Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) went on an eight-and-a-half hour long tirade starting on Thursday night and ending early Friday morning during his allotted “magic minute” on the House floor on Thursday.
The speech, which began at roughly 8:30 pm ET on Thursday, resembled a filibuster and appeared to be a tactic to delay a vote on the Democrats’ social spending reconciliation bill, which Passed the chamberFriday morning It is Friday morning. longest recorded speechThe House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.California) broke a previous record.
McCarthy spoke occasionally about the bill, but his speech also included bizarrely unrelated tangents. One was about his friendship with Elon Musk and his inability to afford a Tesla. Some have. speculated that the speech served more than one purpose, saying that it not only delayed the bill, but also served as McCarthy’s audition to take over as House speaker in the event that Republicans take back control of the chamber.
McCarthy finally finished his “magic minute,” which allows party leaders in the House to speak for as long as they like, at about 5:00 am, with Republican colleagues nodding off behind him. He gave up his time to Pelosi at that point.
The bill he was filibustering contained provisions such as paid family leave and medical leave, universal preschool, Medicare expansion, and a plan to lower prescription drug prices. It was passed 220-213 by the chamber after it reconvened at 8.
Reporters who witnessed much the speech described it to them as circularIt is repetitive and almost incoherent in its theme.
McCarthy repeated the same Republican grievances that have taken control of the party in recent weeks, including spurious concerns over inflation. economists have said won’t be worsened by the Build Back Better Act. He repeatedly brought up China, a popular talking point among Republicans, and at one point suggested that the Chinese government wouldn’t bolster the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as the reconciliation bill proposes, using this talking point to paint the bill as extremist.
He straight out lied about the reconciliation bill, saying at one point that it would cost $5 trillion — far higher than the bill was going to cost even when it was planned to be a $3.5 trillion bill spread out over ten years. Democrats heckled himIn response, they began shouting out in increasing numbers to mock the GOP leader.
The speech was completed by at least 11:15 pm essentially a stream of consciousnessAs Aaron Rupar, a reporter, noted. “Gas prices! Thanksgiving!” the GOP leader exclaimed about two and a half hours into his speech. During his rant over the fully-paid-for bill, he touched briefly on World War II and Hitler. His speech also contained countless non-sequiturs — “I can’t even afford to test drive a Tesla,” he said around 11, “and Elon is one of my best friends.”
He pondered what the country would be like if Abraham Lincoln hadn’t been assassinated, said that he would love to debate Jim CrowHe also said that he regretted not having been able to attend the Tiananmen square massacre. It was almost midnight. he mentionedJanuary 6, was the day he received his second COVID shot.
At around 1 am, McCarthy reportedly asked, “Does the McDonald’s still have the dollar meal?” Later, after many reporters and fellow members of Congress had left, he informed the chamber of “the secret” behind baby carrots, which is that they’re large carrots that are carvedHe was back in shape. He spoke for two hours more, and that was at 3:00 am.
Democrats and progressives mocked the speech a lot. joked aboutIts absurd length. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland) in particular made several jokes at McCarthy’s expense, calling his tirade an “unhinged diatribe.” At 11:30 pm, when many of the Republicans behind McCarthy had fallen asleep, Raskin quipped, “We are hearing rumors that the front row of GOP hostages behind Kevin McCarthy are asking whether They can be censured instead.”