Jun 1, 2023

The House Passes the Fiscal Responsibility Act Transcript

The House Passes the Fiscal Responsibility Act Transcript
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Kevin McCarthy holds a news conference after the House passes the Fiscal Responsibility Act. read the transcript here.

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Steve Scalise (00:00):

[inaudible 00:01:28] move this behind.

Kevin McCarthy (00:00):

No, no, that’s fine. That’s fine.

Speaker 1 (01:37):

You got your folder.

Speaker 2 (01:39):

I got folder. Tiny folder.

Kevin McCarthy (01:42):

First of all, thank you all for being here. Before I begin, I just want to start by saying how grateful I am to Garrett Graves and Patrick McHenry. They had given their time and talents this effort for more than a month. We would not be here without them. Our entire conference and country owes them the great deal of debt for what they put their selves through. I want to thank our conference. On February 1st, I got my first meeting with the president. I’ve been thinking about this day before my vote for speaker because I knew the debt ceiling was coming.

I wanted to make history. I wanted to do something no other Congress has done. That we would literally turn the ship. That for the first time in quite some time, we’d spend less than we spent the year before. Tonight, we all made history because this is the biggest cut and savings this Congress has ever voted for, and it’s not that we’re just voting for it. This is going to be law, $2.1 trillion. You’ve all covered this entire battle. You were there on February 1st when I walked out after talking to the president, and I was kind of hopeful because he told me in that meeting we would meet again. He sat next to me at the prayer breakfast the next morning. He told the entire crowd that we would meet again, but for 97 days he said, no.

People look at me and say, “Why are you always an optimist?” Because I know as an American tomorrow will be better than today. I had to be an optimist that every day I woke up and said, maybe today the president would change his mind. Maybe today he’d want to put the country first. Maybe today he’d want to meet, but he never did. Not until our entire conference passed the bill, the Senate never did. It took no action. The Democrats plan was to do a discharge petition to only raise the debt ceiling and we’d have no savings. We’d take us further off of the cliff.

But when I finally got to meet with the President, we couldn’t talk about the entire budget. We couldn’t talk about and look at places that we could have savings. We could only focus on 11% of the budget. But in that 11%, not only did we give you the greatest savings in American history, there’s going to be people who are on welfare today that will no longer be on welfare. That they will find a job because of the work requirement. And not just when they find that job, their self-worth, their attitudes are going to change. They’re going to believe in themselves. They’re going to be able to buy a house, send their kids to college because of the vote we took tonight. Because of the vote we took tonight, the largest rescissions in American history.

All the Covid money, the billions of dollars sitting out there that they said they would never bring back. You know what, to the taxpayer, to your hardworking Americans, we stood for you. We brought that money back. For those who are afraid that they’re going to get audited because the president wants to have 87,000 new IRS agents. Right now he has zero. We took every single dollar they were going to hire somebody this year away. And I promise you, I’ll be back next year and next year and next year because I believe government should be here to help you, not go after you. We didn’t just take the money from this year. We took another 20 billion. I think we should get some more border agents with that 20 billion. I think that’s where America would want to see us go.

We capped the ability of growth, of spending in government for the next six years. We’re holding people accountable to do the work you’re supposed to do as a member, otherwise cuts across the board. We are unshackling what holds America back for competition with other countries. For the first time in 40 years, we changed environmental review process so you don’t have to wait seven years on average to build a road. You could do it in one or two. So it’s not just the bridges, it’s not this the roads, it’s the energy projects that will make us energy independent.

We stopped $400 million going from the CDC Global Health Fund, not to Americans, but taking Americans money to send it to China. I believe in looking after America first. More than two thirds of our conference voted for it. We got all the Democrats who signed a discharge petition to say they would never raise the debt ceiling, only raise it clean. I got them to vote for it too. So think about how much further we can go.

I didn’t stand far from this room after a couple, three days of trying to get elected speaker, and every question you gave me, what could we survive? What could we even do? I told you then it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. Each week we have stood up for the American public. Be it, its strongest border security, be it a Parent Bill of Rights, you can have a say in your kids’ education. Be it ending the pandemic or standing up against those who are weak on crime to make our streets safer.

Tonight, I hope we proved it to you again, that we put the citizens of America first, and we didn’t do it by taking the easy way. We didn’t do it by the ways that people did it in the past by just lifting it, we decided that you had to spend less and we achieved that goal. Is it everything I wanted? No. But sitting with one house with a Democratic senate and a Democratic president who didn’t want to meet with us, I think we did pretty dang good for the American public.

My last question, my last statement to everyone in America, I will never give up on you. It wasn’t an easy fight. I had people on both sides upset, but I was focused on you and I will stay focused on you because I’m waking up tomorrow going after everything we didn’t get here today. This is an extraordinary team that helped us. Our majority leader, Steve Scalise.

Steve Scalise (08:58):

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Nobody said it would be easy to break Washington’s out of control spending pattern. It’s been going on for decades. If you look at the spending curve, just how much money every year Washington has been spending more than it takes in, and for years and years, people would say somewhere it’s got to start where they turn the ship, where they start riding the ship, where we finally start cutting spending. Yet it never happened. Republican, Democrat administrations failed, and tonight we took the first step, a bill that actually cuts real dollar spending next year compared to what it was this year. That’s an important critical first start. It’s just the beginning. This is by far not the end. It is the beginning of changing the pattern of spending in Washington.

And make no mistake, if Nancy Pelosi was still speaker and the Democrats were in charge, we wouldn’t be having a conversation about how much we cut. The conversation would be about how much more did Washington vote to spend? How many more taxes did Joe Biden put on the hardworking families of America? Because that’s what President Biden wanted to do. He made it crystal clear, not just to Speaker McCarthy, but he actually talked about it publicly. He wanted more taxes, even though he’s passed over a trillion dollars in new taxes, and that tax and spend burden over the last two years is one of the reasons why families are struggling today, why inflation is running skyrocketing out of control today.

It wasn’t until Speaker McCarthy said “That day is over, no taxes, in fact, no new spending. We’re finally going to start negotiating about how much to cut, how much to save for the American people. How much can we finally get our country turned around and start growing the economy?”

Steve Scalise (11:00):

And this bill contains components of all of those elements, real cuts in spending. If you look at some of the important factors just cutting over a billion dollars in the IRS, president Biden wanted to more than double the agency and CBO confirmed it was going to be going after lower income families. People that are single mom working two jobs was going to be paying more. And we finally started to reverse that trend. Real work requirements. You want to talk about something that’s going to help change the culture of this country? Getting people back to work at a time when everybody’s looking for workers. People think it’s psychotic, that the federal government is borrowing money from countries like China to pay people not to work at a time when everyone’s looking for workers.

And not only do these work requirements help restore the dignity of work, but these work requirements will help strengthen programs like Social Security and Medicare that are so vital to us and so important to those people who earned those benefits. Yet when President Biden started paying millions to more people to sit on the sidelines to turn down work and still get over 35,000 a year in benefits, they’re not paying into Social Security, they’re not paying into Medicare. That’s one of the reasons why those programs are going towards bankruptcy under President Biden. We reverse that trend by strengthening important programs like Social Security and Medicare.

A lot of other important provisions in this bill, but again, this is the first step. This is a down payment on the other things that we’re going to start doing, but none of those things would be possible if we didn’t start tonight, in the action that was taken by this house in this majority. With that, I want to yield to somebody who’s been working overtime to make sure that all of our members from every swath of our conference have been able to talk about the important components of this bill all around the country over these last few weeks, our conference chair, Elise Stefanik.

Elise Stefanik (12:59):

Thank you, Steve. Today is truly a historic day. The Fiscal Responsibility Act is a win for the American people and future generations. I know that as the newest mom in Congress, when I think of my son, Sam, when I think about the babies born in this country today, we are standing up for them. I also want to thank speaker Kevin McCarthy for his extraordinary leadership, this entire team, Patrick and Garret, for leading negotiations and the dedicated and disciplined teamwork of our House Republican Conference to successfully communicate our message and deliver this result for the American people. The Fiscal Responsibility Act will be the largest deficit reduction in history. It will restore fiscal sanity and it will hold Washington accountable, despite being consistently and constantly underestimated by the mainstream media week after week since the start of this Republican Congress. But week after week, day after day, House Republicans will work tirelessly for you, the American people.

We will continue to provide policy solutions and successfully communicate around these critical issues to strengthen our economy. And we won this public narrative with the support of the American people between President Biden and Speaker McCarthy. House Republicans won from start to finish. The passage of this legislation is a testament to house Republicans delivering on our commitment to America, an economy that’s strong. I look forward to the Senate passing this bill, and again, I thank Speaker McCarthy and the entire Conference for their teamwork and leadership to deliver this result. I’m now honored to turn it over to one of our chief vote counters, our chief Deputy Whip, and I want to also thank our whip Tom Emmer for their incredible work throughout this process. My good friend from Pennsylvania, Guy Reschenthaler.

Guy Reschenthaler (14:51):

Thank you, chairwoman Stefanik. We got to remember where we were when we started. Everybody said that the Democrats would not negotiate, that Biden would not negotiate, that there had to be a clean debt ceiling increase. And we were told that Republicans would never have the votes to lift a debt ceiling. And we passed Limit, Save, Grow with Republican votes. We did that despite everybody saying we wouldn’t. And then we came back, we got Kevin McCarthy in the room. We got Garret Graves in the room, Patrick McHenry to negotiate. And we were told again that Republicans would not have the votes to get this done.

And tonight, we passed this with over two thirds of our conference voting for this act. And we knew we had to do two things. Of course, we had to lift the debt limit, we had to avoid financial disaster, but we also had to have real spending reforms. And this is the largest deficit reduction we’ve had in history. So I couldn’t be more proud of whip Tom Emmer, our entire whip team, speaker McCarthy and the two negotiators that we had in the room, Garret Graves and chairman McHenry. And with that, I’d like to hand it over to my good friend Chairman McHenry.

Patrick McHenry (16:02):

Hey, thanks guys. Thank you. Well, first of all, it was an honor to negotiate on behalf of House Republicans and Speaker McCarthy. That was a true honor. It was a real privilege to work with Garret Graves of Louisiana, who’s become a very dear friend of mine and a trusted confidant. It was tough. It was a tough negotiation. It didn’t please everyone, go ask anybody in the halls, right? It’s divided government. So our expectations have to be right on what we can achieve in divided government. But even in divided government, we brought a fiscally conservative package to the house representatives, commensurate with the House Republicans demands, and repair down spending, commensurate with the command of the speaker that we spend less money next year than we spent this year, and we delivered on that. It’s $2 trillion of savings. And what that means for the taxpayer is it lightens their burden to pay higher taxes in the future for the debt we’re accruing today.

We have work requirements and we think the value of work is important for American society, and we give people that opportunity and connect it with the social safety net. And we balance that, making sure that we are careful about the homeless population, veterans and those right out of foster care. We’re very thoughtful about that. And finally, with permitting reform, with environmental law changes, we’re going to see energy production here in America that will happen more quickly. We’re going to see projects happen like roads and bridges and buildings happen more cheaply and a whole lot faster. So that’s a good package. And this is a down payment on what conservative governance can look like in Washington D.C. But in a divided Washington, it’s not perfect, but it’s a step in the right direction for the conservative philosophy that I hold and the outcomes that I seek and House Republicans seek.

But I want to thank Speaker McCarthy. Without his focus and effort, without building consensus among House Republicans and be able to deliver on a bill that raised the debt ceiling, we wouldn’t have been at the negotiating table. So we had a lot of folks that wanted to make the perfect the enemy of the good. This was quite a good package, and I’m proud of the work we were able to put forward. And I’m proud that this bill can become law. And it was a real honor to work with my good friend, one of the most intelligent, focused members of Congress and one of the worst practical jokers that I’ve ever met, my good friend, Garret Graves.

Garret Graves (18:49):

Thanks, Patrick. Wow, what a year it’s been. Y’all remember in January, you’re sitting here looking at one of the thinnest majorities in modern history. You’re watching a bumpy January start, and you, along with everybody else around the country was sitting there thinking, this is going to be a dysfunctional Congress. But I’ll tell you this one person who’s standing behind me who said, “This isn’t going to be a dysfunctional Congress. This is going to be a transformational Congress.” And with one of the thinnest majorities in modern history, look at what’s happened in this House of Representatives, how this speaker’s been able to unite members of this conference with diverse ideology, being able to pull people together and passing legislation which transforms how we deal with energy in the United States, helping to lower prices, helping to lower emissions, helping to sever our dependence upon foreign countries for energy.

We have a crisis on our southern border with millions of citizens of other countries illegally crossing into our nation, bringing fentanyl that’s killing our own citizens, enriching cartels, human trafficking. And this speaker brought a diverse group of people together, and we passed border security, we passed American security legislation. We had a Parents Bill of Rights that was passed with strong support. We had a bill that was signed in the law that prevented a lessening of punishments for crime. We had a bill that was signed in a law that ended the COVID emergency. And today, one of the most historic pieces of legislation that has ever passed the House of Representatives, a bill that will save the American people over $2 trillion, a bill that helps to restore the appropriate balance of powers as envisioned by our founders, that ensures a role of Congress, that ensures that you don’t have a tyrant, a dictator, a monarchy that’s out there waving a wand, deciding that hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer funds are going to be spent without any approval or consideration by their representatives in the United States Congress. Legislation that builds upon work requirements, that benefits both those that pay taxes and those that are dependent upon our social welfare safety net, because it has been proven that this helps get people back into the workforce. Look, I could go on and on about all the benefits of this legislation, but I’ll tell you what has happened today by this Congress that is going to be signed into law, this is one of the most significant pieces of legislation that’s ever passed, and I’ll say it again. With a bumpy start and many people with incredibly low expectations, we’ve once again passed transformational legislation. And as the speaker said, it’s just the first step. A man behind me is one of the best strategists I’ve ever seen in my life. And what you saw today, the legislation that passed with over 300 votes hitting high water marks in categories no one ever expected, anticipated, or ever before achieved, wouldn’t have happened without him, wouldn’t have happened without the vision,

Garret Graves (22:00):

… vision and leadership, the persistence and the optimism. Thank you.

Kevin McCarthy (22:05):

I do want to say there’s one person that’s not here right now that deserves a lot of credit and that’s our whip, Tom Emmer. He’s done an amazing job. So want to take some questions? Yeah, you’re excited.

Reporters (22:19):

So in the bill, there’s the CR provision. Why does…

Kevin McCarthy (22:25):

No, there’s not a CR. What it says… This is not an automatic CR. It says… For too long, I’m frustrated how this place works. People didn’t have to show up for work. You couldn’t be in this building. We would have to pass 1000-page bills with no one having opportunity to read it. I hope you understand that has all changed. But what we would do is, in the past, the Democrats would wait and they throw an omni. Do all the work they hadn’t done all year and they’d throw it with about $1.4 trillion at us right before Christmas, told you you had to pass it or you couldn’t go home. You couldn’t read it, you got it shoved at you.

No more omnis, no more business that way. This place has changed. This was a 99-page bill… I’ll get to the answer. You had 72 hours to read it. The majority, 15 pages were just rescissions, things that we are taking back. What this does, by January 1st, encourages this body to pass all 12 appropriation bills. Don’t give us an omni. Do the job you’re elected to do, and if not, a 1% cut across the board, I think it’ll encourage him to do the job.

Reporters (23:43):

What would happen between October 1st and January [inaudible 00:23:44]?

Kevin McCarthy (23:43):

You would have to pass some type of CR during that time period. Yes.

Reporters (23:47):

Susan McCarthy. This was an overwhelming bipartisan vote. Does it say something that [inaudible 00:23:54] Republicans? Do you have any regrets [inaudible 00:23:58].

Kevin McCarthy (24:00):

Really, okay, so let’s see. Deeper spending cuts, non-defense spending, you take vets, out is lower than it was in 2022. What we just proved was Democrats were here and they spent $6 trillion. They brought his inflation, everything else. They said only thing they would do is just raise the debt limit. Well, they voted for work requirements. Now, they just voted to put Pego on all of our president that he can’t go create a new regulation or others without cutting before that. They now just capped spending for 1% for the next six years. I can think of all sorts of more bills I’m going to bring to the floor because they just said now they’d vote for it.

Reporters (24:44):

Thank you. [inaudible 00:24:45] how do you see your role as [inaudible 00:25:08]?

Kevin McCarthy (25:09):

I’m not sure I heard everything, but this is what I heard the question. You tell me if I’m wrong. What does it mean to not give up on the American people? That President Biden said, “I kept my word.” Okay. And what do I see going forward? When I talk about the American people, I talk about we’re not going to stop until we make your streets safe. We’re not going to stop until we make sure the border is secure. We’re not going to stop until we get the rest of the IRS agents repealed. We are not going to stop until we put ourselves on a path that a new child born in America is not given of $95,000 bill. We’re going to put ourselves, we’re going to make our economy stronger, we’re going to make our streets safer, we’re going to give you more freedom where government gets out of your life, and we’re not going to stop until we make this happen. Yes, sir.

Reporters (25:59):

[inaudible 00:25:59] the Senate amends the deal, the House is prepared to vote again and separately, this unique coalition that you built for this bill, do you think this one and done on a unique issue by [inaudible 00:26:08] or do you think this [inaudible 00:26:09] on other issues [inaudible 00:26:10]?

Kevin McCarthy (26:10):

Now let’s be serious how we got here. You say it’s a unique coalition. It’s a coalition of a Republican Congress with five seat majority leading. The president would’ve never even met with us. He denied meeting with us for 100 days. Until we passed something, the Senate did nothing. The House Democrats said they’d never vote for anything until the President came down and told them this was their deal. They weren’t in the room. So that’s a unique coalition that we pass a bill, you negotiate around our bill, and the Democrats in the day join us to vote for it. I’ll take that every day of the week. Yes ma’am.

Reporters (26:47):

While the majority passed this, [inaudible 00:26:51] majority still had more Democrat voting in favor of this than Republicans. [inaudible 00:26:54] Henry told me earlier that those in opposition to this legislation didn’t understand the bill. Is there anything that you believe you could’ve done differently to get more members to see this bill the way you do?

Kevin McCarthy (27:09):

Look, every day I could wake up and improve. There’s so many times I stumble as we go. It’s difficult in a time of negotiations to keep your full conference abreast because as we do, you all leak it and you can’t negotiate once you leak and so something blows something else up. Maybe if we were in session when we were closing down to the end, maybe so. I don’t think we were ever going to get anybody. I mean, we have people who didn’t vote for Limit, Save, Grow. Ken Buck didn’t vote for that. Andy Biggs didn’t vote for that. I don’t think they’ve ever voted for a debt ceiling. Matt Gaetz has never voted for it. So we’re never going to get everybody. But we have spent four months bringing everybody together and whether you voted for or voted against it, you wanted something more, right? I can only look at what’s on the bill. If I’m going to say this doesn’t have something I want, I’d vote no against every bill.

But history will write this is the largest cut in American history. It’s not even close. There’s a number of people who voted against it that have voted for debt ceilings in the past that just raised them. So maybe I could have explained it better. Maybe I could’ve been a little out front where, but I’ll improve each day. It wasn’t an easy task, the President not willing to meet with us. So there’s probably a lot of different things we can do better. Yes, ma’am.

Reporters (28:35):

You said that Democrats got nothing [inaudible 00:28:36]. So how do you define them as getting nothing [inaudible 00:28:36]?

Kevin McCarthy (28:38):

Well, I think they voted for it because they wanted to stick up for their president. But if you think they got work requirements, I’ll bring them more work requirements. If you think they like the idea of having $2 trillion in cuts, I’m coming back tomorrow with more cuts. If you think they like the idea that we can change environmental review, I’m bringing more of that back because I didn’t get everything I want. If you think the Democrats like repealing $21 billion from the IRS agents that they want to try to hire sometimes and they hired none, I’m bringing back the next 60 billion to them. So this is great.

I think it’s wonderful that they voted for it because they are now on record so they can’t sit there and yell, “This isn’t good.” So I’ll bring something back tomorrow. Let’s get the rest of the IRS agent. Let’s get the rest of the work requirements. Let’s cut more because we are in a big debt. This is fabulous. This is one of the best nights I’ve ever been here. I thought it would be hard. I thought it’d be almost impossible just to get to 218. Now I found there’s a whole new day here. We’ve woken them up. Maybe they listened to our speeches. I don’t know. Yes, ma’am.

Reporters (29:40):

[inaudible 00:29:40] you guys got obviously majority of your conference [inaudible 00:29:44].

Kevin McCarthy (29:44):

Two thirds.

Reporters (29:44):

Yeah, two thirds.

Kevin McCarthy (29:45):

Over two thirds, but just [inaudible 00:29:47].

Reporters (29:49):

[inaudible 00:29:49]. Do you think that this should kind of quiet [inaudible 00:29:52]?

Kevin McCarthy (29:54):

It’s up to them. Yes.

Reporters (29:56):

So in the past several days, obvious some members [inaudible 00:30:01] very vocal about their issues [inaudible 00:30:04] violated promises [inaudible 00:30:06] January [inaudible 00:30:07] response that.

Kevin McCarthy (30:08):

Well, first you have to tell me what promise I violated. Did I say I would cut the biggest spending cut in American history? I don’t even think I said that, but I probably surpassed my promise. If you think I would say we’d get back to 2022, if you take the non-defense veterans out, it’s actually lower than 2022. If I said we’d get some work requirements, we got some work requirements. If we said we would cap it, spending, we got six years of that. So I’m not sure which promise I could make that I couldn’t keep. Oh, yes. Yes, ma’am.

Reporters (30:41):

Now that [inaudible 00:30:41], what are the next big [inaudible 00:30:45]?

Kevin McCarthy (30:47):

Well, we’ve got a number of things we got to do, but we’ve got to do appropriations. We’ve got a lot of oversight work to do. I don’t know if you’ve followed FBI director Ray, not following through on our subpoena. Now, says he would let us look at the document. I think there’s a lot of problems out there. There’s a lot more in spending. I don’t think the FBI deserves a building the size of the Pentagon and some Taj Mahal to spend almost a billion dollars in. I think there’s a better way to spend that money. I think there’s a lot of places we can look that we can find savings. I see the border that’s still not secure. We passed the bill over to the Senate, so we got an appropriation process. There’s a lot of ways that we can get legislation in there at the same time. We’re going to work each and every day. Every day, I’m going to wake up, try to improve from the day before, and keep my eye on what the American people want us to do. Yes.

Reporters (31:38):

[inaudible 00:31:39] immigration?

Kevin McCarthy (32:01):

Look, there’s a number of things. Well, the first thing I would say, you got to secure the border before you do immigration reform. We tried hard to make some of that in here. We tried hard to be able to even reform further that we could become energy independent. We committed that we continue those discussions, that we couldn’t get it all in here, but we’ve got to lower the cost of energy for all Americans. We could become energy independent, but we can help the world and we can lower global emissions around the world. If we simply replaced Russian natural gas in Europe for one year, we would lower CO2 emissions by more than 218 million tons, 218 million tons in one year. It would create more American jobs. It would make our economy stronger. We need to expand our grid. Garrett has to be an expert in that. We did forge good relationships.

Kevin McCarthy (33:00):

I will tell you the individuals, from Shalanda Young to Ricchetti, I have the utmost respect for them. They are bright, they are tough negotiators. They represented in a professional manner the whole time. And you’ve got to understand this was not easy. This negotiation blew up a number of times, where I wasn’t sure at times we weren’t going to get somewhere. There were times that one side would say to the others, “Maybe we need to give up. Maybe we have to have somebody else different in the room, that maybe we’re not doing something that you’re not seeing the way we’re seeing it.” But the one thing that happened is that we didn’t give up. That we believed we could find a place. I know the country is divided. I watched Congress divided today. I watched my own Congress, my own own conference. I will work to make sure everybody comes back. It might not be easy, but it’s too important to let go. Yes?

Speaker 3 (34:03):

Mr. Speaker, sounds like we won’t be doing this again until 2025. What a shame [inaudible 00:34:08] But in the meantime, what’s your message to voters as they look back on this moment we call historical, in preparation for the next presidential election?

Kevin McCarthy (34:17):

Okay, well this is what I will say. It doesn’t mean we’re going to wait just for the next debt ceiling to come. I didn’t want to wait till the end days to do this. That’s why I went down to see the President February 1st. But we’re not going to solve our debt problem by trying to do it during a debt ceiling. I’m putting a commission together as Speaker of Republicans and Democrats. America has done this before. We did it right after World War II. We put a committee together of Republicans and Democrats that looked at any place that they had duplication. It was the last time we had hit debt at 102% of our GDP. And they did it together. And when they found duplication that they could eliminate, they brought it directly to the floor. No amendments voted up or voted down.

We can’t keep doing the same thing to solve the problem. We have to think differently and we can’t do it with just one party. We are all in this together. And I’m going to encourage the Democratic leader to nominate and appoint the people who will be serious. And when I worked with Hakeem, when we did the China Select Committee, that’s what we got and we are able to work together on this. So that’s what I’m coming back with tomorrow. Yes ma’am.

Speaker 4 (35:38):

I’m actually going to ask you about the fiscal commission. It sounds like you’re looking to put together outside Democrats or Republicans or [inaudible 00:35:47] to establish this commission? And if so, when would you bring that forward?

Kevin McCarthy (35:53):

Well, I’m not convinced yet that whether I use people on the outside or just use members of Congress themselves. I’m not sure I want to wait for a bill to pass the house and get stuck in the Senate. The Senate doesn’t do much. So I happen to be Speaker. Why don’t we just create it? Let’s not wait. Let’s do things. We don’t need to keep studying. We don’t need to keep waiting. The American people are tired of that. This is a new house under new direction with a new focus. The focus on them. Yes?

Speaker 5 (36:27):

I’m just following on another question. If the Senate passes amendment to this bill, is the House prepared to take an amended bill from the Senate [inaudible 00:36:34] said that they want to offer amendments.

Kevin McCarthy (36:37):

They can offer amendments. I’m not quite sure they’ll pass, but we’ll take that up as it goes. Look, the House is here when they weren’t supposed to be in session. I know many of them are going home. We’ll do whatever needs to be done, but I doubt that it’ll come back.

Speaker 6 (36:49):

Can I ask your on relationship with President Biden? How has that changed over this series of negotiations? Obviously you said negotiating [inaudible 00:36:57] the White House [inaudible 00:36:58]. You had multiple meetings with the president himself. How has this changed your relationship with him?

Kevin McCarthy (37:03):

He hasn’t invited me to dinner or lunch yet. Look, I respect anybody in the office. It’s not an easy office to win. I understand what they’re under.

I just hope he doesn’t sit back and ignore people when they want to work with you. I enjoyed working with his team. I enjoyed meeting with him. We’re wide apart in a philosophy. We’re wide apart in the direction we want America to go. We have a much different understanding when it comes to revenue and expenditures. He has increased spending so much in America. It is the highest level we have ever spent in this country. While at the same time we have the most money ever coming into this country with the largest debt we ever had. It is not a revenue problem. It’s a spending problem. And all the President wants to do is keep raising taxes. We should take this moment in time in our history to have the highest revenue, to be paying down debt, not spending more. We have a clear difference there. I respect him. I’ll debate him, but I’ll work with him if we can lower the debt. Yes ma’am.

Reporters (38:13):

Mr. Speaker, when we talk about the Senate taking this up later week, you and your team have really taken the lead on these negotiations with the White House and Senate wasn’t really involved in [inaudible 00:38:14]. So how is this working now when it moves to the Senate? We have some republicans that are saying they’ll [inaudible 00:38:30] the bill. Are you working with your Senate counterparts to encourage them to vote in [inaudible 00:38:39] and get signed into law?

Kevin McCarthy (38:39):

Look, everybody gets elected on their own. I think the Senate sat back and they didn’t produce anything. Ideally, it would’ve been great had we produced something as we did and they produced something, we could have gone to conference. Unfortunately, they decided that no, just wait till the deadline and rush everything through. We think Congress should act differently. We should be more responsible, we should be reasonable, we should be sensible. And that’s exactly what we did. So I’m sure they can pass the bill. We just sent them one and it’s going to be law.

Speaker 7 (39:09):

Last question.

Speaker 8 (39:09):

Do you speak to former President Trump about this bill, and if so, what did he say about it?

Kevin McCarthy (39:17):

No, I speak to President Trump, but we didn’t talk much about the bill. We don’t want to end on that question. Let’s end on something else. What are you going to do now when I walk out of my office? Are you still going to be there?

Speaker 9 (39:28):

[inaudible 00:39:30]

Kevin McCarthy (39:30):

All right. I might miss you one day, but remember this, I’ll still look forward to when you come back. And you know what? You still ask the same questions each week. Do you think can pass the bill this week? Do you think you’ll still be speaker next week? Keep underestimating us and we’ll keep proving the American public that we’re never giving up on you. Thank you. And goodnight.

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