McCarthy comments on reopening government

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

“Last week Democrats celebrated keeping the status quo,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield Tweeted this week following the three-week deal made to keep the government running until a long-term agreement can be reached.

“Meanwhile, 300 Americans die weekly from heroin — 90 percent of which comes across the southern border, and 10,000 children are smuggled into the U.S. annually to be sold for human trafficking. Our border is still not secure. These are not reasons to celebrate, these are reasons to come together and secure the border once and for all.”

On Jan. 25 the monthlong standoff between President Donald Trump and House Democrats was ended as Trump signed the deal to restore normal operation of federal agencies through Feb. 15.

Since the deal did not include the $5 billion Republicans are requesting to fund border security, Democrats — notably House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer — cited the reopening of the government without caving into the president’s request as a victory.

McCarthy, however, sat down with Chuck Todd of NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday to discuss what was gained. “Why does anyone celebrate the status quo?”

He credited President Trump with offering four different deals to Democrats and criticized Pelosi for refusing to negotiate.

“Our country wants us to find common ground,” said McCarthy.

He questioned the Democrats’ stance against the border wall, citing the party’s historic support for funding a barrier to enhance border security.

“Now they are not going to [fund it] because it’s being offered by President Trump ... Meanwhile, we still have a crisis at our border.”

McCarthy also expressed support for a movement circulating in both houses of Congress to restrict members’ pay if the government is shut down again.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House and Senate to find meaningful solutions.”

Story First Published: 2019-02-01