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McCarthy on Dems’ spending bill: ‘The amount of money we spent to win World War II’

Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (D-Calif.) addresses reporters during his weekly on-camera press conference on Wednesday, August 25, 2021.
Greg Nash

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Sunday railed against Democrats’ recent spending packages, arguing that the $1 trillion Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill and the $3.5 trillion social spending plan would total “the amount of money we spent to win World War II.” 

In an interview with John Catsimatidis on WABC 770 AM, McCarthy argued that Democrats are “just adding onto our debt as we’re going along,” asserting that the spending plans would “create greater inflation.” 

“It’s redistribution of wealth, it will take money out of the economy, make America less competitive, especially for our competition around the world,” he added. “It’s a real concern.” 

The House is expected to vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill later this month, though progressive lawmakers have continued to warn that they would not support the package without movement on the larger $3.5 trillion spending bill Democrats hope to pass through reconciliation. 

The sweeping social spending package contains several key elements of President Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan, including greater funding for education, public housing and combatting climate change. 

This week, Reps. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) called on Democratic Party leaders to add unemployment insurance reforms to the spending plan. 

Thirteen House committees this month were able to craft their portions of the spending package, with additional changes expected from leadership before the bill is brought to a vote on the House floor. 

McCarthy said Sunday that in total, “spending more than $5 trillion, that’s the amount of money we spent to win World War II.” 

During the more than three years the U.S. was involved in fighting in World War II, the country spent the 2019 equivalent of roughly $4.7 trillion, according to an analysis by USA Today.

“Every time we warned ahead of time of these Democratic policies, you know, President Biden said he’s going to bring American back, but I didn’t realize he wanted to take us back to the 70s,” the minority leader continued. 

“Americans are held hostage in the Middle East, where we have inflation, gas prices are high and they’re begging OPEC to produce more while not allowing America to become energy independent,” he added. 

McCarthy used his criticism to stress the importance of the 2022 midterm elections, in which Republicans are aiming to take away the already slim majorities Democrats have in both chambers of Congress. 

“We need a check and balance, we need to have some accountability and some control, that’s why we’re only five seats away from winning Congress back out of control and firing Nancy Pelosi once and for all,” McCarthy said. 

John Catsimatidis is an investor in The Hill.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez biden administration bipartisan infrastructure budget reconciliation package Build Back Better House Joe Biden John Catsimatidis Kevin McCarthy Nancy Pelosi Senate social spending

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