May 7, 2020
Kevin McCarthy Press Conference on Coronavirus May 7
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy held a press briefing today on coronavirus. He named his picks for a House panel overseeing virus aid, and confirmed the GOP is launching a ‘China Task Force’ to examine CCP’s COVID “coverup.”
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Kevin McCarthy: (00:00)
Thank you all for joining. Today on this national day of prayer as millions across this country pray, I ask that we lift up those who have lost their lives. That we lift up their families, that we pray for this nation. Pray for those all in the medical community who are going every day from the truck driver, to the farmer, to the cashier and to the scientists that are working on getting a vaccine. We lift you up. On Monday I put forth a plan to reopen Congress. It is the only plan that has been put forth. This isn’t just about opening up a campus, it’s about restoring the voice of every American who needs their government to work for them, especially during this critical time. It’s not healthy for a democracy that a select few hold the key to how our country responds to this crisis.
Kevin McCarthy: (01:35)
I believe Congress is essential and just like essential workers in our communities it’s time that we get back to work. If you go to the other side of the house, the Senate is working. If you go two blocks away you can get a tea or a latte, but the Democrats on this side of the house will not let us legislate. I think it’s time that the house gets to work in a very critical manner of this country. This press conference itself demonstrates that we can work and practice our mitigation measures and be transparent about our work. We showed that in our vote before that we can walk through. In the plan itself that I laid out it allows committees to start to work, working in bigger rooms so they have social distancing just as you do. It allows for the areas of congestion that you can put the plexiglass up, just like we find in our shopping on our grocery stores or home depots. It allows the work to be done and call everybody else back in the time that we have legislation to pass, like the national defense, the appropriations bills, Warda and others.
Kevin McCarthy: (02:47)
Now, as we go through this challenge in this country, that from a virus that came from a far away land, we have learned more about COVID and one thing has become very clear, China’s coverup directly led to this crisis. The communist party of China hid the seriousness of this disease, led a propaganda campaign, blaming the US, used their supplies to exert influence and continue to refuse international experts to investigate what happened. One of the most appalling things we have found by the communist party of China while they denied flights from Wuhan into Beijing and domestically, they allowed the international flights from Wuhan to go around the world for the virus to continue to spread.
Kevin McCarthy: (03:33)
It follows the same threatening pattern of behavior we have seen from the Chinese communist party for years. Something that has long been a bipartisan consensus in Washington. For more than a year I have worked with the leadership of the Democratic party to put together a bipartisan committee on China with an equal number of Republicans and an equal number of Democrats. I did get to that agreement. We got to the point to actually name the individuals. So far that one reporter has actually wrote the story but did not post it yet before the Democrats pulled back a few months ago.
Kevin McCarthy: (04:11)
Well, we cannot wait any longer. The stakes are too high to sit idly by, which is why today I’m announcing the Republican led China task force and I invite the Democrats to join with us. There was one moment in time they said yes, a few months ago they said no. I would say there was no more important time now to join with us together to work as one nation as we face these challenges. This group will be led by house foreign affairs ranking member Michael McCaul, and it will include Liz Cheney and Anthony Gonzalez, Darin LaHood and Mike Gallagher, Guy Reschenthaler and Denver Riggleman, Elise Stefanik and John Curtis, Andy Barr, John Joyce, Adam Kinzinger, Jim Banks, Michael Waltz and Chris Stewart.
Kevin McCarthy: (04:59)
There’ll be a microcosm of our entire conference taking more than 10 committee’s jurisdiction and others. They will be looking at a wide range of China related issues including influence operations targeting the US including our universities, think tanks and media outlets, economic threats to our government and our allies. Efforts to gain the technologically advantage and role in the origin and spread of COVID-19. The work will lead to a comprehensive report with legislative recommendations due by October.
Kevin McCarthy: (05:35)
A new committee that was announced by the Democrats last month was the coronavirus oversight committee led by one of their most political members of their caucus. I have frequently gone over the existing oversight functions in the house. We all know we have the oversight committee, every single committee has a subcommittee on oversight. Three additional new oversight committees were put in the cares act. It’s important to have accountability and in doing so in these three new committees, you have the inspectors general to select someone. You have the president and another committee who will appoint an individual that will be confirmed by the Senate. And then you have a bipartisan bicameral committee as well. Where it was equal from Republican and Democrat and house and Senate, every single leader, all four appointed one, and then the speaker and leader McConnell will decide who the fifth person will be.
Kevin McCarthy: (06:35)
This will be the only partisan committee out there weighted to an advantage to the Democrats with no senators on as well. But what concerns me about this, not just the redundancy and waste of taxpayer money, it’s who was selected. Before we knew the mission of this committee the speaker nominated who would become the chair. Jim Cliburn, who is probably one of the most political people on the Democratic side, described this pandemic as a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit their vision.
Kevin McCarthy: (07:14)
Not an opportunity for the health and wellbeing of Americans, but a political opportunity to restructure in a liberal view the government of America. Maxine waters who was also appointed to this committee by the speaker, she said in 2017, “I’m going to keep working until he’s impeached.” And Jamie Raskin called for the president’s impeachment just two days before his inauguration. He was also the individual selected by the Democrats to go before the rules committee to bring the articles of impeachment forward to the house. I’m not sure what they have when it comes to holding accountability on the cares act. I know what they do politically. That’s what always has given me concerned about this committee. While the Democrats might use this to take another stab at impeachment 2.0, Republicans we remain committed to truth and transparency. That is why I’ve asked our whip Steve Scalise to lead this panel for us.
Kevin McCarthy: (08:17)
In addition to our whip this panel will include Jim Jordan, it will include Blaine Luetkemeyer, Jackie Walorski and Mark Green. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with freshman Mark Green, he will be the only doctor who’s on this committee. He’s a West Point graduate. He is an emergency room doctor. Unlike those who think this committee or this virus is designed to restructure government, the individuals we appointed have one goal in mind, truth and transparency. Despite the Democrats intentions, I know these members will honorably serve the American people in making sure this does not turn into another faceless partisan pursuit. Having said that, I know where we’re working towards in this weekend and it will be mother’s day on Sunday.
Kevin McCarthy: (09:09)
I do want to take a moment of personal privilege to wish my wife, my mom and my mother-in-law Sharon, a very happy mother’s day. But in a time of crisis I hope we all take a moment. We may not be able to hug our moms because we won’t be able to get close. There are families that will have lost their mothers on this mother’s day and will those that have to wave from afar. We all know how special a mother is and I hope as a nation we take that moment in time to thank our mothers and take a moment in time to come together as one nation as we continue to fight this virus and we will overcome it. With that we’re going to open it up for questions and we have a combination of questions today as we deal with this virus. We’ll have questions within the room and we’ll also take it onto the screen as well for those who could not be in the room because of the seating arrangement and how we want to deal with it. So open for questions. Yes.
Speaker 2: (10:10)
[inaudible 00:10:10] leader can you talk about whether or not you believe or the president believes this virus came from a lab in Wuhan? And what intelligence do you have and do you have concerns about that? Is that something your task force is going to look at?
Kevin McCarthy: (10:26)
That was one of the things the task force will look at, there are many. We started working on this task force long before this virus ever came. For the stealing of technology that China has done to a number of our companies, from the influence of universities, but now the virus itself not allowing our scientists then to help, having international flights leave Wuhan but not allowed domestic flights to go within China. The lack of transparency, the lies that have been propagated through China as well. They will look at the full scope of this. Unfortunately, we did get to an agreement with the Democrats. I named the Republicans that were going to be on it, an equal number of Democrats, an equal number of Republicans. Right before the announcement the Democrats pulled back. They had already named theirs.
Kevin McCarthy: (11:20)
The reporter has already written the story ready to post it a few months back and they pulled back. I’m not sure why, but given what has now transpired with this virus, the lies of what China has done it’s more important now than ever that they joined with us. But if they will not we will go alone. Yes.
Speaker 2: (11:42)
On the second question do you believe that coronavirus originated from a lab in Wuhan?
Kevin McCarthy: (11:46)
[inaudible 00:11:46] originated from Wuhan, there’s very concerning questions out there. This is one of the things that we will look at. The Chinese have not been forthcoming. There are many reports within there that it could have leaked from this lab. They do have a lab there. It’s interesting to me.
Kevin McCarthy: (12:03)
They do have a lab there. It’s interesting to me, the wet markets, if the Chinese believed it came from there, why would they have opened those back up? There’s so many unanswered questions, and so much of the intelligence that is leading towards, that it did leak from this laboratory that had really main concerns of how they practiced there, not in the best instances of other labs. There are real concerns, and we want to get to the bottom of it. That’s one of the roles of this committee. Yeah?
Speaker 3: (12:33)
Leader McCarthy, last week before the Senate came back, it was reported that there wasn’t enough testing for each United States Senator upon their return. Leader McConnell and Speaker Pelosi said that that was okay with them. You spoke out and said that you would like to have testing in the Capitol. Are there enough tests now for the House to return? Are you comfortable with that? What is the testing capacity, in general, in Congress with so many members coming and going?
Kevin McCarthy: (13:02)
Part of that question would go to the doctor in the house, but let me roll out to what I know. Testing continues to improve every single day. We have tested more in this nation than any other nation around. Just last week we have gotten to 1.7 million tests in one week. As we continue to grow and make that number more every single day there are new testing styles that you can do. The FDA is doing an amazing job. The ingenuity of the private sector is coming on with new testing every day. Abbott has a new testability to do it where you get an answer in 10 minutes. I used that test yesterday before I met with the President. I believe differently than what the speaker and majority leader said in the Senate. Congress is essential, but it’s always a public health issue.
Kevin McCarthy: (13:55)
Members of Congress and Senators are coming from every state in the union. They’re flying here and flying back. You yourselves are coming in within. If we’re needing another hundred tests to open up our committees, it’s not taking it away from somewhere else, but it’s also protecting the public health of all those states and communities we’re flying back to. To me, that’s important from a public health point of view. I do believe if we sit back and look at it in that manner, especially if you want committees to come back that was part of the overall plan, they could be tested. They could have an answer in 10 minutes. It wouldn’t be just the members because all the members are not back, just those on the committee. There’s only a select number of staff coming in. I believe the press should be treated as the same because of the spread capability. If you spread it to a member, and they go back to their community, it’s a public health issue. Follow up?
Speaker 3: (14:49)
That Intel that you’ve heard, do you believe the antibody testing too could be implemented in the Capitol similarly to a coronavirus test to see if people already have the antibody?
Kevin McCarthy: (15:00)
An antibody test takes a little longer because it’s a drawing of blood. I would probably refer you to the medical physicians here, but I take physicals here every year, and we draw blood, so I know it’s capable of doing the size, and scale, and scope. The return on that answer to an antibody test, I know it takes at least 24 hours, but I’m sure we’re capable of doing it. The medical team here is amazing. They come from the military, so yes. Yes.
Speaker 5: (15:29)
Do you agree with the administration’s decision to prevent Dr. Fauci and others directly involved with the pandemic response from testifying in front of the House? I imagine you don’t think your members or their constituents are a bunch of Trump haters as the President said it was part of the reason is not allowing them.
Kevin McCarthy: (15:45)
Thank you for the question. I talked to the President’s Chief of Staff yesterday, Mark Meadows. I actually spoke to him the night that the Chair of the Appropriations called. He had asked me a question too. They were not the intention to deny Fauci to come. The only question the White House asked, well Mark Meadows asked, is what’s the committee, what are you looking to look at? He might not be the best person. If you’re looking for say PPE, there might be somebody else. We want to make sure we have the best person to come. They talked three times that night. The Democrats kept coming back, couldn’t tell what they wanted to have the hearing about. They just wanted Dr. Fauci. They said they would send an email later, try to figure it out, and all they did put out is that they were denied.
Kevin McCarthy: (16:32)
I know the Congress wants to have people before him, and I know the White House will allow people to come before us. The one thing I would say at a moment of time, let’s find out what the research you want. I know the work of Dr. Fauci and others are very critical. I wouldn’t want to bring Eisenhower back right before D-Day and others, but I think there were other people that, in the military, could answer those questions. There’s probably others right now who could answer the questions that Congress is looking for, and Dr. Fauci in the work that he’s doing right now, continue that work and can probably come at another date.
Speaker 5: (17:03)
On another topic, the wearing of face coverings has become a weirdly partisan thing. I noticed you came in with a mask on. Your staff, your detail are all wearing masks. Do you think the President should set an example by publicly wearing a mask anywhere just to help put some of this to bed?
Kevin McCarthy: (17:22)
If you look at the guidelines, you’re not recommended to wear, you don’t have to wear a mask on the floor. It could be recommended, but the reason you wear a mask, and I am not a doctor so I’m not the best person to answer this question. Social distancing. I was tested as of yesterday. It’s the social distancing, because we have social distancing here. We watch the speaker not wear a mask as well. I do not believe it’s a partisan issue.
Speaker 5: (17:47)
You said you were tested yesterday. You still were a mask in here. I assume …
Kevin McCarthy: (17:49)
I wore a mask because …
Speaker 5: (17:51)
You don’t expect everybody else here. Right?
Kevin McCarthy: (17:53)
No. I wore a mask because I was walking near people that wasn’t able to carry the social distance. If there is social distancing, and I’m not a doctor, so I don’t want to state out what is best and not, I would refer that question to a medical doctor. I know the reasons why I was tested, if I was going to get anywhere in the room of the President, so the President is protected from that sense as well. The President has his doctor around them all the time, and I know the President takes every avail to make sure what he does is correct. Yes?
Speaker 6: (18:27)
Follow up on an earlier question about Dr. Fauci and the administration not wanting him to testify. Do you worry based on the President’s explanation, which was a little bit different than the Chief of Staff’s explanation, that the administration is not going to allow witnesses for the House, but will allow them for the Republican-controlled Senate? Could you talk about the importance of oversight in all of these different committees that were formed for the legislation?
Kevin McCarthy: (18:50)
Look, I’m not concerned about any of that. I know there’ll be people here to testify in the House. The interesting part would be as probably one of the only reasons why people are going to the Senate, the Senate is open. The house is not. Starbucks is open, but the House is not. Starbucks is only two blocks away from the House. The Senate is open, but the only part of the Capitol that is not open is the House. It will be interesting that I’m sure people would be more than willing to be sent up if the House could open up.
Speaker 7: (19:20)
We heard last week that you were negotiating with Speaker Pelosi about rules, about coming back, about how we’re going to do this. In the guidelines that you put out Monday, nowhere does it have proxy voting, or remote access hearing, things that Democrats were hoping to see. Are we going to assume now that the negotiations between you and the Speaker are stalled? Are they not happening?
Kevin McCarthy: (19:44)
No. I spoke to the Speaker this morning. I told her our intention and invited them to bring people, come back to where we were before about the China task force. We had agreed before to make it bipartisan, the same number of Republicans and Democrats, just to even open up a task force on it. She still declined that. I wanted to make that invitation to her that they are still welcome. If Democrat members want to come to our task force hearing, they are welcome to join us. We believe the nation should work together in this. No, we’ve been working on this. We had another discussion about it. Inside my letter you will see a four phase of how to open up Congress. Just as states don’t open the entire state up at once, I thought what would be the most appropriate, lets bring committees back.
Kevin McCarthy: (20:29)
I’ve been asking for this for more than three weeks. Only a few committees at a time so they could use bigger rooms that have social distancing just as we’re doing here. I would select committees based upon the legislation that is needed at the time. National defense. Armed services come back to do the NDAA. They could use the auditorium. They could use the chambers. That bill has always been a bipartisan bill except for last year when it became partisan. I would say, “Don’t play the partisan games to either side and let’s get that bill done.” We have appropriation, 12 appropriation bills, to get done for the funding of government of the United States. Bring those subcommittees back, and they can use bigger rooms, and do that work to move forward so we can meet our deadline. Transportation committee when it comes to WRDA.
Kevin McCarthy: (21:16)
I would also maybe bring oversight back. They could be looking into the WHO. They could be looking into numerous different things. There is enough large rooms where they could do their work. Once they’re finished with that legislation, you could have a date certain when the members would have to come back to vote. In the last vote that we had, we proved we can handle votes on the floor. We would do it differently, modifying, whereas we would have a vote open longer. Only so many members in the floor at one time. They would come through certain doors and leave out the others. It was an easy flow of ability to make that happen. If there was congestion areas, I would put up a plexiglass just as is in my grocery store. When it came to hearings, now I said, “Let’s crawl, walk, and run.” We could have a part of technology and hearings as well, so we could have hearings where you could do those remotely.
Kevin McCarthy: (22:14)
I do not believe you should ever use remotely when it comes to a markup though. The other committees could be doing work remotely while these committees are here having markups. Then you could rotate and stage the other committees to come back. Members would not have to be here the entire time, but they could come on a Thursday and Friday once there is something to vote upon, and that could be moved forward. When it came to proxy voting, I have discussed that with the Speaker. I have some real concerns. Could one member hold 200 proxies? In the Democrat version that answer is yes. Do you have to concur with the minority? You have more than 200 years of history of how Congress has worked. You would not want to make this partisan. If the minority had the ability to concur, and the way I look at it, this is something for the future, meaning the rest of the Congress. If this virus was to come back and Congress could not meet, then a last resort, you could utilize this.
Kevin McCarthy: (23:14)
I would be open and I told the Speaker for that as long as the minority could concur with it. I do not believe the Democrats think that they want to. If you’re going to do 200 years of history, and I took it from a point of view that just two years ago I was a majority leader, I would give the minority the ability to concur. This is the working of the floor. This is not partisanship. This is a long history, and you want to do this together. We don’t want to have people doing one side or the other, and it’s something within the future. We have proven, almost 400 people came back to vote on the last one. We did it in a manner that the Speaker just described as fabulous. We proved we can work. Starbucks proves every day they can work. The Senate proves they can work. Why is the only place in the Capitol …
Kevin McCarthy: (24:02)
… Work. Why is the only place in the Capitol that cannot work is the house? I have laid out ideas after ideas after ideas. It is the only plan that has been put forth. If they have a different plan to put forth, the only thing they have decided to put forth was in the early hours before a vote that they would take a proxy, and remember what a proxy is. People across this country lend their voice to their congresswoman or congressman and hold them accountable every two years. What a proxy does is take the voice of American public and puts it all in the hands of somebody else that they can hold accountable. That should not be used just for a political basis, only in the most critical of times, and that one person could hold 200? That’s absurd. It wasn’t thought out. And you took 200 years of history and just wipe it away? That’s the wrong way about doing something.
Speaker 9: (25:03)
Last question before virtual questions.
Kevin McCarthy: (25:04)
Speaker 10: (25:06)
Your home state of California experienced a whole bunch of people who just decided they’re going to defy an order from Governor Newsome as far as the beaches were concerned. We’re seeing these types of actions happening all over the United States as far as defining the government shutdowns as far as people opening up their businesses before the government shutdowns expire and I just want to get your thoughts on whether or not looking back, if these mass government shutdowns or rather state shutdowns, as far as how much were they really worth it as far as people who are essentially defying these shutdown orders.
Kevin McCarthy: (25:48)
That’ll be the question for years to come. Be analyzed in so many different ways. I think what’s important now is let’s solve the crisis we have in front of us. Let’s find a way that we open in a safe manner, which we prove that we can do. Just as the president, knowing the 10th amendment and others gave the power to the states. California is a big state. California is 12% of the entire nation’s population, 40 million people. And we’ve been fortunate. We have less than 3,000 deaths in California. I haven’t taken the latest data, but as of last week, 55% of all the deaths came from New York and New Jersey. They were hit the hardest. We took actions in California long before New York did. Maybe that had helped. But just as we are such a large state, probably four states within itself, I think the governor being so far away in Sacramento and dealing with something six hours away in Orange County, she really listened to the locals.
Kevin McCarthy: (26:59)
Why would he pick on one beach and not all the others? Why if you had local authority say it was safe? Myself, having known those beaches, they’re some of the best beaches in our entire nation. They have some of the best lifeguards, more supervision there than I find in almost any other beach across California, and I think the governor kind of reversed himself a few days later. He’s now looking to open up maybe a little sooner, and I think that’s appropriate. Let’s do it in a safe manner. I believe everybody across this country will deal with it differently than they had before. The handshake is gone. The social distancing is a natural for no matter what they do, they will practice in a different way, and I think we will be in a safer manner as we open. Now let’s try it through Zoom, how we’re going to do this.
Speaker 8: (27:54)
As a reminder, if you would like to ask a question, please use the chat function directly with the moderator to share your name and outlet. Our first question comes from Christine Peterson at the Wall Street Journal. Christine, your line is now open.
Christine Peterson: (28:10)
Hi Leader McCarthy. Could you give us your expectations for the special election in California next week to replace Congressman Katie Hill, and do you think that’s representative of what we’re going to see, broadly speaking, in November or do you see it as more of an anomaly?
Kevin McCarthy: (28:28)
Thank you for your question. And before I begin to answer, happy Mother’s Day to her on her very first Mother’s Day. And if we were going to do Zoom, she should have brought Oscar so we could all see him. We should bring her back if she has Oscar. This is a special election about Katie Hill who had to resign based upon the ethics complaint with her and her staffer. This is a seat that in California we lost by more than nine points. The Democrats have spent a great deal amount of money, more than a millions of dollars even in the primary with the top two. I think they have a very flawed candidate. They have a candidate that while she was cutting speakers, she was giving herself a pay raise. We have a candidate by the name of Mike Garcia, first generation American who went to the Naval Academy, became a fighter pilot, defended our nation and is back to working in business.
Kevin McCarthy: (29:22)
I think just the contrast itself will not be an anomaly. I can’t predetermine what this election about. The Democrats early on tried to change the course of the election based upon COVID. It’s just an all mail in ballot election. There also is a real concern in California where the Democrats have changed the election law that people can harvest absentee ballots. We’d asked the governor, especially in this COVID situation, if he would not allow people on the beaches, he shouldn’t allow people going door-to-door to pass COVID around to collect absentee ballots. He passed and would not answer that question, moved it onto the secretary of state. Secretary of state Perdea said, “No, this will be great opportunity to pick up ballots.”
Kevin McCarthy: (30:03)
It’s a real concern to me of a health crisis that Democrats would put politics before the health of people. This election is on May 12th, we’ll see what the outcome [inaudible 00:30:12] will be, but I will put Mike Garcia up next to their candidate any day of the week, which is most concerning about this. This has part of the aerospace corridor. Their nominee criticized Mike Garcia, a fighter pilot defending the nation that he was a pilot and about his service. I do not think anybody in Congress deserves to serve here if they criticize somebody about the service of defending their nation. Next question.
Speaker 8: (30:44)
Our next question comes from Julie Grace Brukely with The Hill. Julie Grace, your line is now open.
Julie Grace Brukely: (30:53)
The Democrats are talking about potentially having rank cancellation and monthly stimulus in the next stimulus package. So I was wondering what your thoughts are on that and if you could kind of give some details on what the GOP is looking for in the next CARES package.
Kevin McCarthy: (31:26)
Okay. Say that again. I didn’t get the first part. Did you hear what the first part was?
Julie Grace Brukely: (31:26)
The democrats are talking about potentially having provisions in the next bill on rent cancellation and monthly stimulus checks for individuals, and potentially having PPP loans for Chamber of Commerce and I was wondering what your thoughts are on that and what you’d overall like to see in the next bill.
Kevin McCarthy: (31:30)
I would say before we move to the next bill, let’s make sure the three trillion that we had legislated and appropriated, gets implemented and gets implemented correctly. Then you have the federal reserve that put in another four trillion, that’s $7 trillion into the economy. Before we take some other action by just picking a number for a bill, let’s get the data back of what the help we need. Let’s get states opened back up to have a real knowledge of what’s needed in this process, and then deal with any legislation in the future by committees, with hearings, with markups and with knowledge. I think that’s the best approach we can take. Another question.
Speaker 8: (32:13)
Our next question comes from Paul Corson with Sinclair TV. Paul, your line is now open.
Paul Corson: (32:20)
Morning Leader McCarthy. Thanks, by the way, for initiating the video conferencing aspect of [inaudible 00:32:26]. My question has to do with the China taskforce and I’m wondering what considerations you’ve been giving to the task force mission about China trade and about China’s military aspirations as part of the committee’s work.
Kevin McCarthy: (32:41)
Great question. I wonder how many of the reporters cleaned their house before they went online? It looks very clean. It’s very nice. This is something that the task force will look at as well. It’s very concerning to when China went to build these artificial islands and President Xi told them president Obama that they will never be militarized and then quickly they were. It’s concerning to me the actions they have taken in the South China Sea. It’s concerning to me the pressure they are mounting in Hong Kong and others. These are all issues of why, prior to the COVID, I asked for a committee that was an equal number of Republicans and Democrats that we could work together on these issues. Let known what the Democrats, what the Chinese have done to our supply chain. We do not make any aspirin or penicillin in America.
Kevin McCarthy: (33:35)
What did we learn about the COVID? When the Chinese found out about what was moving in Wuhan, what did they do? They lied to the world and then they tried to corner the market and store as much PPE as they could. They use it as leverage to other nations as well. France found at the beginning of time why they went and shared and sent personal protection equipment to China soon when the virus came to them after the WHO told them it doesn’t move from human to human. They ended up having to buy PPE back from China. These are the actions that I think not just America but our allies around the world will take up these committees as well.
Kevin McCarthy: (34:18)
Watching what Japan is doing of subsidizing, of moving companies back out of mainland China into Japan, that China will not have control over different industries when it comes to supply chain. We’re watching other items happen within America that might not just deal directly with COVID but also with the benefits of where they’re going. It’s interesting to me that China owns a food processing plant in South Dakota. Is that another challenge that we have for the future when it comes to our food supply? These are all questions that should be asked, investigated, and prepare America that we can handle anything in the future. It is something that President Trump has not only talked about as president and worked on, it’s something he did as candidate Trump and as citizen Trump. I think the rest of the nation is now woken up to it. We’re doing one more question?
Speaker 8: (35:12)
Yes. Our next question comes from Crystal Hayes with USA Today. Crystal, your line is now open.
Crystal Hayes: (35:19)
Thanks Leader McCarthy. Just had a kind of-
Kevin McCarthy: (35:27)
Crystal Hayes: (35:28)
You’re right. Off of Julie Grace’s question, I kind of have a two part question. Some Republicans this week have said that another coronavirus package might not be necessary due to states reopening. Do you still believe another package is needed? And then secondly, are you supportive of additional funds going to state, local and tribal governments, or possibly expanding how the original 150 billion already passed can be used perhaps for first responders to retain them?
Kevin McCarthy: (35:57)
That’s a great question. First of all, before we look at any new package, I think we should make sure we implement the three-
Kevin McCarthy: (36:03)
Before we look at any new package, I think we should make sure we implement the three trillion dollars that we have just passed, along with the other four trillion that the Federal Reserve has put in. Seven trillion dollars into our economy.
Kevin McCarthy: (36:11)
Let’s make sure that is implemented correctly. Before we take up any new bill, let’s have hearings. Let’s have the information and data come back to us and see if there’s a need. As states open up, there’ll be a difference of what’s needed today than is needed tomorrow and I’m willing to look at all that.
Kevin McCarthy: (36:29)
When it comes to funding for states, that’s why in our funding that we supplied more than 500 billion in one month and we’ve even given more now, and remember, put that in perspective. An entire year, we use roughly a little more than $600 billion for Medicare but what we’ve been able to move through the states.
Kevin McCarthy: (36:47)
My concern, especially when you move money just to states, does it get to the cities and counties that need it? What I have found in history before, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a republican or democratic governor, if the money goes directly to them, they take a big portion of that, their cut, before it goes down to the cities and counties. I would like to look at this differently.
Kevin McCarthy: (37:06)
Let’s let the cities and counties put grants in directly into the federal government, so money goes directly just as you would with a classroom, it goes into the classroom, not to the administration. Let’s make sure funding is only there for things that are dealt with when it comes to COVID. There is a great deal of money already sent to the states. Let’s make sure it’s getting there. If some of this money that was sent to the states needs greater flexibility so they can do that, I’m more than willing and open to look at providing them flexibility, especially what we’ve already spent and sent.
Kevin McCarthy: (37:38)
Again, I thank you all for joining. For all those mothers out when it comes to Mother’s Day. I wish you a very Happy Mother’s Day. Take care.