GOP leader McCarthy erupts on House floor during 8-hr vote-stalling speech: ‘I can look anywhere I want!’

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy took to the chamber floor Thursday evening to give a lengthy speech in opposition to President Joe Biden’s latest massive spending measure, only to be mocked and jeered by Democrats in the chamber.

McCarthy railed against the “Build Back Better” legislation, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has scheduled for a vote on Friday, which contains a wave of new taxes as well as social and climate spending. He also touched on several other issues during the eight-hour, 32-minute speech that finally ended around 5:10 a.m.

“More than 2,000 pages, $5 trillion, twice as big in real dollars as the [1930s-era] New Deal was,” McCarthy noted at one point. “Let me be clear: Never in American history has so much been spent at one time. Never in American history will so many taxes be raised and so much borrowing…to be needed to pay for all this reckless spending.”

There were several occasions where the GOP leader paused due to disruptions that had to be addressed by the chamber before the California Republican could continue, but at one point McCarthy exploded at the chair for instructing him how he could proceed.

After calling the bill “the single most reckless and irresponsible spending bill in our nation’s history,” there was an audible boo in the chamber, to which McCarthy responded: “That’s all right, I got all night.”

“So do we,” some Democrats said in response.

At another point, McCarthy was told to address his comments to the chair, prompting him to snap back, “Mr. Speaker, I can look anywhere I want!”

Continuing, an exercised McCarthy said: “I cannot believe the amount of control on party rule wants! They now want to dictate to a member of the floor of where I can look?! Are you afraid of the basis of the information in the bill? I’m glad to look at you, Mr. Speaker. There’s a difference between addressing and looking!”

Later still, McCarthy noted that former President Donald Trump left to Biden “every single ingredient needed for unprecedented success,” which prompted someone in the chamber to shout in response, “Oh, my God!”

The California GOP leader went on to reference the House’s previous vote this week to censure Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) and remove him from his committee assignments after his office posted what Democrats saw as a violent anime on his Twitter account.

“I know Speaker Pelosi likes to remove people from the committee if they don’t reach higher standards. I would be worried with the many interruptions that something may happen to somebody,” McCarthy said.

Most of the heckling came within the first couple hours of McCarthy’s speech, but it died down significantly thereafter as most Democrats filed out of the chamber. But has some took to social media to mock the GOP leader, members of his party urged him to continue as a means of delaying a final vote on the bill, which is expected to pass the House but will still face significant obstacles in the Senate due to opposition from Democrat moderates to several provisions.

“This is a historical moment for Kevin, for sure,” Rep. Greg Pence (R-Ind.), the brother of former Vice President Mike Pence, said. “He’s been at it a long time.”

Jon Dougherty


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