McCarthy rails against chips bill, Democrats in extensive floor speech

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) tied together inflation, government data showing the second consecutive quarter of a contracting economy, the Senate-passed bill to support the chip industry and the Democratic climate, health care, and tax package in an extensive floor speech Thursday morning. 

“This morning, the government announced what every American has been feeling for nearly a year: We are in a recession,” McCarthy said. 

His remarks came as the House took up the Senate-passed CHIPS-Plus domestic chip manufacturing and scientific research funding bill on Thursday.

“The Senate passed a bill that took a small, discretionary program and turned it into a $280 billion blank check, including $79 billion in mandatory spending on corporate welfare to be handed out to whoever President Biden wants,” McCarthy said. 

“I’m a no on the Senate CHIPS bill that will come to the floor today. I was a no last week. I was a no last night. And I will be the first no on the board today,” McCarthy said. “I encourage all my Republican colleagues to join me.”

It marked McCarthy’s second-longest floor speech at about 28 minutes, according to a tweet from McCarthy’s digital communications director. Last year, he broke a House record by delivering an eight-hour, 32-minute speech delaying a House vote on Democrats’ Build Back Better spending and climate package that later stalled in the Senate due to objections from Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).

Manchin, shortly after the Senate passed the chips bill on Wednesday with Republican support, announced he had reached a climate, health care, and taxes deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

Titled the Inflation Reduction Act, the bill would use a special reconciliation process to bypass the need for Republican votes in the evenly-divided Senate. That enraged Republicans, as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had said he would withhold support from the chips bill if Democrats pursued a reconciliation bill on those topics.

House Republicans later on Wednesday sent out a notice that they will formally whip against the CHIPS-Plus bill, citing the Senate moving forward on a reconciliation bill along with concerns about spending and inflation.

“They say they want to restore growth, but their new bill adds $700 billion in new taxes,” McCarthy said of the Senate deal. “Do Democrats really believe spending hundreds and billions of tax dollars right now while pursuing and punishing productive investments in the long run will lower inflation?”

McCarthy’s floor speech Thursday morning also served as a main campaign argument for House Republicans as they head toward campaign season and August recess.

“We all know across this country what caused inflation – Democrats winning the house, the senate, and the presidency,” McCarthy said.