Washington, D.C. – House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) spoke at a Republican leadership press conference today outlining how Democrats are trying to block their own members from having a voice in the legislative process.
McCarthy’s remarks are below, or watch them online here.
“First, I want to send out our prayers to all the victims and their families in Charleston. America stands with you today. And, personally when I watched the last few days, there’s been no greater display of faith than the victims’ families—their willingness to forgive and the unity that has been created in Charleston. As I mentioned yesterday, we will recess on Friday so members can attend the funeral.
“I do want to look back quickly at the success of the last week—the passage in the House of Trade Promotion Authority over to the Senate. And as the Speaker talks about, we’d like to see that back here to finish the job.
“I’d also like to highlight the passage of the repeal of Obamacare’s medical device tax. It was veto-proof. That was the voice of the people to be able to move forward and pass it on the floor.
“We’ve also been building momentum—as I’ve said many times, this is the earliest we’ve ever started the appropriations process. We will start the seventh of twelve bills with Interior [Appropriations].
“Unfortunately, I hear many times—and I read within the paper—that it’s kind of become the summer of dysfunction on the other side of the aisle. Not only is there an internal civil war, but now they talk about wanting to shut government down. And it’s just not in the House. You hear from [Senator] Schumer who talks about it may even be with the Administration together.
“Now, a few things I want to point out. When Republicans took over the House, we wanted to change the way the House worked. So we opened up the floor to the appropriations process. We did not have an appropriations process before. But we opened up the floor [so] that the member does not have to go and get approval when they want to do an amendment on appropriations, they just offer it. It doesn’t even have to be pre-written.
“And I wanted to lay out a few things that happened already in this Congress.
“We have considered 340 amendments on the floor, and accepted 184.
“Of those considered, 198 were Republicans, 142 were Democrats.
“Of those accepted, 121 were Republicans and 63 were Democrats.
“With an hour of general debate on both sides on each bill and 10 minutes per amendment, we spent approximately 62 hours of floor time debating these bills and amendments.
“That’s the voice across America of citizens being able to have that debate on the floor. But to hear Democrats want to take away the voice and the power of their members and their constituents across America, that’s unacceptable and that’s wrong. America deserves better.”