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Washington D.C. – House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to react to the President’s State of the Union address earlier this morning:




On Whether Or Not The President’s Agenda Can Pass The Democrat-Control Senate:

“A lot of the things the President talked about, he would have a hard time getting through the Senate. Part of it was trying to talk to the outside trying to change Congress, trying to move it together. He delivers a good speech, but what I was looking for, on all the spending he wants to add, I would have said ‘a pox on both your houses’ if you don’t pass a budget.”

“I think if he tries to move any of that agenda through the Senate, it’s going to be one of the most difficult jobs he’ll have in getting it out of the Senate. … You have six senators from states where President Obama got under 42% and are up for re-election. That’s a very difficult play. The Senate is not known for getting things together moving legislation. I think this [the president’s agenda] makes that more difficult. … That’s not an agenda you can run for re-election on.”

On The President’s Sequester:

“If nothing happens – the sequester goes into effect. If I look at past behavior in Washington – there’s a very good chance it goes into effect. That was what the deal that was made more than 18 months ago, and that [the sequester] was the only thing the President asked for.”

“When you talk today about sequestration today; that was the President’s idea in the last debt ceiling agreement. The most important thing we can do is end the uncertainty or end the crises, but what we have is deal with these issues early. That’s why the House passed two bills that dealt with sequestration. The Senate did nothing, and now we’re coming up to the deadline. If you want to focus on something you should plan for the future you have to have a budget. … I would do the first priority, and planning with a budget would be the first step in ending these crises.”

On Negotiating With The President:

“We’re more than willing to work with the President on any issues he wants to work with us on, but to be quite frank – we’re kind of tired of being Charlie Brown and having Lucy pull the football out from under us. There are many times we’ve gone to the White House and wanted to deal with entitlement reform. I’m one that firmly believes that in divided government you achieve big things. Ronald Reagan had Tip O’Neil and Dan Rostenkowski and they reformed the tax code. Bill Clinton had Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole and they balanced the budget and reformed welfare.”

“I’ve been to the White House many times, I’ve watched the negotiations and I’ve listened to the President say many times that he wants to reform entitlements, but he can never get there at the end of the day. The Framers of this country set out that the House does work, the Senate does work then you finish the job and send it to the President. Sometimes I think that’s the best way to get the job done.”