Oct 21, 2021
House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy Weekly Press Conference Transcript October 21
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy held a press conference on October 21, 2021. Read the transcript of the news briefing here.
Transcribe Your Own Content
Try Rev and save time transcribing, captioning, and subtitling.
Kevin McCarthy: (00:26)
… and poor Josh, he’s still waiting for his vote. Last time, in the third broken promise, he was very, very sure it was going to happen. I think he even got some champagne from the NRCC, but it just didn’t take place. As the Democrat’s agenda continue to stall out and Americans have no idea what’s in the bill, CBS polls shows that only 10% of Americans know. I think that number is even lower in the Democratic conference. Speaker Pelosi complained that it is the responsibility of others to tell the American people what the bill does. As the bill continues to fail, she even blamed you. But it also exposes the truth behind their socialist agenda. Democrats don’t really want America to know what’s in it because it will continue to stall the bill.
Kevin McCarthy: (01:12)
You remember what Speaker Pelosi’s old line is? We need to pass the bill to find out what’s in it. It appears they feel the exact same way today. They first passed the 2 trillion bill earlier this year on a partisan basis that helped spur inflation into our country. 61% of Americans know what is causing inflation. The Democrats and their policies because even 40% of the Democrats believe that their own policies are creating this inflation. Whether this bill is 4.5 trillion, 3 trillion, or 1.5, the Democrats proposal will worsen inflation, continue to harbor and harm our labor shortage. Won’t do anything to stop the border crisis that we have today and it will set our country back for decades.
Kevin McCarthy: (02:05)
We cannot afford this. Not ever, and especially not now. Americans are finding life today much harder than they did just a short year ago. If you go to the grocery store, it’s going to cost you $200 more over the course of the year. You’re being warned that you got to shop for Christmas now if you want to be able to get anything. Every time you go to fill up your gas, it’s 42% higher. With the winter months around the corner, you’re being told to brace for heating bills that will cost 54% more. Could you imagine being in America today that tomorrow will not be better than today, but tomorrow will cost you more than today? And by all accounts, economic conditions are expected to continue to deteriorate. When confronted with the reality Americans are now facing, Democrats want Americans to lower expectations.
Kevin McCarthy: (03:00)
You heard me many times before compare this Biden administration to Jimmy Carter. If you look back to 1979 and today, there are some very eerie similarities. In a time when Jimmy Carter had Americans being held hostage in the Middle East, Joe Biden created the exact same problem for Americans. You have inflation, same challenge that we had with Jimmy Carter. They both begged OPEC to try to get America out of their problems so that they could become energy independent. Jimmy Carter had Billy Carter and President Biden has Hunter Biden. We had economics that Americans just don’t feel strong as they once did before. We have an opportunity to change that just as we did in the 80s.
Kevin McCarthy: (03:52)
Today, it’s the House Republicans who are fighting back. It’s the House Republicans with a policy that would make America stronger. As I sat this weekend, I was back in California and I looked out over the coast to see those 100s of ships sitting out there. You could see the pollution from the ships just sitting. And you wonder why it has to be this way. It doesn’t. Under a Republican majority, we wouldn’t have ships sitting out there coming into America, they’d be leaving with American products to other countries. They’d be able to be unloaded. People would be able to work. We would honor our heroes and not fire them from their jobs. It was a different course of action and that’s what we need to take. I’m not quite sure what the Democrats will get to. They don’t have much to go to the floor. They continue to fight among themselves. They continue to have broken promises. And I expect next week, we’ll have a couple more announcements of retirements as well. With that, I’ll open it up for questions. Yes, ma’am?
Speaker 2: (04:56)
Yeah. Leader McCarthy, what’s your response to Senate Republicans who are still pushing some members of the House to vote for the bipartisan infrastructure bill if it’s a standalone bill?
Kevin McCarthy: (05:05)
Well, they’re the only ones who think it’s a standalone bill. Because you heard President Biden come to the Hill with the Democrats and say it’s no longer a standalone bill. It’s viewed as one bill. You’ve heard Speaker Pelosi says they won’t take it up, but they have to take up both of them. So my conversation with them is the same as it was before. It’s not a standalone bill. It’s considered as just one and Republicans are opposed to having the just one. We support infrastructure. We would like to have an infrastructure bill. I know in the Senate, they UCed the ability to give flexibility to states to use COVID money that they have, that they don’t need for COVID, that used on transportation project. That was UCed in the Senate just the other day. I’m not quite sure why they don’t do that inside the House. Yes?
Speaker 3: (05:53)
Speaker Pelosi just said about the reconciliation bill that it will be paid for and that no taxes will be raised. What’s your reaction-
Kevin McCarthy: (06:02)
I’m not sure if that’s critical race theory thought or what? No one believes that. I don’t even see how they say it. I don’t see how you let people get away with it. We’re sitting with a real challenge here, that it’s going to cost trillions of dollars. Someone’s going to pay for it, but it’s a future generation. It’s the same reason why when they say that they change the $600 to target American bank accounts, that somehow it changed when it went to 10,000. Do you know what that truly means? Any American who makes more than $29 a day or spends $29 a day, you are a target and that’s the majority of Americans.
Speaker 3: (06:38)
And doesn’t it also say that the treasury secretary has the ability to be able to go after still whatever accounts that they want to?
Kevin McCarthy: (06:44)
Yeah. Think for instance what they’re proposing, to hire 85,000 new IRS agents. Do you know how much 85,000 people is? That’s a larger population than Scranton, Pennsylvania, the president’s hometown that he was at the last night. That’s what he’s proposing in this bill. Yes, ma’am?
Speaker 4: (07:02)
Are you okay with people defying congressional subpoenas?
Kevin McCarthy: (07:06)
What are you talking about?
Speaker 4: (07:07)
Well, obviously, the House is holding a vote today to hold Bannon in contempt for refusing to comply a subpoena. And GOP leaders are urging a no vote on that.
Kevin McCarthy: (07:16)
No, they’re issuing an invalid subpoena. Issuing an invalid subpoena weakens our power, not if somebody votes against it. He has the right to go to the court to see if he has executive privilege or not. I don’t know if he does or not, but neither does the committee. So they’re weakening the power of Congress itself by issuing invalid subpoena. [crosstalk 00:07:39] Yes?
Speaker 5: (07:39)
Isn’t it disingenuous to say that?
Speaker 6: (07:41)
He was a private citizen during the time-
Kevin McCarthy: (07:44)
Look, I don’t know the answer to that. The courts decide that. [crosstalk 00:07:46] So why don’t you allow him to go to court to make that decision?
Speaker 6: (07:48)
They want a Republican majority-
Kevin McCarthy: (07:50)
Speaker 7: (07:51)
A group of house Republicans are headed to Glasgow from the climate summit next week. I’m curious. What message would you like as Republicans to deliver to global leaders on climate change?
Kevin McCarthy: (08:00)
Well, I think climate change is a real challenge for us. And the one thing I firmly believe, everybody has to participate. You’ve watched what America’s been able to do by lowering our CO2. We’ve done a tremendous job and we’re able to do it by becoming energy independent at the same time. You need all the above. And if you look at what the Republicans have been able to offer, we’re going to solve this problem by utilizing technology, not by putting restrictions on people. You got to hold people accountable. And if you’re going to allow China to continue to produce and America not, it’s going to put us in a harms way.
Speaker 6: (08:35)
I just want to press you on this. What makes it invalid? This is a committee that Congress created, that the House created. That-
Kevin McCarthy: (08:43)
No, let move on. [crosstalk 00:08:44]
Speaker 6: (08:43)
… that the House created. They issued a subpoena by the chairman, which there are all these things are allowed under the rules. The House created the committee with a vote. So what makes it invalid in your eyes?
Kevin McCarthy: (08:55)
Yeah. The first premise that you said, the House did not create something. It was a select committee that for the first time in the history of Congress, that the minority was not able to participate in.
Speaker 6: (09:06)
But that was in the-
Kevin McCarthy: (09:07)
No, it was not able to participate. So you knew from day one my position on this.
Speaker 6: (09:12)
Kevin McCarthy: (09:12)
And if it’s not that, it’s not viewed as a committee. This is being used… The rules are very clear and the law is clear. The House has a role for legislative body.
Speaker 6: (09:23)
Kevin McCarthy: (09:23)
Okay, tell me what’s the legislative body of this? They are using this to target their opponents. And even if you want to come to the basis that one person says they have executive privilege, nobody knows the answer to that. Not the committee, nor I, nor even Bannon. The courts can decide that, but this committee’s not allowing him to even go to the court to make that decision. That’s not the role. What the committee should do, one, allow the minority, like any time in the history, a point on there so they don’t utilize it to target people. We’ve watched government today now targeting parents because they want to have a say in their children’s education.
Kevin McCarthy: (10:01)
What this committee should look at is why was the Capitol so ill prepared and make sure it never happens again. They have a legislative right to do that. That’s what they should focus on. Not go focus on and targeting any political opponent that you think is out there. They can’t name the legislative item that they’re going after. It is laughable from that aspect. And they’re weakening the power. And it’s not just myself who’s saying this. You can see even left-leaning legal scholars are now sounding the alarm on the Democrats committee and what they’re doing. You got that from the Brennan Center as well. They’re concerned about what it’s going to happen in the future based upon what this committee is doing.
Speaker 7: (10:42)
Last question. [crosstalk 00:10:43].
Speaker 6: (10:47)
But you could have had an equal committee though, that-
Kevin McCarthy: (10:47)
No, Pelosi never gave us an equal committee. [crosstalk 00:10:50] Okay. Calm.
Speaker 9: (10:51)
… would of had veto power, no?
Kevin McCarthy: (10:52)
No. He asked the question. Let me answer the question. First and foremost, I went to Pelosi in the very beginning in January and asked for a commission. Pelosi fought it for more than six weeks. When we wanted to have a fair process all the way through, she’s the one who continued to deny it. While she did that, the Senate went out within their committees and bipartisan looked. And you know what the Senate looked at? Why was the Capitol so ill prepared and gave you recommendations of how to make it not happen again. That is what should happen of where we go. Yes, ma’am?
Speaker 7: (11:25)
Leader McCarthy, Donald Trump put out a statement recently where he brought up election fraud. He said, “Republicans will not be voting in 2022 or 2024 if they do not fix these issues.” Is that messaging helpful for House Republicans who are trying to retake the majority this coming election cycle?
Kevin McCarthy: (11:45)
Look, fundamental thing I firmly believe, people should participate in their elections. We’re seeing what happened based upon the last election that now we have inflation. Now we have a Department of Justice going after parents because they want to say in their children’s school. We have shortages from your food. You have prices continuing to rise. We have crime in the streets. I think everybody should go vote to change the direction. Just as we did back in 1979, that the next century could be American century, if we get the Democratic policies out of here. Thank you all very much.