain decades of bipartisanship in passing the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Leader McCarthy expressed optimism that his Republican colleagues in the House would vote for the bipartisan NDAA bill that passed in the Senate, but doubted the House Democrats’ bill in its current form would garner any support.

Leader McCarthy also thanked the first responders in his home district for their brave and expeditious response to the recent earthquakes in California.

Highlights are below or watch the full press conference here.

On the Historically Bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act:

“This is a defining week in Congress... For decades, the NDAA, the National Defense Authorization Act, has been bipartisan. In those decades, Democrats have been in the majority and Republicans have been in the majority. But every time, we had one motto: the troops came first, the troops came before politics.

“This week it all changed. This week was a defining point that it’s not the Democratic Party we know of the past. This is a new Socialist Democratic Party

“When you look at history and you look at making this a bipartisan bill, look at the amendments — when Republicans were in the majority last, more than 50 percent of those amendments were Democrat...

“Then we watched what transformed in Congress just two weeks ago. When we left, again this new Socialist Democratic Party tried to make it very partisan and waited more than 58 days to do anything on the border. When they found a bipartisan bill on the Senate side, they continued to fight it. The same scenario is happening now.

“I was hoping that the Socialist Democratic Party would learn a lesson two weeks ago. I was hoping they would look across the Capitol into the Senate to [see] what bipartisanship looks like —  [the] supplemental bill [passed] with 84 votes. The NDAA out of the Senate has even more — 86 votes. The Democratic leadership, Leader Schumer, he voted for the NDAA. They found the way to keep the tradition of this country — that you do not bring politics into national defense

“But there is an opportunity to change. There is a moment in time before this week ends that we put the troops before politics. I do not think there will be any Republican voting for the NDAA as it shows today. But if they were to bring the Senate bill up on this House floor, you’d find a large bipartisan vote just as the Senate found.

“Speaker Pelosi should not waste our time, but more importantly should not destroy the reputation that this Congress has made when it comes to the NDAA, or walk back on the commitment that we made on a bipartisan just two years ago to help rebuild this military in defense of this nation.”

On the Brave First Responders in CA 23: 

“I want to take a moment to thank all the first responders in my district. During the break we had numerous earthquakes out in eastern Kern. It is amazing to go through a 7.1 earthquake, larger than the Northridge, and to not have any casualties throughout. The first responders did an amazing job. We’ll need to rebuild from our military base, to China Lake, to the families that are sitting out there today. I thank the first responders, I also thank the President for signing the declaration and for being able to rebuild to move forward.”