‘Slap in the face’: Kevin McCarthy hammers omnibus bill ahead of House vote

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-CA, speaks during his weekly press conference on Capitol Hill, Thursday, July 30th, 2020.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-CA, speaks during his weekly press conference on Capitol Hill, Thursday, July 30th, 2020. (Graeme Jennings/Graeme Jennings/Washington Examiner)

‘Slap in the face’: Kevin McCarthy hammers omnibus bill ahead of House vote

Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) railed against the omnibus funding bill in a floor speech as the Democratic-led House prepares to pass it in the last days of its majority.

McCarthy signaled he would give a spirited rebuttal to the $1.7 trillion package after he pushed for the budget decisions to be delayed until after Republicans take control of the House in January.

“They pass the continuing resolution for the people so government wouldn’t shut down. What date did they pick? Well, let’s think of right before Christmas so members won’t be here. They will not read the bill. They’ll vote by proxy,” McCarthy said Friday on the House floor, slamming the Democrats’ strategy and adding, “I’ll guarantee you not a single member that will vote yes, I can tell you, knows everything that is hidden. Because no one has had the time to read it.”

WHAT’S IN, AND OUT, OF THE $1.7 TRILLION OMNIBUS SPENDING BILL

McCarthy targeted earmarks, or spending provisions for specific districts, and blamed Democrats for placing “politics over people” — inverting their tagline “people over politics.”

For example, there’s $2.35 million for the Leahy Center in Vermont, named after Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT). Well who requested it? Oh, Patrick Leahy. Who wrote the bill? Patrick Leahy. Meanwhile, Chairwoman [Rosa] DeLauro (D-CT) bragged that the omnibus fulfills 98% of the Democratic members’ requests in the House, with $5.4 billion for 3,213 Democratic projects.”

With his speech lasting just over 20 minutes, McCarthy did not attempt to stall the process with an extended floor speech like he did last year to trip President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better agenda. In November 2021, he stalled for eight hours without break in a floor touching on everything from infrastructure spending to how baby carrots are made.

Prior to his floor address, outgoing House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) has ripped the California Republican this week for his stance against the spending deal. Hoyer warned that “playing games” in a future fight over the debt limit could be “catastrophic.”

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“I don’t know what Mr. McCarthy is doing on the debt limit. I choose to believe that he understands how irresponsible and catastrophic it will be. He’s in a difficult position right now,” Hoyer said during a press conference. “The ramifications of playing games with the debt limit, and even if ultimately you approve it, the ramifications leading up to the uncertainty that is creating are damaging.”

Under pressure from his conservative flank, McCarthy has called for a stop-gap measure to avert a government shutdown so that Republicans can negotiate a longer-term solution after they retake the House in January.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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