While the looming threat of a potential government shutdown has politicians across the aisle scrambling to point the blame at someone else, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) and Democrat Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) put on a fiery debate as the two discussed the subject on the House floor.
It all started after Rep. Hoyer accused McCarthy of prolonging an already stagnate House that has yet to find a common solution on DACA or border wall funding. He also accused McCarthy of not being able to pass bills within his own faction.
“I’d watch your words, friend, because I’m going to look forward to seeing how well you do with the new faction coming in on your side,” the minority leader responded. “It will be quite interesting to watch.”
McCarthy insinuated that the political ideologies within the newly elected Democratic majority are so separated that Hoyer could see an even more difficult time harnessing votes than he did.
Regardless, tempers have flared in both parties as public opinion regarding a government shutdown has never been popular.
The debate by the two politicians only fueled the fire which was sparked by President Trump’s comments during a White House meeting with Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) and Chuck Schumer (D-New York) where Trump said, he would be “proud” to shut the government down “for border security.”
Hoyer addressed those comments and went on to say “what kind of irresponsibility is that?”
“Shutting down the government is stupid, shutting down the government is costly, shutting down the government creates great uncertainty – not only among those who work for the federal government but everybody who relies on the daily activities of the federal government,” Hoyer said.
McCarthy acknowledged that a shutdown should be avoided if at all possible, but attacked Hoyer saying, he “learned that lesson” from earlier this year. He referred to what Trump dubbed the ‘Schumer Shutdown’ that took place last January after Congress failed to pass legislation funding various government agencies and find common ground on DACA and the border wall.
“I think that you learned that lesson because I didn’t think it was helpful when you shut the government down over immigration last time,” McCarthy said.
Yesterday evening’s exchange hasn’t been the only time the two political foes have gone after each other on the floor. Most significantly, three years ago in a similar debate Hoyer called the Republican a “coward” for refusing to engage in discussion over GOP plans to fund the Department of Homeland Security.
Hoyer eventually apologized to McCarthy for his comment and since then, the two have attempted to keep their arguments more civil.
After concluding their back-and-forth dialogue, they ended on a more positive note when McCarthy pulled out a bag of candy from his hometown of Bakersfield and presented it to the Maryland Democrat as a gift. Hoyer accepted graciously.
The current situation regarding any agreement between DACA and border wall funding appears bleak as Pelosi – the next likely Speaker, recently said they are “two different subjects.”
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