HomeWorldTranscript: House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on "Face the Nation," Jan. 29, 2023

Transcript: House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on “Face the Nation,” Jan. 29, 2023

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The next is a transcript of an interview with Home Speaker Kevin McCarthy that aired Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023, on “Face the Nation.”

MARGARET BRENNAN: Good morning and welcome to Face the Nation. Now we have lots to get to this morning, together with the most recent on the evolving scenario in Memphis. However we start with the brand new Speaker of the Home, California Republican Congressman Kevin McCarthy, who’s second within the presidential line of succession. Mr. Speaker, good morning to you.

HOUSE SPEAKER KEVIN MCCARTHY: Good morning. Thanks for having me again in studio.

MARGARET BRENNAN: It should be sobering to listen to that reminder.

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: Nicely, it took me a short while to get there, nevertheless it feels good.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Nicely, you’re right here now at this key second in time. And I wish to get to a few of the prime agenda objects. You could have accepted an invite to satisfy with President Biden. When will that occur, and what supply will you placed on the desk?

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: Nicely, we will meet this Wednesday. I do know the President mentioned he did not wish to have any discussions, however I feel it is essential that our entire authorities is designed to seek out compromise. I wish to discover a cheap and a accountable method that we will elevate the debt ceiling, however take management of this runaway spending. I imply, for those who have a look at the final 4 years, the Democrats have elevated spending by 30%, $400 billion. We’re at a 120% of GDP. We have not been on this place to debt since World Conflict Two. So we won’t proceed down this path. And I do not suppose there’s anybody in America who does not agree that there is some wasteful Washington spending that we will eradicate. So, I wish to sit down collectively, work out an settlement that we will transfer ahead, to place us on a path to balance- on the identical time, not put any- any of our debt in jeopardy on the identical time.

MARGARET BRENNAN: However- keep away from a default in different phrases?


MARGARET BRENNAN: However do you could have any indication that the President is prepared to debate each lifting the debt ceiling and the problem of future spending?

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: Nicely, if he is modified his thoughts from his entire time within the Senate and Vice President earlier than, I imply, he actually led the talks in 2011 and he praised having these talks. That is what he is all the time accomplished previously. And if he listens to the American public, greater than 74% imagine we have to sit down and discover methods to eradicate this wasteful spending in Washington. So, I do not imagine he would change his conduct from earlier than, and I do know there is a willingness on our aspect to discover a method that we will discover a cheap and accountable strategy to get this accomplished.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Proper, I imply, you understand why I am asking that of by way of not linking one as leverage for the opposite. 

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: Yeah. In my first dialog, and to be truthful, the President, when he known as me to congratulate profitable speaker, this is without doubt one of the first issues I introduced as much as him. And he mentioned we might sit down collectively. Now, I do know his workers tries to say one thing totally different, however I feel the President goes to be prepared to make an settlement collectively.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Nicely, we’ll look ahead to that on Wednesday–

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: I am hopeful, yeah.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I wish to dig into what you’re prepared to placed on the desk as a result of Republicans campaigned on fiscal duty. You promised you will not spend extra subsequent yr than you probably did final yr. Are you prepared to contemplate any reductions to Social Safety and Medicare?

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: No. Let’s take these off the table–


SPEAKER MCCARTHY: Yeah. I imply, for those who learn our dedication to America, all we speak about is strengthening Medicare and Social Safety. So, and I do know the president says he does not wish to have a look at it, however we have to verify we strengthen these.

MARGARET BRENNAN: What do you imply by strengthen? You imply elevate the retirement age, for instance?

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: No, no, no. What I am speaking about Social Safety, Medicare, you retain that to the aspect. What I wish to have a look at is that they’ve elevated spending by 30%, $400 billion in 4 years. Whenever you have a look at what they’ve accomplished, including $10 trillion of debt for the following ten years within the quick time interval, for those who simply look a month in the past, they went by means of and so they by no means even handed a invoice by means of appropriations within the Senate. Whereas Mr. Schumer has been chief, he is by no means handed a price range, he is by no means handed the appropriation invoice. He merely waits to the- to the tip of the yr and allowed two senators who’re not right here to put in writing a $1.7 trillion omnibus invoice.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So that you wish to work with Democrats to return to settlement on a price range? 


MARGARET BRENNAN: Is that what you are saying?

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: Sure, I- I first suppose our very first duty, we each ought to must go a price range. We each ought to must go the appropriate- appropriations invoice so the nation can see the course we’re going. However you can’t proceed the spending that has introduced this inflation, that has introduced our financial issues. We have to get our spending below management.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay, simply truth test, although, 25% of the debt was incurred over the last 4 years of the Trump presidency. I imply, that is cumulative debt over many, a few years.

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: Yeah, properly, over the short- this time interval. However you’ve got additionally discovered that you simply had a pandemic. And as that pandemic comes down, these packages go away. I’ve watched the president say he reduce it. No, it’s spending $500 billion greater than what was projected. They’ve spent extra and we have to cease the waste.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Is protection spending on the desk?

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: Nicely, look, I wish to be sure that we’re protected in our protection spending, however I wish to be sure that it is efficient and environment friendly. I wish to have a look at each single greenback we’re spending, regardless of the place it is being spent. I wish to eradicate waste wherever it’s.

MARGARET BRENNAN: However once you grew to become Speaker, you probably did come to that settlement, I’ve referenced, of capping ’24 spending at ’22 ranges. So that might name for reductions.

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: Nicely listen– no, I imply, look, you are going to inform me inside protection there isn’t any waste? Others? I mean–

MARGARET BRENNAN: So protection spending is up for negotiation?

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: They spend lots of- I feel every thing, once you have a look at discretionary, is sitting there. It is like each single family, it is like each single state. We should not simply print more cash, we must always steadiness our price range. So I wish to have a look at each single division. The place can we grow to be extra environment friendly, simpler, and extra accountable? That ought to be–

MARGARET BRENNAN: So extra efficiencies in Social Safety and Medicare as properly? 

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: The one factor I wish to say, we take Social Safety– 


SPEAKER MCCARTHY: –and Medicare off the desk.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Would you help a short-term debt restrict extension till September? Purchase extra time for talks?

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: I do not wish to sit and negotiate right here. I might relatively sit down with the President and let’s have these discussions. The one factor I do know is we can not proceed the waste that’s occurring. We can not proceed simply to spend more cash and leverage the debt of the way forward for America. We have to get to a balanced price range.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Nicely, and I feel many individuals would agree with you on the problem of fiscal duty, however there’s that deadline on the calendar by way of going through potential default. Are you saying–

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: Wait, wait a minute– 

MARGARET BRENNAN: you’ll assure america is not going to do this?

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: We’re not going to default. However let me be very trustworthy with you proper now. So we hit the statutory date, however let’s take a pause. Now we have a whole bunch of billions of {dollars}. This may not come to fruition till someday in June. So the accountable factor to do is sit down like two adults and begin having that dialogue. Sadly, the White Home was saying earlier than, like they would not even speak. I am- I am grateful that we’re assembly on Wednesday, however that is precisely what we ought to be doing. And we ought to be coming to a accountable resolution. Each household does this. What’s- what has occurred with the debt restrict is you reached your bank card restrict. Ought to we simply proceed to boost the restrict? Or ought to we have a look at what we’re spending? 

MARGARET BRENNAN: Paying previous commitments. 

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: No, no. Chuck Schumer by no means handed a price range since he is been main. He is by no means handed an appropriation invoice. These are probably the most staple items that Congress ought to do. And what- if you are going to present to the American public the place you wish to spend your cash and if you are going to ask the hardworking taxpayer for extra of their cash, you first ought to lay out how you are going to spend it and it’s best to eradicate any waste so you do not have to boost extra taxes.

MARGARET BRENNAN: However simply to place a fantastic level on it, as a result of it issues lots to the markets particularly, you’ll keep away from a default? You’ll not let that occur in your watch?

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: Look- there is not going to be a default. However what is admittedly irresponsible is what the Democrats are doing proper now, saying we simply elevate the restrict. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: However would you- would you get in the best way if- if 15 Republicans got here to you and mentioned they’d be prepared to boost the debt restrict, would you permit them to take action with Democrats?

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: Let me be very- the only- the one one that is getting in the best way proper now, is the President and Schumer. They will not even go a price range. They will not even negotiate. Now we have now until June. I wish to be sure that we now have one thing accountable, one thing that we will transfer ahead on and one thing that we will steadiness our debt with. So I am on the lookout for sitting down. That is precisely what I have been asking for. The one one who’s taking part in with the markets proper now could be the President to have the concept that he would not speak. Did the president actually imagine and actually all of your viewers, do you imagine there isn’t any waste in authorities? Do you imagine there was no waste in that $1.7 trillion? That is what we had been spending simply 4 weeks in the past. So I feel the rational place right here is sit down, eradicate the waste and put us on a path to steadiness.

MARGARET BRENNAN: We’ll look ahead to that assembly on Wednesday. I wish to ask you about your imaginative and prescient of management. You made various offers inside your celebration to win the speakership. Senator Mitch McConnell, your Republican colleague, mentioned “Hopefully McCarthy was not so weakened by all this that he cannot be an efficient speaker.” How are you going to successfully govern with a really slender majority and when your convention is so divided?

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: Nicely, you understand, that could be someone else’s opinion. So let’s simply see what my father all the time mentioned, “it isn’t the way you begin, it is the way you end.” So, let’s- you see what occurred within the first week. So within the very first week we now have handed, what? We repealed the 87,000 IRS brokers. We bipartisanly created a brand new choose committee on China the place 146 Democrats joined with us. We bipartisanly handed to cease the Strategic Petroleum Reserve being offered to China, the place 113 Democrats joined with us. We simply now, for the primary time on the Home, it hasn’t occurred in seven years, the whole time the Democrats had been within the majority the place you had an open rule. And let me clarify what that’s. An open rule permits each single member of the Home to supply an modification on the invoice. So what I am attempting to do right here is let each voice in America have their skill inside the home. We opened the home again up so the general public may truly be a part of.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So that you’re arguing you have not been weakened, but–

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: No, it is solely been strengthened. Perhaps individuals did not like what they noticed, that we did not win on the very first vote, however that was democracy. And what you discovered on the finish of the day, we’re truly stronger. You understand what else? We modified it the place members of Congress now have to indicate up for work. I do know within the Senate they do not come fairly often, however for those who look what we have been in a position to do, we’re remodeling Congress. We’re on the lookout for solutions–

MARGARET BRENNAN: However you additionally allowed- what- only one member now can power a vote to oust you as speaker. How are you going to count on to serve within the subsequent two years on this position?

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: Precisely how each different speaker has served with that.

MARGARET BRENNAN: With out these guidelines like that, proper now. That is a danger. You actually suppose you’ll be able to management the Freedom Caucus and a few of these extra conservative members who gave you such a tough time?

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: All people has a voice. However let me- let me clarify that. That one vote to vacate, that is not new. That is been round for 100 years. The one one that took it away once they obtained a small majority was Nancy Pelosi. So Nancy felt she didn’t have the ability to remain in workplace if that was there. I am very snug in the place we’re. So I haven’t got any concern in that.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You do not remorse any of the concessions you made?

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: The one concession I made was taking it from 5 to 1 the place it has been round for 100 years.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I wish to ask you about a few of the make-up of your caucus. 


MARGARET BRENNAN: In response to CBS data, 70% of the Home GOP members denied the outcomes of the 2020 election. You have put a lot of them on very key committees, intelligence, homeland safety, oversight. Why are you elevating people who find themselves denying actuality like that?

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: Nicely, for those who look to the Democrats, their rating member, Raskin, had the identical factor, denied Trump or Bush was in there. Bennie Thompson, who was–

MARGARET BRENNAN: Did you see these numbers we simply put up there? 70%.

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: Did you even be truthful and equal and the place you appeared at- Raskin did the identical factor. Bennie Thompson, who’s a rating member and was the chair. These people had been chair within the Democratic Get together.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I am asking you as chief, Kevin McCarthy’s home, why you made these decisions? These had been your decisions.

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: Yeah they’re my decisions, however they’re the convention decisions. However I am additionally asking you, once you look to see simply Republicans, Democrats have accomplished the identical factor. So perhaps it isn’t denying. Perhaps it is the one alternative they must have a query about what went on through the election. So if you wish to maintain Republicans to that equation, why do not you additionally maintain Democrats? Why do not you maintain Jamie Raskin? Why do not you maintain Bennie Thompson, when Democrats had appointed them to be chair? I by no means as soon as heard you ask Nancy Pelosi or any Democrat that query once they had been in energy within the majority, once they questioned–

MARGARET BRENNAN: You are speaking about issues going again to 2000, which was the time once I did not have this present again then, which is why I am asking you now about your leadership–

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: No, however they were- they had been in energy final Congress. So why- why–

MARGARET BRENNAN: However you are speaking about questions from 2000’s election.

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: However you are asking me about questions from one other congress.

MARGARET BRENNAN: About decisions you simply made– you simply made.

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: You are asking questions for an additional Congress. So the one factor I am simply– These- these are members who simply obtained elected by their constituents and we put them into committees, and I am proud to do it.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Let me ask you about some specifics then. Marjorie Taylor Greene, you set her on a brand new subcommittee to research the origins of COVID. 


MARGARET BRENNAN: She in contrast masks necessities to the kind of abuse Jews had been subjected to through the Holocaust. She known as for Fauci to be arrested and imprisoned, and he or she unfold conspiracy theories. How is anybody imagined to take that work severely and discover that we’re credible?

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: Very properly. You have a look at all of it. So you could have all of the questions on the market. I feel with the American–

MARGARET BRENNAN: You suppose these are professional questions?

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: I feel what the American public desires to see is an open dialogue within the course of. This can be a choose committee the place individuals can have all of the questions they need and you may see the result.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You understand that there’s a lot of doubt about establishments and religion in establishments and–

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: Oh, yeah, once you noticed what occurred in Congress the place that they had proxy voting, the place payments did not undergo committees–.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I do not suppose most individuals know what proxy voting is.

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: Nicely let- properly let- Nicely, let’s clarify what–


SPEAKER MCCARTHY: However I feel it will be truthful to your viewers–

MARGARET BRENNAN: Approval stage, in keeping with Gallup, of Congress, is at 22%. Approval stage of journalists can also be not very excessive, I will offer you that. However does not it additional put on down credibility once you put somebody who’s below state, native, federal and worldwide investigation as a consultant of your celebration on committees–

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: Are you speaking about Swalwell?

MARGARET BRENNAN: I am speaking about George Santos, consultant from New York.

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: We should always have that dialogue. So let’s have that dialogue. You wish to deliver up Santos, and let’s speak concerning the establishment itself, as a result of I agree wholeheartedly that Congress is damaged. And I feel you- I feel your listeners or viewers ought to perceive what proxy voting was as a result of it by no means came about as a result of it by no means came about in Congress earlier than.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I am asking you about George Santos.

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: I do know you requested me a query. Let me ask you–

MARGARET BRENNAN: Since you may put it to a vote to attempt to oust him–

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: You requested me a query. I might admire for those who let me reply. So let’s undergo this as a result of it isn’t one easy reply. Congress is damaged based mostly upon what has transpired within the final Congress. The American public wasn’t in a position to are available in to see us. Individuals voted by proxy, which means you did not have to indicate up for work, Payments did not go- must undergo committee. So what I am attempting to do is open the individuals’s home again for the individuals so their voices there- so persons are held accountable. So now, as I simply had within the final week, for the primary time in seven years, each member obtained to vote.

MARGARET BRENNAN: In case you obtained a 3rd of your caucus to vote to oust him, you might achieve this. 


MARGARET BRENNAN: You do not suppose you might get your Republicans to do this?

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: I wasn’t completed answering the query. So, if each single new particular person introduced into Congress was elected by their constituents, what their constituents have accomplished has lend their voice to the American public. So these members can all serve on committee. Now, what I am attempting to do is change a few of these committees as properly, just like the Intel Committee is totally different than some other committee–

MARGARET BRENNAN: So that you’re simply not going to reply the query I requested?

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: Nicely, no, no. You aren’t getting a query whether or not I reply it. You requested a query, I am attempting to get you thru that.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I do not suppose you’ve got mentioned the title George Santos like as soon as.

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: However you understand what?

MARGARET BRENNAN: You are speaking about proxy voting–

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: No, no, no. However, you understand, you began the query with Congress was damaged, and I agreed with you. 


SPEAKER MCCARTHY: However I used to be answering the query of how Congress is damaged and the way we’re altering it. So if I can end the query that you simply requested me how Congress is damaged, I equated each single member. They’d simply obtained elected by their- by their constituents. They’ve a proper to serve. In order that implies that Santos can serve on a committee the identical method Swalwell, who had a relationship with a Chinese language spy, however they won’t serve on Intel as a result of I feel–

MARGARET BRENNAN: They’re wrapping me within the management room.

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: Nicely that is unlucky. I want I may reply the query.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I’d like to have you ever again.

SPEAKER MCCARTHY: I’d love to have the ability to come again and have time to reply the questions.

MARGARET BRENNAN: We have spent a variety of time right here and I’ve extra questions for you, however I obtained to go. So we’ll be proper again.

Supply: www.cbsnews.com

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