House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told Fox News on Sunday that Democrats held onto the bill for emergency funding to combat the coronavirus so that they could run attack ads against members of the Republican Party.
“Three Republicans voting against it, I don’t get that at all in the middle of a crisis, sir,” Fox News’s Maria Bartiromo said.
“No, and you would have to ask them,” McCarthy responded. “But what’s even worse about this, we should have had this bill a week earlier. The Democrats actually held this bill, so Congresswoman Bustos, who runs the DCCC, could run ads against Republicans.”
McCarthy continued, “There should be no politics in this, because, as you said, Maria, this is very serious, and we should take it for the seriousness that it should be, $8.3 billion.”
Later in the interview, McCarthy noted how this outbreak, which originated in China, may impact the U.S. moving forward with respect to manufacturing.
“And now every country is going to look at their supply chain. And we, as America, should, just as President Trump has asked us to before,” McCarthy said. “Our key ingredients to our own medicines, our critical minerals to so many things we make, we’re reliant upon China. And we do not want to have that happen, when you saw a problem just now, and they weren’t forthcoming, they weren’t open about it, where we could have contained this inside China.”
MARIA BARTIROMO, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: President Trump this week signed an $8.3 billion spending package to fight and treat coronavirus. The bill passed Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support, with only three GOP lawmakers voting against it.
Joining me right now is House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. He is a Republican from California.
Good to see you, sir. Thanks very much for being here.
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): Thanks for having me.
BARTIROMO: Three Republicans voting against it, I don’t get that at all in the middle of a crisis, sir.
MCCARTHY: No. And you would have to ask them.
But what’s even worse about this, we should have — we should have had this bill a week earlier. The Democrats actually held this bill, so Congresswoman Bustos, who runs the DCCC, could run ads against Republicans.
There should be no politics in this, because, as you said, Maria, this is very serious, and we should take it for the seriousness that it should be, $8.3 billion.
MCCARTHY: And it does three main things, testing, treatment, and telehealth, which is very important, because what you want to do is make sure you have containment, but make sure these people are able to get the treatment they need.
And we were able to make a revision in that, where people would use technology today to be able to talk to a doctor, not going out and affecting everybody else around them, and make a real difference to this.
BARTIROMO: So, are you going to be able to clear the decks in terms of a vaccine?
I mean, the bureaucratic process in terms of getting drug passed through the FDA, is there anything you can do differently in terms of hurrying up to get a vaccine, sooner, rather than later? I know that there are therapies that we’re waiting on as well within the next couple of months.
MCCARTHY: Yes, we’re working on this now.
And I just had a number of companies in. And, remember, they were with the president this week as well, when he also went to NIH and CDC.
This is where the ingenuity of America can solve the problem, just like Ebola. We have a vaccine for that now. You have Gilead already into trials in China and in America on the best way for treatment.
You have Johnson & Johnson and other companies right now working on a vaccine.
The real challenge here is that China wasn’t forthcoming, wasn’t allowing our scientists or our doctors in, when President Trump requesting it early on, in December of last year.
And that’s why we weren’t getting all the information, that you had a CDC kit testing not go out right, because we weren’t getting the right information.
Now that we have it, we know, every single day, we’re learning something more about this. And America will solve this problem, not just for America, but for the rest of the world.
BARTIROMO: What does this mean for Xi Jinping?
I mean, first, he had the Hong Kong protesters. Now he’s got this. He had swine flu. He’s dictator for life. He’s got lots of plans for 2030. Is this enough to knock him off his perch?
MCCARTHY: I don’t know if it’s enough to knock him off his perch, but you know his standing has had — had to have fallen, along with his country.
To deny our doctors to be in there is now affecting the rest of the world. The other thing, his own economy. I know it’s a closed economy. So, how much will people actually know in society?
But there are millions of people who are out of work being told to stay home. And now every country is going to look at their supply chain. And we, as America, should, just as President Trump has asked us to before.
Our key ingredients to our own medicines, our critical minerals to so many things we make, we’re reliant upon China. And we do not want to have that happen, when you saw a problem just now, and they weren’t forthcoming, they weren’t open about it, where we could have contained this inside China.
All right, let me move on to the economy here and the 2020 election.
Obviously, you’re trying to take back the House, the GOP is. You had great numbers on jobs in February, 273,000 jobs created in the month of February. You still see an economy that is strong.
But there are wide and deep expectations that things are going to slow down in a big way. Are you going to come up with another stimulus package, a tax cut plan? How are you going to deal with an economy that is sure to slow as a result of everything you just said in terms of manufacturing in China?
MCCARTHY: Well, remember what we’re starting from, the strongest economy we had in more than 50 years, thanks to this administration and the Republicans were able to do on tax reform.
Now, because of this disease, I think you will see that we’re looking at things surgically, areas and industries that may need help. And that may be in a situation where you relieve some regulations or tax.
But it’s something that we’re studying now, because you’re correct, Maria. We’re coming off more than 270,000 jobs, when they thought there would be 100,000. You look anywhere else in the world, they are jealous of what America has been able to create. And we want to continue to maintain it.
The challenge that we have is, the Democrats are in power. Will they do something to help the economy grow? Or are they caring more about politics to try to harm this president? And we have watched time and time again they always pick politics.
That’s why I always say, if you want to change the House, you have to go to TaketheHouse.com to make a fundamental difference here. But this is not a place that there should be politics.
BARTIROMO: Yes. So, you…
MCCARTHY: And we should put people before politics.
BARTIROMO: You just heard from Governor Cuomo. He said President Trump is afraid of Joe Biden, bottom line. That’s what the governor just told us a few minutes ago.
You called it on this program. You said that the Democrats are clearing the decks for Biden and they’re colluding against Bernie again. They are all getting behind Joe Biden right now.
What are your prospects going into 2020 election?
MCCARTHY: Remember what they did to Bernie Sanders four years ago.
The night before the convention, the chair of the Democratic Party had to resign because they found out they were cheating. Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House, held the papers and not — impeachment not to go to the Senate, so the senators couldn’t campaign to give an advantage to Joe Biden.
They got Klobuchar to back out and Buttigieg to endorse beforehand. But the one thing they have to understand, and looking back, as a Republican, nominating Joe Biden, it’s the same thing as Republicans nominating Mitt — Mitt Romney.
It may make the establishment feel good, but you have no chance of winning.
Well, what — Mitt Romney’s already — he almost stopped any investigation into Biden, into Hunter Biden, right? I mean, he’s going to be the vote that goes against President Trump. He’s made that clear.
MCCARTHY: Yes, but this should not be about politics.
Any elected official that uses their office or has their children who uses their office to get economic gain, where you’re getting $50,000 a month — how many Americans don’t make that in a year? And you have no experience whatsoever.
And the only reason you have that job is because of your father? And your father withholds money to a country to change the investigation of the people that hired you? The Democrats should be the first person investigating this.
All they have done with their majority is investigate. But the only place they wouldn’t investigate is Joe Biden, because they care about politics, instead of the rule of law.
BARTIROMO: Well, we have been waiting on Lindsey Graham to call somebody down to subpoena Hunter Biden, subpoena somebody around this, sure.
We haven’t seen it yet. Are you going to — is this going to be investigated or not?
MCCARTHY: Well, you got Senator Johnson out there asking for a subpoena, and rightfully so.
And this shouldn’t be about politics. This should be about the rule of law. And that’s exactly the way it should be carried out. I would like to see Democrats care about this too and vote for this as well.
Congressman, real quick, before you go, any reaction to what Senator Schumer said in trying to attack a Supreme Court justice?
And then, in explaining it, he said, hey, I’m from Brooklyn.
By the way, I’m from Brooklyn. I have a problem with that. Is he saying that people from Brooklyn threaten Supreme Court justices?
MCCARTHY: He is saying more than that. He is the leader of the Senate. He is the leader of the Democrats.
He’s standing before the Supreme Court trying to influence the outcome. In America, we believe — we encourage the exchange of ideas, not to the idea that you’re going to intimidate.
Remember, they dislike President Trump from winning — for winning, so they impeached him. They see college campuses, so they go after and try to intimidate them. Then we watched what Senator Schumer was doing?
MCCARTHY: The intimidation there?
If I was a Democrat in the Senate, I would have changed my leadership, if this was what was happening.
BARTIROMO: Well, and I would also keep Brooklyn out of it. Brooklyn rocks.
BARTIROMO: Congressman, it’s good to see you this morning. Thank you, sir.
MCCARTHY: Thank you.
BARTIROMO: Kevin McCarthy joining us.