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.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.