House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy criticized Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday for even considering traveling abroad during the fourth week of the partial government shutdown.
Pelosi was scheduled to leave Thursday afternoon for a trip to Belgium, Egypt and Afghanistan, but President Donald Trump sent a letter to the speaker informing her that she would not be allowed to use military aircraft for her trip. Trump’s decision to ground Pelosi appeared to be in retaliation for her announcement that she was postponing the State of the Union address because of the government shutdown. (RELATED: Grounded: Trump Cancels Pelosi’s International Trip Amid Shutdown)
House Minority Leader McCarthy responded to the decision by questioning why Pelosi was planning the trip in the first place.
“Why would she want to go overseas with government shut down, with people missing their paychecks? And if we don’t get this back open they could miss their paycheck again by next week, so I think it’s appropriate that we would get back together. It would not take long, and we could solve this problem,” McCarthy told reporters on Capitol Hill.
One reporter asked if McCarthy disagreed with Trump releasing the letter less than an hour before Pelosi was set to depart on the trip, but McCarthy stayed focused on Pelosi’s plans.
“I couldn’t imagine she would even think about going,” McCarthy replied. “I didn’t read what it is but I’m just shocked she’d even think that she would leave the country. Why would you leave the country with government shut down and you’re speaker of the House?”
Pelosi previously defended taking a vacation to Hawaii during the shutdown by explaining that she would still be able to assemble members within 24 hours because Hawaii is “part of the” United States.