McCarthy hoped for ‘more bipartisanship’ in Obama address

In his second inaugural speech on Monday, Obama offered a defense of active government.

“No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores,” Obama said in the address.

McCarthy on Tuesday cautioned that if the president was ready to tackle the nation’s big challenges, he would need to reach out and work with the GOP House.

“We have big problems in America, and normally in divided government we achieve big things,” McCarthy said. “When Reagan was president, the Democrats in power helped to reform the tax code. When Bill Clinton had [former Speaker] Newt Gingrich [R-Ga.], they reformed welfare and balanced the budget.

“You can’t do any of that without accountability and a budget; that’s why we are taking something up that makes both houses pass a budget or they don’t get paid."

House Republicans on Monday unveiled legislation that would suspend the nation’s debt limit until mid-May. The bill would also withhold pay from members of Congress if lawmakers fail to pass a budget by April 15. 

McCarthy said Republicans were hopeful the measure would force Senate Democrats to pass a budget, which they have not done for four years.

“The last time the Senate passed a budget, the iPad wasn’t invented yet,” he said.

“How can you plan for the future, how can you do any of the things the president says he wants to do for the future if you don’t have a budget?” said McCarthy.