Politics

McCarthy Says 2018 ‘Will Be A Challenge’ If Senate Bogs Down Agenda [VIDEO]

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said the upper chamber’s failure to take up House-passed legislation could prove to be problematic for Republicans in 2018, arguing constituents will hold lawmakers accountable if they don’t deliver on their top campaign promises.

While the California Republican said he doesn’t like to gauge potential election outcomes, he stressed the party’s success is contingent on whether members can tackle the legislative agenda that helped them win the majority.

“I always look to the policies that we create, it will determine what the outcome will be,” he told The Daily Caller News Foundation during an interview Tuesday. “If we are successful in this agenda, we will gain seats. If we continue to have the Senate bogging us down, it will be a challenge.”

McCarthy noted the House has sent more than 250 bills over to the upper chamber since the start of the 115th Congress, yet the Senate has failed to act on a number of them.

“I took in the metrics of the number of bills that have passed and I took it back to [George] H. W. Bush, so you’re going back more than 30 years. This is actually the most productive Congress, more than 269 bills passed out of the House,” he said. “The challenge is over on the Senate side, so when you combine it, it makes it a little challenging.”

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Senate Republicans are currently struggling to come to a consensus on their Obamacare repeal bill. Despite having unveiled a revised version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act and offering to bring a clean repeal bill to the floor, GOP leadership in the upper chamber has failed to muster the support needed to send the legislation back to the House.

McCarthy argued his Senate colleagues should learn how to compromise, citing the need to provide a solution to continually rising premiums and the collapse of Obamacare co-ops.

“What I think is happening, especially on the Senate side, they’re looking for things to be 100 percent of what they want, and that’s just within the Republican world. I mean, yeah, people have a difference of opinion in the party, but you’ve got to find the common ground,” he said. “I mean Ronald Reagan always said, ‘Ya know, if I’m getting 80 percent of what I want, take that and I’ll come back the next day to work for what I didn’t get.'”

McCarthy noted the legislative process can often be messy, but argued the party needs to adopt a give-and-take philosophy if it is going to accomplish its goals.

“Somebody may get upset, but two members shouldn’t derail the entire country of where they want to go. I mean, what’s unique is when it comes to health care, we’ve campaigned on this for a number of years,” McCarthy said. “We’ve won the majority because of what we promised. What I really want members to understand is, keep your promise and then let’s move forward.”

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