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Kevin McCarthy
  House Minority Leader Mc Carthy Holds Legislative Agenda Briefing  CSPAN  February 26, 2021 2:47pm-3:13pm EST

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reconsider is laid on the table. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess subject to the call
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mr. mccarthy: next month will mark one year since three million students last stepped
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foot in a classroom. a year without quality education. a year without being able to socialize with their friends. for many, it has been a year spiraling into depression. according to virginia's pediatric association, peeda trigses have seen a 90% plus increase involving depression, anxiety, and academic struggles. through most of 2020, pediatric emergency admissions for the mental problem like panic and anxiety was up by 24% for young children and 31% for adolescents. in my own district, current behavioral health says since the pandemic started they have seen an increase in calls for suicidal students. these numbers should strike all of us at our core. this should compel every elected
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official to take action. to say enough is enough. but democrats have been conveniently avoiding the issue. republicans will no longer ignore the mental health of our children. so i'd like to announce today, house republicans will be introducing a motion to recommit that will bolster the resources families can access to help their children cope with the emotional effects of school closures. to do that, our proposal would ship the first 100 million and the teaks 40 million that was added overnight allocated to nancy pelosi's subway, to grant, it would be used for mental health for children. what the motion to commit will do, in the earlier bill, nancy pelosi put $100 million into building a subway just outside her district to silicon valley. last night she added another $40
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million to that in the rules committee. we think the mental health of the children because school closures are more important and should be in this bill. today, democrats will have to go on the record, do they support this money going to nancy pelosi's subway or will they do the right thing and spend the money on resources for kids who are suffering from school closures because of covid? now, i imagine the speaker would agree with our request, considering students in the bay area right in her own backyard are suffering from failing grades and rising depression. let me set the record straight. today's pelosi's payoff bill still does not provide assurances to parents and students their schools will reopen. none of the funding has been tied to opening. some house republicans have tried to pass, on three separate occasions, to move the more than $60 million directly to open up
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schools. three different times the democrats have defeated it. 95% of the funding in this bill isn't even scheduled to be spent for another year. tee cree ate manager uncertainty for families. and in fact, less than 9% of the bill will be used to fund public health. less than 9%. i want to put up a chart so you can get a good idea of how lit they will democrat bill is actually going to fight the virus. here's what 91% of the bill, hardworking taxpayers' money, is funding. nancy pelosi subway, which was increased by another $40 million, while kids are marking the one-year anniversary of in the being in school for a subway just outside her district that money won't be held up. blue state bailouts so they can
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keep their economy shutdown. changing the funding mechanism to reward states for the shutdown. planned parenthood, universities with massive endowments, harvard. harvard with billions of dollars in endowments will get money in this. but to help the children for depression and anxiety? there's an opportunity to do that. this isn't a relief bill. it takes care of democrat's political allies while it fails to deliver for american families. that's why i'll be voting no on the pelosi payoff bill. we already know what is the best stimulus plan out there. to fully reopen our economy. to do that, we need our economy back to work, back to school and back to health. we will spend 91% of paying after your allies, it doesn't do that. we need blue state governors to
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lift their nonscience based lockdowns. we need schools to reopen. we need to ramp up vaccine distribution so we can crush this virus. the democrat bill won't do any of that and the most unfortunate part of this, we had a history of producing bipartisan bills in a time of crisis. we had a history of working together. but that all changed. now it's decided something much different. with that, i open it up for questions. reporter: have you signed a commitment from the former president not to primary sitting members of congress and if not do you want one? mr. mccarthy: i don't have a commitment like that, i worked with the president on endorsement for seats of the house. everybody said we'd lose 20
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seat, the speaker said she'd win the majority for not just this term but going forward. the majority leader guaranteed at least 15 seats. do you realize this is the first time since 1994 no republican incumbent lost? this is only the third time in history that the parties -- party that had the white house and lost picked up seats? 1992 and 1892 were the only times. this is the smallest democrat majority in more than 100 years? so what i have found is we work very well together. i think the election is a little further away. i'm focused more on what the american people need. my focus right now is not on politics my focus is getting people back to work, back to school and back to health. and that's what we're focused on. reporter: that's the yen election. i'm talking about primaries. mr. mccarthy: i'm talking about what the american people are focused on. they're not focused on a primary or an election.
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they're focused on putting their kids back in school. they're focused on getting a vaccine for everybody who wants i. that's what i'm focused on. elections will come. but i think we just had an election. i think the responsible thing to do is focus on the american public. not to build some subway, but get kids back in school. deal with the mental health they had for the last year. those are my priorities. i'll deal with politics later. this is why we were elect. this is what we will do. we will govern. reporter: some of the members in your caucus are again calling on congresswoman chaney to step down from her leadership position after her comments about the former president and his future. is that conversation about congresswoman chaney's role in leadership still on going? what's your reaction to those calling her to step down? mr. mccarthy: we continue to
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work, there's more that unites than divides us. we have dealt with that issue. we will work to get people back to school, back to work and back to health. reporter: would you support [inaudible] mr. mccarthy: i don't know what transpired there. reporter: i wanted to ask you a question about the capitol -- we've heard about capitol police, a plot to blow up the capitol in the coming weeks, how concerned are you about the security situation? and what was your level of confidence in the people charged with protecting this building and your members? mr. mccarthy: i can't thank the capitol police enough. i watch it every day, watch the number of threats rise, different points of time in elected office, we get them personally sent to us and our families an others. what i think we have to do is
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look at what is out there today and what's best. i do not think a mechanism of a department that only reports to a political person, meaning just to the speaker, with their information given to the cap poll -- capitol police, is there decisions being made that the speaker is making with not taking into consultation whoever the minority leader would be or not. it's not that we want to protect one party or the other, you want to protect the body itself. i think a restructuring is probably -- should happen because it seems to me decisions are being made, maybe not based upon security, or using what those who this is their job, keeping people secure, but allowing a political person to decide at the end what's best. i think that's why a thorough investigation is important. >> do you feel there's any progress in getting to a place where the speaker said you're
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wait -- she's waiting to hear from you and you're waiting to hear from the speaker. mr. mccarthy: i've been very clear about. this if the speaker wants to do a commission, which i said at the very beginning, and if you listen to those who had run this 9/11 commission, they think they should take politics out of it. the only reason of anything not happening is because of the politics of pelosi from this bill to even looking at january 6, she wants it one-side. she wants one side to have -- even when you listen to hamilton and kaine said no, don't do it. then when i watched who she selects even as a general to do research this individual is political. making tweets even pretty recently into this year. that is never going to solve the problem. that's just more politics. i'm more interested in putting politics aside and let's find what we have to solve to just put security and make it right. i don't think the fencing around
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is doing that. it's costing a lot of money, causing a lot of national guard people to be here, i don't think it's the best use of their time. reporter: mitch mcconnell said he would get involved [inaudible] reporter: [indiscernible] mr. mccarthy: finish my statement if you are going to read it. reporter: if you listen to what he said at the rally. is it the responsibility or not? mr. mccarthy: i always wait until the end because nobody else yells out. you yell out. every question is the same. we should have a one-on-one press conference. but let me -- reporter: been inconsistent. mr. mccarthy: that's the point. it's not inconsistent. because what you're trying to do
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here is read part of my statement on the floor. if you read the whole statement you won't see inconsistency. i believe another time i said it they had -- what is the little group out there that looks whether it's right or wrong? i said it's consistent. i think you're wrong on that basis. reporter: the house bill still contains the $15 minimum wage hike. there's obviously reconciliation. you said it will cost 3.7 trillion jobs. has your conference discussed any level of mainly hike? -- minimum wage hike? should it stay the way it was in 2009? mr. mccarthy: i know cotton and romney went out with something. i personally have a difference of opinion. i come from bakersfield, california. what i think locals should be able to determine that. it's different in new york and san francisco. we haven't had that -- we haven't had that internal debate
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yet. i think there's a place that we can solve this problem. unfortunately, the democrats seem -- the only reason they're keeping it in, for politics. the true question would be to nancy pelosi, she knows it will not survive in the senate because the parliamentarian already told her that. is she keeping it in the bill to keep hire payoffs exactly what i named the bill. this is a progressive wing of the party that says they won't vote for it unless it's in there. is it for covid? how much more pain? all the studies show you'll actually lose more jobs. look what happened in seattle when they did it. it actually cost people their jobs who need it the most. those who are just lower entry level. so to me it's just more politics and it's wrong. you know the in the senate it's not going to survive. reporter: will it force republicans -- mr. mccarthy: no. to try to get the progressive
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democrats pass the bill. otherwise it will fail. reporter: relating to school closures. do you think schools never should have closed or if they should have closed -- mr. mccarthy: i think all schools are different. i think i would have followed the science. the science said you could have gotten back to school already. there are precautions. that's why we put money in the other dollars. what did we put, $68 billion. only $4 billion of that spent. we proposed three times to use that money to go to schools to reopen. three times the democrats said no. schools are different just like small business. in rural areas, there's a lot of people that don't have the internet. the schools are smaller. could they put the plexiglas up? could they deal with it? they dealt with the science because the kids are younger they could have opened schools. what we're finding is all the things that happened. if you look in my own school district, the d's and f's are
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increased this year. the anxiety, the suicides, all those bad things are happening. when we have passed $4 trillion. a lot of that in there is to help schools reopen. money is not even being spent. three times we tried to do that, being denied by the democrats. so, no, i think as we learn more about this virus, the, the effects, schools could be reopened and schools should be reopened. reporter: when do you think your district should have reopened? mr. mccarthy: well, my district, large, some of the schools are smaller. they could have opened earlier. my district happens to be in california. so we have a governor that did a one-size-fits-all, that should down a great deal that i look at florida, even though our population is larger, even proportionately their population in florida is older. it seems to me our governor made the wrong decision. he politically may be punished for that because of a recall now. it seems to me he didn't follow the science. even when the science -- he went
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to say they could open up, he wouldn't give us his formula to the constituents because he said we're not smart enough to understand it. i think they should have opened months ago. it would be district by district that's prepared for it. there's funding there to help them. yes, sir. reporter: spoken to probably a dozen of your colleagues and everybody supports taking the fence down around the capitol. and yet, it's still up. so i'm just wondering, who actually makes that decision? and when might we expect that to come down? mr. mccarthy: your question kind of goes to the question earlier about security. should security be political or should security be dealt with those who are professionals and can make those decisions? right now, the sergeant of arms only works for the speaker of the house. so when questions rise about january 6, when was the national guard requested to come in? what were the actions taken when they found an i.e.d. by the
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r.n.c. and d.n.c. earlier in the morning? what -- who denied or why was it? if it was a situation like that, why wouldn't the sergeant at arms have a communication with the speaker and the leader? in to me means the structure is wrong, that they put politics even into this. no one's ever asked me or laid out why the fencing should be there. or why it should continue to be there. this is being a call, mainly by the speaker herself. i have democrats coming to me telling me they want it down as well. reporter: do you blame the speaker? mr. mccarthy: no. i'm not blaming the speaker. reporter: based on -- mr. mccarthy: no. how did you take that from that? i simply laid out a structure of questions that should be answered. because what's real concerning to me -- not just today but
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tomorrow -- that we had a briefing from the new sergeant at arms and others. how long has he been in office, right? he's been in his position more than a month, right? i never met the man until he sad in that room there -- sat in that room there. giving a briefing to our conference he said everything is bipartisan. when he asked him questions, a general tweeting about republicans looking at what transpired, would that -- would that be nonbiased? the question would be -- we all walk into a conference to have a meeting, we don't walk through any magnetometers, we have it in front of the chambers, is that the best use? if you sat down with a security expert, would they say that's the best use of the -- of using the man and woman power of the police force there? is that giving us the best security when people could all walk into that conference never walking through magnetometers
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but only inside the chambers? i don't think these decisions are being made just looking at security of this establishment. i think decisions are being made politically, probably, based upon the structure. structure dictates behavior. if a person is a sergeant at arms but only reports to the speaker of the house, i think that's a problem. if a person's going to be a sergeant at arms and their job is the security of all members, and if the idea -- and not knowing this to be the case but in my personal experience -- the threat that's happening is a lot to members, right? that's why some of this capitol police is around, to protect the security of members. we've had members who have been shot, threats, everything else. is that where you're utilizing the appropriate resources or are you utilizing them in a
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different manner? i think those are questions that have to be answered. reporter: is it ok for members to bring your gun to the floor? mr. mccarthy: i don't think that's a place to bring guns. we have the capitol police. reporter: can i ask about your earmark? mr. mccarthy: sure. reporter: about earmarks, can you tell us about the nature of the conversations and have you taken a temperature check in your conference about where they might be leaning on the issue? mr. mccarthy: you know, steny has talked to me. he talked to me last congress. he talked to me this congress. the one thing i said is, if he wants to propose something, i'll look at it. but the idea, it can't be what was around here before. there's got to be accountability. i don't know what they're looking at. so i haven't taken any position yet. but i'm more than willing to look at something if they were
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provided to make sure it means any type of threshold. now, when it comes -- in our conference, we have a rule against it. if they propose something, it's not a rule against in the house, it would be a discussion we'd have to have internally. now, they said they were going to do something last year, last congress, they didn't do something. i don't know. i haven't seen anything. reporter: you're open to it? mr. mccarthy: i want to make sure -- look, the number one thing i believe is, these are hardworking taxpayers' money. you want accountability. i think there's a responsibility, a constitutional responsibility of house members because we appropriate that we could have say in the process and wouldn't use it all with the administration but it's got to meet a high bar to be able to deal with any of that. so they can talk all they want. until i see something, nothing's going to change. yes, sir. reporter: what's your view of the wyden-sanders idea of raising taxes on corporations, companies that don't pay the
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minimum wage, $15 an hour? mr. mccarthy: i think it's stupid. i think it's a tax increase. i wouldn't expect anything else from the progressive democrats of what they're proposing. explain one thing to me. i'm glad you brought that up. because that's a proposal and that's being debated and this is what happens when the democrats win the majority. what does it happen to do with covid? does that put anybody back to work, the kids back in school, or to better health and provide a vaccine for any american who wants it? no. but that's the whole debate of this bill. it just -- it just goes to show, not just that. a subway for nancy pelosi. she just increased it by $40 million last night in rules committee. did anybody have a hearing on that? what was the need? why did you need $40 million more for that? did that go $40 million for schools? did it go to mental health? the great thing about this, we'll have a motion to recommit. that's an amendment to a bill
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that could take that $140 million -- if that subway is worthy, it will pass in an infrastructure bill or transportation bill. rightfully where it should. pu let's take -- but let's take $140 million, if this is about covid, let's put that into the mental health, what covid has done to our children in america. let's provide those resources to the families so they can get the help for the anxiety, the depression, the children who are suicidal. that's covid. that's dealing with relief. that's what the american public wants to see. thank you all very much. have a good weekend. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> the minority leader's briefing earlier today. the house has since come in and passed the public lands bill. they're in recess now waiting for the rules committee to finish