Washington, D.C. – House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) spoke on the House floor in opposition of Democrats’ record.
Remarks as prepared are below, or watch online here.
“Madam Speaker. I rise in opposition of H. Res. 79 – a glorified press release that the majority is having this chamber spend time on at the end of yet another underwhelming legislative week.
“At a time when the country expects its leaders in Washington to look forward, this House majority is looking backward. When our country expects solutions, they are using this chamber to settle political scores.
“As hundreds of thousands of Americans painfully experienced, portions of our federal government were shut down for 35 days. A shameful record under this majority’s watch.
“It was a shutdown that never had to happen.
“Let’s recall last December when this House passed an appropriations bill that would have funded the government, secured the border, and provided disaster assistance to millions affected by hurricanes and fires.
“And most importantly, it was a bill that would have been signed into law.
“And this occurred after then-Leader Pelosi declared in the Oval Office earlier that month that our House majority couldn’t pass such a bill.
“That legislation went to the Senate and alas, Senator Schumer stopped it. And in doing so, once again, Senator Schumer shut this government down.
“From the moment Senator Schumer blocked consideration of that appropriations bill President Trump and Congressional Republicans offered solution, after solution, after solution, after solution to solve this challenge.
“In all, the President offered four reasonable solutions to end the shutdown and secure our border. The Democrats never offered one. In fact, they went on vacations and political fundraisers to Puerto Rico. They littered this chamber with messaging bills that didn’t come close to solving the problem and would never be signed into law.
“Madam Speaker – I want to focus on the very last solution the President offered. I want to focus on it because it met Democrats half way. It was the truest form of compromise this town has seen in some time.
“It would have secured portions of our border with barriers and it would have provided certainty to the very communities that my friends on the other side of the aisle have stood on this floor for countless hours to claim they want to help.
“Instead Madam Speaker the actions of this majority – when presented that opportunity and following the shutdown — tell you all you need to know about who they truly want to help.
“After the President signed a three-week continuing resolution the Speaker gloated with a Presidential-style enrollment ceremony. Democrats marveled at her exercise of raw political motivation. And many in the media responded like they were beat reporters for their hometown team.
“This all sounds like a historic moment! What exactly was everyone celebrating?
”They were celebrating achieving nothing.
“They were celebrating a status quo that suits their political interests and personal pursuits of self-righteousness.
“A status quo that causes pain and suffering for Americans across this country.
“Here are just a few examples:
“There have been 266,000 criminal aliens arrested the last two years. This includes charges or convictions of 100,000 assaults, nearly 30,000 sex crimes, and 4,000 violent killings.
“Three hundred Americans die every week from heroin. And more than 90 percent of heroin comes across the Southern border.
“And roughly 10,000 children are being smuggled into the U.S. every year to be sold for human trafficking.
“And they were celebrating a status quo that leaves 700,000 DACA-designated individuals unsure about their future.
“It was the display of politics that this country is sick and tired of.
“Zero sum politics. And nothing ever changes.
“Well I’d like to spend some time and reflect on Americans and their families who might not have been celebrating the status quo preserved by this majority.
“These are just 50 names of Americans whose lives have been lost to illegal immigration.
“And I’d also like to reflect on others who certainly weren’t celebrating the status quo.
“And if these names sound familiar it is because these are some of the same individuals that Speaker Pelosi so passionately defended just a year ago when she set the record for the longest floor speech.
“Madam Speaker as this House adjourns for the week today – after just one rule bill – I implore my colleagues to take some time and think deeply about these individuals, their families, and what our country stands for.
“It certainly isn’t this political stunt by this majority and it certainly isn’t the status quo they are so proud to protect.
“As members of the U.S. House of Representatives we are a very small group with a very large responsibility.
“The burden on us 435 Americans is to represent 325 million Americans faithfully. To work together so that tomorrow is better than today.
“Let us not let these political distractions get in the way of our duty.
“Instead – lets actually get to work.
“I yield back.”