House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy delayed the passage of President Joe Biden’s social spending package after embarking on an hours-long floor speech that lambasted the bill and Democrats for an array of issues.
The speech began as the House concluded debate on the sweeping budget Thursday night and proceeded to so-called “magic minutes,” which allow three members — the speaker, majority leader and minority leader — to speak for unlimited amounts of time. As McCarthy neared the fourth hour of his speech at 12:22 a.m. Friday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced there would be “no further votes in the House tonight.”
McCarthy was initially interrupted as he spoke, and repeatedly called on the presiding officer to bring order to the floor. Several Democrats responded, while others left the floor and live-tweeted his speech.
“It’s okay. I’ll be here a long time,” McCarthy responded over two hours in, looking at Democrats. “I think I’m upsetting other people on the other side of the aisle by telling them what’s in the bill. They just yelled at me that they’re leaving.”
McCarthy at one point urged the chair to remove Democrats who talked, invoking their decision to strip Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar of his committee seats Wednesday.
While McCarthy alleged that Democrats’ budget was a “reckless” bill that would risk ending the country as we know it, much of the speech addressed unrelated topics including Elon Musk, former President Jimmy Carter, swimming, Venezuela and more.
“It’s a really bad bill and Leader McCarthy is going to make the case why it’s bad for America,” his spokesman told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Democrats moved to pass the bill Thursday after the Congressional Budget Office scored it, clearing a prerequisite for several moderates in the party. It follows the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which passed the House on Nov. 5 and was signed into law Monday.
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