Washington, D.C. — House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) spoke with Chuck Todd on NBC’s Meet The Press on the people’s frustration with President Obama’s unilateral executive actions and how to move forward on funding the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Below are excerpts from the interview:
On how to move forward with DHS funding:
“Let’s go back and remember how this was created. The President, right after the election, had a lunch—bicameral, Senate leaders and House leaders. [He] was advised that creating a problem wouldn’t solve the immigration problem, if you took executive action, which 22 separate times he said he did not have the authority to do. Right after that lunch, he went and took his executive action to bring chaos. So, we didn’t get our business all done in an omnibus. So we funded 11 of the 12. And then, what did the House do? Five weeks ago, because we do not believe in cliffs, we took this issue up. It was the Senate Democrats, who not only voted against the bill, but denied the Senate Republicans from even bringing it up when seven Senate Democrats said they opposed it. So they created the cliff, moved the bill at the last moment, and what was the House action? Let’s go to conference, because even Harry Reid said last year, that’s the way for the last 200 years we settle our differences. We avoided a cliff. They created one.
“Look, could we have done better Friday? Yes. And will we? Yes, we will. But, we took up legislation five weeks ago so we did not have a cliff. If there is somebody that’s not being an adults it’s the Democrats that are trying to use an advantage to a rule to not let the majority govern in the Senate. I can work with anybody. Homeland Security did not shut down. We say let’s go to conference. We’re ready to get the job done.”
On Americans’ frustration with the President’s unilateral actions:
“In the last two years, the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, had overruled the President and specifically said he overused his authority in two different cases. This President has created this frustration. And remember, you see a frustration in the House. That is reflective and representative of the frustration in our districts. This President doesn’t want to work with the American public. He’s creating these problems when we’re trying to work it out. The best thing that can happen is we go to conference, and we settle our differences.”
On the unity of the House Republican Conference:
“We have a difference of opinion in strategy and tactics. But in principle we are united. We’re united in the principle [that] there’s a right way and wrong way to legislate. Unfortunately, the president chose the wrong way. And when the highest court in the land tells you you’ve overstepped your bounds, that means there is a problem.”
On the House Republican agenda moving forward:
“We are committed to doing trade, tax reform, infrastructure. All we need is someone that wants to work with us. We will work with anybody that wants to work with us. We just find an Administration—he’s offered four times as many veto threats as bills that he’s signed. He has a veto threat where he just stopped 40,000 jobs in America. He veto threatened charitable giving to food banks.”