GOP leader's marathon speech forces House Democrats to push vote
House Democrats have pushed the vote on President Biden’s social spending and climate package to 8 a.m. Friday morning after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) held the floor for more than 8 1/2 hours to delay its passage.
McCarthy commandeered the chamber floor Thursday night in a marathon floor speech that dashed the Democrats’ plans to vote on their top legislative priority and leave town for the long Thanksgiving recess before Friday.
The announcement of the delay, which came from the office of Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), arrived after midnight on Friday, almost four hours into McCarthy’s speech — a rambling monologue that touched on topics as diverse as his getting a COVID-19 booster shot, inflation, immigration, the Gettysburg Address, Elon Musk, President Washington crossing the Delaware and U.S. policy toward China.
If those topics appeared disconnected on the surface, they always returned to a common accusatory theme: Democrats, with their plan to pass Biden’s multitrillion-dollar social benefits legislation, were ensuring the demise of America’s centuries-old experiment in capitalist democracy, McCarthy charged, and only a shift of power back to the Republicans could save the republic.
In the meantime, he urged moderate Democrats to oppose the social benefits package, whenever it hits the floor.