It was late in the evening on Thursday when Republican Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy rose to speak. The House was preparing to vote on the historically wasteful, monumentally stupid Build Back Better bill and McCarthy wanted to do something equally historic to show Republican displeasure.
All other “debate” in the House is time-limited, governed by strict rules agreed to before the “debate” begins. Each side gets so many minutes to divvy up among its member who will use the precious time to show off for the folks back home and so they can use the video in campaign advertising.
But the majority and minority leaders get what’s ironically referred to as a “magic minute” — the ability to speak without a time limit on the motion to be voted upon.
McCarthy didn’t waste his opportunity. For the next 8 1/2 hours, the minority leader made the case and put the Republicans firmly on the record as being united in their opposition to Joe Biden and the Democrats’ plans to try and turn America into something it never was and was never supposed to be.
McCarthy said Democratic lawmakers were “out of touch” with the needs and wishes of ordinary Americans. Republicans universally oppose the legislation, which they denounce as a fiscally irresponsible initiative that will exacerbate the inflation crisis, damage the long-term economy, and introduce to large a degree of socialism.
“Never in American history has so much been spent at one time,” McCarthy said. “Never in American history will so many taxes be raised and so much borrowing be needed to pay for all this reckless spending.”
In the lead-up to the vote, the Congressional Budget Office released its score for the bill, claiming it would raise the deficit by $367 billion over the next ten years. But the CBO based that score on the ludicrous notion that “reforming” the IRS would bring in a robust $260 billion.
McCarthy wondered what hiring all those new IRS agents would do to the American people.
The nonpartisan agency also found increased IRS tax enforcement would generate new revenue of $127 billion, far short of the White House’s projection of $400 billion. The CBO score raised doubts about the Biden administration’s claims that the bill’s costs are fully covered.
McCarthy described the IRS enforcement initiative as an expense of “billions of dollars to hire 87,000 IRS agents” who will be “going after Americans.” The House minority leader slammed various provisions included in the legislation, including the expanded child tax credit program.
Democrats, Republicans, and my 90-year-old Aunt Edna know full well that even the CBO estimate of $127 billion raised by “increased enforcement” by the IRS is wildly off-target. In fact, any additional revenue estimated in the bill is likely to come up short just because it always does.
Democrats hooted and jeered at McCarthy for most of his speech — just what you’d expect from a bunch of adolescent morons.
At one point, he quoted Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., saying Americans didn’t elect Biden to be FDR, to which Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., interrupted and yelled, “I did!”
McCarthy added he could wait for Democrats to stop talking. “Keep going,” Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, yelled back. “No one is listening.”
Democrats will win in the end. On Friday morning, Speaker Nancy Pelosi scheduled a final vote on the Build Back Better bill. It will be close but will likely pass by a handful of votes.
The radical left hasn’t won anything yet. The Senate is still on the brink of killing the bill altogether. But the president has framed the BBB as the signature legislation of his presidency and it’s unlikely any Democratic Senator — even Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema — want to be seen as blowing up the Biden presidency.