Washington, D.C. – House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) spoke at a leadership press conference today on how Senate Democrats have a chance to live up to their words and pass Department of Defense funding.
Full remarks are below, or watch online here.
“Couple of quick notes just so you know: every day we are seeing more bonuses from more companies to their employees, which is a very good sign. This month you’ll begin to see it in people’s paychecks—check your check. Individuals are getting more in their paychecks simply because the withholding and the tax benefits from the tax bill.
“Later today I’ll be holding another meeting in regards to immigration and DACA. We are having Senator Durbin, Senator Cornyn, and Congressman Steny Hoyer, also the White House the Secretary of Homeland Security will be in my office. We continue to have these meetings. We are making progress. I look forward to the day that we can solve this and be able to move forward.
“Unfortunately, we are back at that point that we were just a few weeks ago. The American public was reminded it’s not one simple party rule in the Senate. It takes 60 votes to pass anything. Unfortunately, last time we had to have a shutdown. Hopefully we will not be in that situation again. I did not find that to be productive and I don’t think the American people did either.
“As all of you know, during that process we had voted numerous times on the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Fortunately, we were finally able to make that go forward for six years. This time we have community health centers. We have voted on that in the House. Unfortunately, the minority party has decided to vote ‘no’ on that. Hopefully we will be able to get that through.
“As many of you know, we have passed all 12 appropriations bills out of this House. We had passed those back in September—the first time the majority has done that since 2009, the Republican majority.
“Unfortunately, with having to have 60 votes in the Senate, those have lingered. But listening to [Democrats] during the Schumer shutdown, comments were made about not holding up the military. During our retreat I would say probably one of our best discussions we had was with Secretary Tillerson and Secretary Mattis talking about the readiness, talking about the future, talking about what the world looks like, to actually secure our men and women, and how to give them everything they need to protect them wherever we need to go. It is a challenge.
“And I read back, I want to read some of these quotes. So I’m very hopeful that when we move this bill today and send it to the Senate, that these words will ring true.
“On January 21st during the Schumer shutdown Minority Leader Schumer said, ‘We don’t want to use the troops as hostage.’
“Senator Manchin said, ‘We want our military to be funded properly and to be able to defend and make sure that they all have the necessary equipment and armament and all the technology they’re going to need to be safe themselves.’
“Senator Durbin said, ‘Let’s get this right for the Department of Defense. Let’s give General Mattis and the secretary of defense the resources he needs to spend money wisely in defense of this country, to make sure we never come in second in a war.’
“This is an opportunity. We will put on the bill that we pass the appropriations dealing with the Department of Defense back in September…. This is the place we do not want to be because back in September we wanted government to be fully funded….
“Having just read these quotes from a few weeks ago and understanding what they want to get done, this is an opportunity that all Americans can win on. Our military men and women could have what they need and the Democrats will not be using them from a perspective of playing politics with this, and we can continue to move forward to solve the other problems as well.”