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GOP’s McCarthy says Biden spending will pass ‘over my dead body’

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 20, 2021.

Ken Cedeno | Reuters

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy vowed Wednesday to do everything he can to stop Democrats in Congress from passing the multitrillion-dollar infrastructure and social spending plans backed by President Joe Biden.

But now that House Democrats appeared to have resolved their differences and voted to advance those plans, it’s not clear what McCarthy can do.

“It’ll be over my dead body, because I’m going to do everything in our power to stop it,” the Republican leader said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” when asked if he expected trillions in new spending to pass Congress by September.

Pressed on what that opposition would entail, McCarthy suggested that two conservative-leaning Senate Democrats, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema, could possibly “slow it down.”

He also railed against a group of moderate House Democrats who had previously voiced concerns about the $3.5 trillion budget blueprint, but who voted in lockstep with the party on Tuesday night to advance it.

“Prior to this, I thought it was possible to stop it,” McCarthy said earlier in the interview.

McCarthy accused Democrats of fully embracing socialism after Tuesday’s party-line vote. The centrists who “folded,” he said, “won’t get elected again.”

The remarks come just a year out from the 2022 midterm elections, when Democrats hope to cling to their slim majorities in Congress and Republicans aim to regain control of the House.

McCarthy also reaffirmed his opposition to the Senate-passed infrastructure plan, which Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., supports.

Asked if he can derail that $1 trillion bipartisan bill, McCarthy said: “I don’t know yet, until the vote takes place.”

CNBC Politics

Read more of CNBC’s politics coverage:

Spokespeople for McCarthy did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for additional information about his strategy going forward.

The procedural motion, which passed 220-212 on Tuesday night in a special session convened during the August recess, allows Democrats to write and approve the massive spending bill without Republicans.

It also includes a nonbinding commitment for the House, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to vote on the infrastructure bill by Sept. 27. That deadline was meant to placate the nine centrist Democrats who wanted to first vote on the infrastructure bill and then consider the partisan budget resolution.

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2021-08-25 09:50:50

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