House Minority Leader Kevin Mc Carthy Holds Weekly News Conference CSPAN May 9, 2019 11:35am-11:53am EDT
>> again, waiting for the start of this briefing with house republican leader kevin mccarthy. he'll be here in just a moment. while we have a minute, tell you about some of our "road to the white house" coverage coming up. and we'll do that later. mr. mccarthy: good afternoon. >> good morning. >> good morning. [laughter] mr. mccarthy: what time is it? >> 11:35. mr. mccarthy: that's afternoon, is it not? you know, you need to wake up earlier. i got up early and went and worked out. solid core. very good. i'll be sore tomorrow, though. before i begin, i first want to take an opportunity because we'll depart to wish all mothers a very happy mother's
day. we all know in our life the importance of our mother and it doesn't matter how old you are. your mother is always there to give you advice, like my mother does. i'll give you a little quick story. i hen i was first elected, have to leave early in the morning from bakersfield, usually 4:30. my mom is an early reiser. she will always volunteer to drive me to the airport and i thought she wanted to spend time with me. by the time i got to the airport my mother would hand me a piece of paper and she written down what i should work on back in session. my mom continues to give me that advice. i wish my mom a happy mother's day. let's shift what we did in congress this week. mott much. but let's shift back to it. six hours. six hours was the amount of time chairman nadler and his members of the house judiciary committee wasted yesterday discussing their manufactured attempt against attorney general barr.
if you listen to it, the question continues to be raised that nadler can't even handle the gavel. not only how he dealt with the last committee hearing, comes into doubt, regardless what the issue is, whether or not he's capable of being chairman. yesterday, he even admitted what he sent in the subpoena was not what his intent was. he was asking in a subpoena for attorney general barr to break the law. otherwise, he'd hold him in contempt. now, if mr. nadler cared this much and considered this serious a situation, the question would be -- has he not gone down to read the rest of the mueller report? i have read it and i encourage him to do the same. he would realize that 98.5% of volume 1 is available for him to read. volume 2, that he gets most
concerned about, 98% is already out there publicly. he could read it almost entirely 99.9% of it. i think it goes to the character of who nadler is that he doesn't even take the time to go to read it. i want to thank our members in the committee for staying there during the debate. that's something chairman nadler at the time did not do when there was a vote on the floor on holder. he walked out. but our members showed the professionalism of the debate to go and be focused. i wish we spent a little more time focusing on really what this economy is doing. unemployment is the lowest we've seen in a generation, 3.6%. that's 50 years. for the majority of you, that's the best in your entire lifetime. wages have increased by 3.2% for this time from last year. nine straight month growth has topped 3%. g.d.p. for the last quarter is
at 3.2%. surpassing every economist's expectations. even those in the obama administration who said you'd have to believe in the tooth fairy if you could ever have an economy like this. you don't have to believe in the tooth fairy. you just have to understand the economy. and president trump does. and our action in the last congress actually proved that. we continue to have a major crisis along the border. as you watched even this week "new york times" even understood it as well. everyone in america is understanding the crisis at the border, except the democrats in congress. there is much that we should be focusing on, but i believe democrats continue to go with the playbook that they wrote the day after president trump was elected, that they want to move towards impeachment. i wish they would put people before their politics. america would be stronger, and we'd be more willing to work together to make sure we could solve those problems. let's stop here and open up for any questions you might have.
reporter: what does it say that a republican-led committee subpoenaed the president's is on? mr. mccarthy: i believe donald trump jr. has already testified for hours, more than 20 hours. i believe it's time to move on. i think they have it wrong. yes. reporter: do you think donald trump jr. should respond to that subpoena request? mr. mccarthy: i think the committee ought to relook at it. everything's out there already. he's already spent more than 20 hours in this committee. it is time for this country to move forward. i think they should readdress this and look at it and we should start working on the issues we know we should be. from infrastructure -- a lot of you, you are in the reporting business. some of you go on the campaign trail. if you spent time out on the presidential campaign, go on the other side of the aisle. go the with -- go with the democrats, the number of them running for president, sit down with them in a town hall. how many times will they get asked about mueller? the reports are there. almost never.
they get asked about infrastructure. they do get asked about health care and others. that's what we should spend our time on. reporter: [indiscernible] what's in the mueller report and the transcript, isn't it professional to try to figure out if there is something more there? mr. mccarthy: you know what, if you read the mueller report, there were two questions. really, just one asked. was there collusion? the answer was no. was there obstruction? the answer was no. nothing is going to change that outcome, so the country needs to move forward. i know from a political basis why some people want to continue to do this. but i think the american public wants more from us. that's why we should move forward. reporter: leader mccarthy, there is something from representative ocasio-cortez, she makes the case there was a bailout for the banks and tarp deal in 2008. do you think this goes too far
[indiscernible] the consumer wouldn't be on the book more than 15%? mr. mccarthy: i have not read her legislation. i always believe in the free market. i look, personally, will compete especially when you look within the internet, compete for my business as to who will offer me the lowest rate and best rate and i think that's the ability to have the rate lower. i don't think government should be dictating because what will happen, everybody's rates will go up to what that level is. yes. reporter: speaker pelosi wants president trump to turn over his tax returns to congress. do you think that pelosi should release her tax returns and will you release yours? mr. mccarthy: you know what i think should happen here? we should move this country forward. when we run for office -- we're filling them out now -- we fill out all these financial disclosures. we as members of congress fill out whether we trade in individual stocks on a monthly basis. we will fill out our financial disclosure form going forward. president trump abided by every legal question they asked him
to run for president. it's interesting that the democrats now want to weaponize the i.r.s. it's interesting that they want to go back to 10 years, they want to go after the children. they want to know what you ever used your credit card on. we just spent millions of dollars, more than $30 million, we spent 22 months, we had the empowerment of the strongest law enforcement in this country. they went to foreign countries. they had thousands upon people they had witnesses from. why do we continue to drag this forward? i think we should spend our time on solving problems. yes. reporter: the speaker said earlier today that she agreed with chairman nadler that the country is in a constitutional crisis. any reaction to that? how do you think that republicans would have responded had president obama issued a blanket policy of not responding to coonl subpoena? mr. mccarthy: if you looked at
president obama's record on responding to congress, it wasn't very good. now, let's take chairman nadler, if he's qualified to be a chairman, and speaker pelosi, that america is in a crisis. ok. wages have increased by 3.2% from this time last year. ninth straight month growth. top 3%. g.d.p. for the last quarter came in 3.2%. surpassing economists' expectations. unemployment is at the lowest level in 50 years. gender es every make, inside this country that we have found. there are more jobs being offered today than people who are looking for it. the only crisis we have is the majority of this congress. it's almost an obstruction inside this congress. look at the number of bills they have passed. they had to pull two yesterday
that was on suspension. it's no longer the u.s. house of representatives. it's the u.s. house of resolutions. that is the crisis that we have before us. that is the challenge that we have before us. yes, sir. reporter: talk about infrastructure for a minute. you have about two more weeks to come up ideas for funding the $2 trillion package. could you give us a progress report what you're thinking? will you rule out any higher taxes or new taxes to fund the $2 trillion? mr. mccarthy: i don't believe taxes should be raised, no. the democrats believe this they can get to $2 trillion. i'd like to see how they find the $2 trillion. i'm more than willing to sit down and work with anybody that wants to work together. i believe we have an infrastructure problem and i want to secure our ability to do that. i'm open to ideas. reporter: do you have any new ideas or have you heard any from the caucus? mr. mccarthy: well, the one thing i have seen time and
again inside the republican plan before, we have a lot of federal land we could open up. use those resources because the american taxpayers have those lands and invest them in the future. there's ways you can bond that to even move forward. you can build a lot of infrastructure. most important part when you talk about infrastructure reform, not just finding the funding, but make sure the roads and bridges get built. the regulatory world is too burdensome. it takes almost a decade to build a new road. that makes the costs go higher. i'd rather vote on something where i can drive on the road i vote on. i think reforms should be a cornerstone what we're looking at when we go to infrastructure. if you want to look at ideas and say, can i find money? i could find you money right now. i could probably find you quite a bit and find it in a bipartisan way. there's a bill out there that the black caucus and freedom caucus both agree on. it's called the gained act. there is money to start with. bank that money and build from there.
if you want to find bipartisanship, and i do, i think that's where i would start. yes, ma'am. reporter: in terms of congressional oversight, what [indiscernible] mr. mccarthy: look, i believe in article 1. i listened to the attorney general who went to the senate. he agreed to come to the house to speak to every member in congress. now, why did he not come? is it the attorney general's problem or is it a question in the ability of nadler to even chair? nadler, when he became chairman of the committee, like every other committee before him, adopts a set of rules. after attorney general barr agreed to come, while he was testifying in the senate, what did chairman nadler do? again, question his ability to even be a chairman. he tried to change the rules then, and he actually did. but he didn't just change the
rules because somehow he forgot. it changed history for that committee. never in the history of that committee have you had a staffer interview a cabinet level. the point that chairman nadler wanted to make is, he wants it to be impeachment without saying the word. chairman nadler made that decision on the night of the election when donald trump won. and that's what he's continuing to carry out. that's why -- i never had so many people come to me, not on the argument what's happening in committee, but his lack of ability even to handle the most basic motions. from whether there is a quorum, whether it's a privileged motion or not. his lack of knowledge of that. it shows time and again, one, to try to change the rules after you asked and attorney general barr agreed to come. second was yesterday itself. think about what yesterday was all about. it was a subpoena that he put forth. the own subpoena that he wrote was not the intent of what he
said. he has a plan of what he wants to do to the president and he doesn't even have the ability or the knowledge to make it work. yes, ma'am. reporter: about the question of the ability to be chairman. are you thinking he should resign? mr. mccarthy: if i was in position that i was in charge of their conference, i would make sure to bring chairman nadler in and meet with the parliamentarian. you do not treat and you do not have that lack of knowledge to hold the gavel. many people question his ability to hold a gavel based pon how he runs a meeting. you cannot allow somebody to demean a member on the other side because he disagrees with their amendment. ignore a privileged motion, to not let both sides debate before you call the vote, that
is simple, basic knowledge of a chairman. yes. reporter: given your experience, your conference's experience with contempt on holder -- mr. mccarthy: yes. reporter: and what we're going through now, is there any public stain on a contempt of congress or is it just a messaging bill? mr. mccarthy: i don't think anything happens. i think it's a messaging bill. i am glad you bring it up. there are other times where there was contempt moved by congress and it's been on both sides of the aisle. you go back to harriett and bolton. you go also to holder. and now you have barr. so there's ability to compare these based upon, also, when other parties were the majority. look at the timeline to when you would claim you would want to go to contempt and warn, prior trying to get certain knowledge. in both those earlier cases when it came to bolton or when
it came to holder, there was more than a year taken out. there was time to work. this is less than two months. this seems as though -- and it goes back to the question you asked earlier. if you looked at the subpoena that he wrote, it didn't match the words of what he said he intended to do. it asked the attorney general to break the law. otherwise, i am going to hold you in contempt. it's less than two months. he's not thinking through what he's trying to do because he already has written a plan. he wrote a plan to try to impeach the president. the mueller report did not come back to what he lied to the american public the last two years would be in it. he continues to carry it out. he's misstepping every place he goes. it will be an embarrassment if the democrat majority bring this to the floor. if they bring it to the floor, it's going to be a question for every single democratic member
that thinks about voting for this. they need to read the subpoena of what they asked the attorney general to do. they have to understand, this committee asked attorney general barr to come and testify. he agreed. and this committee tried to change the rules. change the rules of the history of congress for this committee. never before done. and then they were asking this attorney general barr to break the law. o's, i'll hold you in contempt -- otherwise, i'll hold new contempt. that's what they will be voting on. that was the question before attorney general barr, and i want to know every single individual that wants to vote or thinks they should vote for this, what answer would they have given if they were an attorney general barr's space? would they have broken the law? that's the question they have to ask. thank you very much. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning perfd