House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy prevented Democrats from expediting the passage of President Biden’s multitrillion-dollar social welfare bill on Friday, just hours after budget hawks warned the measure adds more than $367 billion to the deficit.
Mr. McCarthy talked for eight hours and 32 minutes using a special legislative prerogative known as a “magic minute,” which allows House leaders to speak for unlimited amounts of time during floor debate. The marathon speaking session not only broke records, but also blocked House Democrats from forcing through a vote on the partisan spending package.
“Democrats have left the Capitol for the night,” Mr. McCarthy, California Republican, said. “If they think I’m going to stop, I’m not.”
House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, told reporters the chamber would recess until early Friday morning after Mr. McCarthy’s remarks ended.
“He wants to do it in the dead of night,” Mr. Hoyer said. “We are going to do it during the day.”
The GOP leader, for his part, says he was compelled to speak at length about the more than 2,000-page bill because most Americans did not know everything it entailed.
SEE ALSO: CBO: Funding for Biden’s social welfare bill comes up more than $367 billion short
“It’s too important for the American people to know what’s in this socialist spending scam,” Mr. McCarthy said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attempted to rush a vote on the spending package so lawmakers could depart Washington for the Thanksgiving holiday.
The push came even as the Congressional Budget Office released a scathing in-depth economic analysis of the bill. The nonpartisan federal agency found that the legislation would add more than $367 billion to the federal deficit over the next 10 years.
The analysis contradicted Mr. Biden’s frequent boast that his Build Back Better agenda “costs zero dollars.”
“This is the single most reckless and irresponsible spending bill in our nation’s history,” Mr. McCarthy said.