House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, who looks poised to take the speakership if all goes as expected, said that a GOP-controlled Congress’ first priority would be to pass a bill to ‘control the border.’
Next, House Republicans will launch sweeping investigations into other matters they believe the Biden administration botched over the last two years, including the U.S. pullout from Afghanistan and the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The California Republican left the door open to impeachment, but claimed it would not be used politically.
‘We will never use impeachment for political purposes,’ McCarthy told CNN in one of his last pre-election interviews on Sunday. ‘That doesn’t mean if something rises to the occasion, it would not be used at any other time.’
Right-wing members of Congress have already threatened to bring up articles of impeachment against Biden and members of his Cabinet.
Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, who looks poised to take the speakership if all goes as expected, said that a GOP-controlled Congress’ first priority would be to pass a bill to ‘control the border’
House Republicans will launch sweeping investigations into other matters they believe the Biden administration botched over the last two years, including the U.S. pullout from Afghanistan and the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic
‘The first thing you’ll see is a bill to control the border first,’ McCarthy said. ‘You’ve got to get control over the border. You’ve had almost 2 million people just this year alone coming across.’
And amid a split between isolationist Republicans and the more hawkish members of the party, McCarthy affirmed support for continued aid to Ukraine but again reiterated that would not mean a ‘blank check.’
‘I’m very supportive of Ukraine,’ McCarthy told the outlet. ‘I think there has to be accountability going forward. … You always need, not a blank check, but make sure the resources are going to where it is needed. And make sure Congress, and the Senate, have the ability to debate it openly.’
McCarthy said his party had a ‘number of different ways’ to address the southern border, but emphasized they would not move on immigration reform until the flow of migrants at the border was stemmed.
‘I think ‘Stay in Mexico’ you have to have right off the bat,’ McCarthy said, referring to the Migrant Protection Protocols that require those claiming asylum to wait in Mexico until their claim makes its way through court. The Biden administration ended the policy back in August.
Republicans are riding into Election Day with confidence as most polling predicts they will control the House next year. FiveThirtyEight gives Republicans an 84 percent shot at taking back the House. and a 55 percent shot at the Senate.
The minority leader also said Congress would move to crack down on fentanyl from China and impose the death penalty on drug dealers.
‘You first do a very frontal attack on China to stop the poison from coming,’ McCarthy said, then, ‘provide the resources that the border agents need’ and then, ‘make sure that fentanyl anytime anybody who wants to move it, you can prosecute him for the death penalty.’
McCarthy went into the other prongs of the GOP agenda – crime – where he said Republicans would fund the police, provide grants for recruiting and training, and look at how crimes are being prosecuted – reducing government spending to bring down inflation and making America more energy independent to bring down gas prices, though he did not go into specifics.
Most legislation would be primarily for messaging as they would be unlikely to overcome a presidential veto or the 60-vote Senate filibuster.
‘The first thing you’ll see is a bill to control the border first,’ McCarthy said
Congress would have to work together, however, to pass a budget and lift the nation’s borrowing limit next year. McCarthy said that Republicans would demand spending cuts in exchange for lifting the debt ceiling, which could tee off a fiscal crisis if the government defaults on its debt.
‘People talk about risking it. You don’t risk a default,’ McCarthy assured.
The GOP leader, who dropped out of the race for speaker amid opposition from the right-wing House Freedom Caucus, said he was confident he’d have the votes for the top job this time around with Donald Trump’s support.
‘I’ll believe we’ll have the votes for speaker, yes,’ McCarthy said. ‘I think Trump will be very supportive.’
He promised to reinstate Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., on the committees she was stripped of under Democrats for her controversial remarks while booting Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., from the House Intel Committee for his ties to an alleged Chinese spy.
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