House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Thursday that the lower chamber’s Republicans “have kind of got their mojo back” over the past couple of months and are ready to charge forward with tax reform.
“We looked at three major obstacles in that time and we were able to make the cuts, save more money, and make the Senate for the first time in the last four years do a budget – the last time they did a budget the iPad wasn’t even introduced yet,” McCarthy said on a conference call with reporters. “But their vote-a-rama also got them on record on a number of different items and we did all that by ignoring the president and going back to regular order and that is how we are moving in a much better direction.”
Of the big things on the horizon, he said, “a major piece of this will be tax reform.”
“This is a key issue all Republicans believe in – making the government smaller, making the economy stronger and letting people keep more of what they earn,” McCarthy added.
With an eye on midterms, though, the whip said the looming implementation date could be the Dems’ downfall.
“I truly think ObamaCare is going to come back and be the No. 1 item in the next election,” McCarthy said. “The dysfunction of this system that was created will fail. Look at what they just did with the program for pre-existing conditions. They don’t have any more money left in it.”
“We don’t have any legislation yet but we are looking at a lot of different ways to look at the slush fund to use for the pre-existing conditions programs. I don’t know why you would use this for administrative costs for something that is dysfunctional already. I think it is a way we can highlight how Obamacare is making the cost of healthcare rise and is making the health care system worse.”
The No. 3 ranking Republican in the House gave President Obama credit for turning in a budget and taking a stab at entitlement reform.
“When you look at the challenge before America, entitlements are going bankrupt and for too long the Democrats have ignored it,” he said. “…This is the beginning of the discussion. The one thing we want to see happen is Medicare protected – that means it has to be reformed and we protect those that are near retirement and the eligibility age – and adding new private sector ideas that will bring down the cost and give greater choice to the individual. I think we have led in this process.”
On gun control, McCarthy said he was talking with another member on the floor who wanted to put together a coalition on violence, bearing in mind the stabbing spree at a Texas community college this week.
“The one common denominator that you see in these tragedies is the mental health of that individual and we have had different hearings on this,” he said. “I know the Senate can do their work but the one thing about the House is we believe in regular order. Whatever does come out of the Senate, it would go to committee and the House would put in their view and research of what they’ve done on the best way to deal with any problems.”