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Scalise: Republicans Ready to Change How Washington Works

  • 1.11.23 Squawk Box
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) joined CNBC’s Squawk Box this morning to discuss how House Republicans are working to fix a broken Washington. Leader Scalise emphasized that Congress should not be giving the Internal Revenue Service tens of billions of dollars to audit hardworking families and called out Secretary Buttigieg for his horrific management of the Department of Transportation. In addition, Leader Scalise highlighted how House Republicans’ rules package will create a more transparent legislative process and make lawmakers more accountable to their constituents. Leader Scalise also emphasized that House Republicans are committed to reversing Democrats’ self-made inflation, border, and energy crises.  
Click here or on the image above to view the interview.
Highlights from the interview: On the Speaker vote and the Rules Package: “I supported [Speaker McCarthy]. Obviously, we had, you know, we had a few extra rounds, 15 rounds, but hey, it worked out. And really, the debate in those rounds was over how we changed the way Washington works because I think everybody knows, Washington's been broken for a long time. It really hasn't been responding to the problems that the country is facing.  “We had a lot of internal discussions about changing the rules dramatically so that we don't end up with these omnibus bills – you know, thousands of pages dropped by [the] dark of night right before the vote, nobody's read it, deals with who knows how many different subjects you find out about later. “I think if you look at the problems families are facing, whether it's inflation, energy costs, border crisis – you know, you just talked about another crisis over at the Department of Transportation – they don't see Washington fighting for them, and we've got to change that. We've started that process now, and I think you're going to like what you see coming out of this new House.” On upcoming bills: “First of all, I have not found one person in my district of about 750,000 people who [has] said that they want to add people to the IRS, let alone more than [double] the size of the agency. So you know, when you look at what the CBO report said, it confirmed that their goal is to go after not just the millionaires and billionaires, but people making less than $400,000 a year. Single moms working two jobs at a restaurant, they don't think that she's paying enough in taxes, and she's cheating on her taxes, and they've said things like that. And so people are fed up with the government going after them.  “Look, we have got to get our committee set up. Republicans and Democrats haven't made the final selections for all the committees. Congress just got started last week. But when you see the committee is up and running, you're going to see bills to get an energy policy that makes sense for this country because there's absolutely no reason that we should be getting our energy from foreign countries. You know, whether it's OPEC, Russia, [or] Iran, we don't need it. We can produce it ourselves a lot cheaper, a lot more energy efficient, by the way. And so let's have a bill on the floor that actually makes our country energy independent and lowers gas costs. “Let's make sure that we can get bills to address inflation, so that when people go to the grocery store, they're not paying so much. And let's get bills out of committee that actually secure America's border, so we don't have more than 100,000 young people last year dying from fentanyl overdoses. That's what you're going to be seeing in the weeks ahead. Obviously, going to get the committee started. And that's in the works right now.” On the FAA and transportation debacles: “Can we just go a week in America without a major debacle out of the Secretary of Transportation's purview? Look, you're going to see a lot of oversight in this administration, you know. And you saw supply chain breakdowns. You had the Southwest debacle where supposedly Secretary Buttigieg had been briefed in advance of that and yet no warning to the American public. Now you see this problem at the FAA.  “These agencies are flush with cash. Again, you know, everybody wants to talk about, ‘Hey, just throw money at the problem.’ Money has been thrown at the problem, and the problem seems to get worse. So I think it's important that we start looking at the money, looking for waste, fraud, and abuse. What are they doing with our taxpayer money? Because clearly, they're not spending that money to take care of families across America.  “And so these agencies need to be held to a different level of scrutiny because we haven't seen any – all we see [are] problems and problems. And then they ask for more money when they've gotten more every year.  “That's not how families work, by the way. Families, when they are doing their budget, they don't say, ‘Okay, what’s failed? Let's just throw more money at it.’ They say, ‘Like, maybe we ought to do things very differently.’” On House Republicans’ legislative agenda for the 118th Congress: “We had a lot of conversations – it wasn’t just last week, we've been having these for months – about how to change the way Washington works. And once we came to an agreement, you saw an overwhelming vote to pass the rules package on Monday night. That was the beginning of getting this started.  “Then we brought a few other bills already. We're going to be bringing a bill again this week to deal with the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, to say it shouldn't be raided to give that oil to China. I think most Americans would agree with that. I think we're going to get a strong vote there. “We had an overwhelming vote, including by more than two-to-one margin yesterday. Democrats voted with Republicans to create a Select Committee to look into China because China has been going unchecked whether it be militarily [or] economically. And so, we’re now going to have a bipartisan committee that actually addresses the threat that's posed by China. “Again, that was an overwhelming bipartisan vote yesterday. I know those [kinds] don't get covered by the press because it's not the food fights you see. But frankly, a lot of these fights need to happen because our country is on the wrong track. And to get it on the right track we've got to go and do things differently. And there [are] some people in Washington that don't want to change and yet it has to happen.  “So, you know, that's going to continue to be friction. But frankly, I think people are encouraged to see an actual debate on how to fix the problems of this country. And then let's go start fighting for those families so that wages can start going up again, so that we can see inflation coming down, energy costs coming down. There's no reason we can't get there. But we have to do the work to fix these problems.”  On Republican-led efforts to fix Democrats’ war on American energy:  “We’ve got to come together to tackle big problems, and my focus right now is how we build those coalitions. And look, if Democrats don't want to join us to lower energy costs, we're going to bring those bills anyway. And that means we need to get every Republican on board. Obviously, we don't all think exactly alike. But I think we've all addressed these problems from a similar viewpoint, and when we bring these bills to the floor, we're going to pass them.”  On the need to reverse President Biden’s self-made border crisis:  “Again, I hope a lot of Democrats would vote to secure America's border. Why wouldn't they want to do that? But we're going to give them that opportunity. And if they don't want to join us, we're still going to do it.  “This idea that, ‘Well, it will go to the Senate and it's not going to go anywhere.’ Why not? Look, a number of senators finally went to the border. President Biden finally went to the border. It was a sanitized version, but everybody knows how bad the problem is.  “I mean, just last year alone, more people came into our country illegally than reside in the entire state of New Mexico. And if people don't think that's a problem, go look at the 100,000 deaths from fentanyl. Everybody in every community in America knows somebody who died from a fentanyl overdose last year. And why doesn't the President care about that? “He can do something about it by securing the border, and he won't. So, Congress needs to. And let's step up and join together Republicans and Democrats. They shouldn't say, ‘Well, it's a Democrat President, so we don't want to upset the applecart.’ You know, if they're okay with those 100,000 young people dying last year, shame on them because we've got to fix this problem. It's a major national crisis.”