- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 22, 2014

House Majority Leader-elect Kevin McCarthy came out swinging Sunday morning, taking direct aim at what he says is the main impediment to progress in Washington — the Democrat-controlled Senate.

Mr. McCarthy, California Republican, was elected by his caucus last week to replace outgoing Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who lost a primary election in his Virginia district earlier this month.

Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” Mr. McCarthy defended his conservative credentials, vowed to be an effective GOP leader and said President Obama lacks a cohesive strategy to deal with rising extremist forces in the Middle East.

But he saved his harshest words for the Senate and its Democratic leader, Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, arguing that House Republicans could work more closely with the president if they had real negotiating partners in the other chamber of Congress.

“I believe you can work with anybody. The challenge has been Harry Reid,” Mr. McCarthy said. “Let me give you an example. There are more than 240 bills that have passed the House that haven’t even been brought up inside the Senate. You want to know the problem and frustration with Washington? The Senate. The Senate has not moved anything. They never send something to the president’s desk. So how do you even negotiate with the president if he doesn’t have the bill on his desk?”

On immigration reform, Mr. McCarthy wouldn’t discuss the nuts and bolts of a path to legalization or citizenship for the millions of undocumented immigrants in the U.S., saying the U.S. must first secure its border.

“Until you secure the borders you cannot have the conversation about anything else,” he said.