White House press secretary Jen Psaki blasted House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy following his eight-and-a-half hour long floor speech that temporarily delayed passage of the Build Back Better Act.
“Kevin McCarthy said a lot of words. A lot of words. I just want to emphasize that. Over the course of eight and a half hours. For those of you who didn’t watch all of it,” Psaki said at her Friday press conference when asked for a reaction.
McCarthy broke Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s 2018 record for longest floor speech in House of Representatives history, and pushed the successful Build Back Better vote from Thursday night back to Friday morning. (RELATED: After Record-Breaking McCarthy Speech, 78 House Members Decide Not To Show Up For Build Back Better Vote)
Unlike the Senate, House rules do not allow members to filibuster legislation, and floor speaking time is tightly controlled by rules governing debate. However, McCarthy was able to take advantage of a rules provision known as the “magic minute,” which allows the Speaker, Majority Leader and Minority Leader unlimited floor speaking time.
During his speech, McCarthy inveighed against Build Back Better provisions that he argued would increase inflation, harm American energy independence and discourage work. He also complained about Pelosi’s chamber leadership, compared President Joe Biden to former President Jimmy Carter and referenced pop culture figures like entrepreneur Elon Musk.
McCarthy “mused about and shared his wish he could have been in Tiananmen Square. He mused about whether or not Abraham Lincoln was actually assassinated. He shared his hope or thought or dream, I’m not sure, about picturing America in a swim meet after World War II against every other country. But in eight-and-a-half hours, what he did not talk about was cutting the cost of child care, cutting the cost of elder care. What we were going to do around the country to bring more women into the workforce, to protect our climate and that, for generations to come. That in our view tells you all need to know about Kevin McCarthy’s agenda and what he supports,” Psaki said.