House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Tuesday said a second short-term continuing resolution would likely be necessary given that negotiations with the Senate over a longer-term bill remain at a standstill.
McCarthy, speaking to reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast, said the next short-term stopgap spending bill would last anywhere from two to four weeks and that Republicans would look to attach additional spending cuts to it. The first short-term CR, approved last week, expires March 18.
“You’ll see Republicans go after the same percentage and maybe a higher percentage” as they did in the first two-week stopgap measure, which included $4 billion in cuts, McCarthy said.
The No. 3 House Republican blamed Democrats and President Barack Obama for the lack of movement on a longer-term spending blueprint. McCarthy noted that Obama tasked Vice President Joseph Biden with leading negotiations but then sent the vice president on an extended overseas trip: “What do they want to do, have a [government] shutdown and wait until he comes back?”
McCarthy also criticized the administration on the issue of spending cuts and questioned why Obama has not taken a more active role in helping Congress come up with a plan. “Maybe the president doesn’t want to take leadership,” in the debate, McCarthy said.
McCarthy also took after Democrats for blaming Republicans for a potential government shutdown, arguing the White House was attempting to use the “1995 playbook” when President Bill Clinton was able to turn a government shutdown into a springboard for his successful re-election campaign.
“We are in a much different world. This isn’t a time to play politics for one person’s gain, who thinks you’re going to get you mojo back,” he said.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.