Earlier this month, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy sat down for an extended interview with the Hoover Institution’s Peter Robinson sponsored by Wall Street Journal Live. The 45-minute interview covered a lot of ground, from Leader McCarthy’s leadership style to his vision for a brighter and more prosperous American future. Here are a few highlights from the conversation.
Peter Robinson asked Leader McCarthy if he would lead more like a “head football coach on the sideline calling the plays,” or like a baseball manager “in the dugout…making small adjustments” (3:14):
“We want to empower the committee chairs. I’d say more like a baseball manager. You’ve got a lot of good players that can all play on the field, and a lot of good players that are on the bench. And what you want to do is kind of like ‘Good to Great’ (by Jim Collins.) You want to get the right people on the bus. And so everybody has expertise…. And they may be on the right committee or not, but you still could have that expertise and you want to utilize that for the whole conference and you want the Floor to be open.”
Leader McCarthy also discussed California’s over budget and underperforming high-speed “bullet” rail project (16:03):
“It’s not high speed and it’s not a bullet.…When you proposed it to the Californian voters, I don’t believe you’re honest to what it is today and you should have to go back to the voters. … I don’t believe it will ever exist. It said it would have outside funding which it hasn’t gotten and they are looking at the federal government to pay for it, when we’re in a deficit. Then if you look at the ridership, you’re going to have to subsidize it and when California decides that they’re going build this and they’re going subsidize the riders, where does that money come from? It comes from our schools, it comes from our services. Why don’t we change course and say ‘what would be the best use of this money?’ I think infrastructure and water would be a much better use longer term. If the Governor wants a legacy, that’s a much stronger legacy.”
With the crisis on the border still unresolved, Leader McCarthy talked about the Republican plan going forward and the trouble of the Senate’s inaction (35:18):
“My first day as Leader, the Senate didn’t do anything and went home. I went to the microphones and [House Democratic Whip] Steny Hoyer wanted to know what was going to go on. I told him, you know what, we’re not going to leave. We’re going to try to get something done, so be prepared for later votes, and they boo me.…We are a land of immigrants, but we’re also rule of law. The first thing you have to do before any immigration reform is secure the border. So what we did is we passed a bill that dealt with making sure the kids are treated humanely.… We acted…. You know what the Senate did? They’re home right now. The President should call them back up.”