“It’s important for us to be bold.”

McCarthy and ScaliseMcCarthy & Scalise Discuss 2015 Accomplishments and Goals for 2016

WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) and Majority Whip Steve Scalise (LA-1) appeared before a luncheon meeting of The Ripon Society yesterday afternoon, delivering remarks in which they discussed not only some of the key accomplishments in Congress over the past 12 months, but the importance of having a bold agenda in 2016.

“It was a busy year,” Scalise stated, referring to 2015.  “The Majority Leader had a very impressive schedule on the floor.  And we’re going to have a very impressive schedule on the floor this year…It’s important for us to be bold, especially with a presidential race later this year that’s going to take all of the oxygen out of the room.  While we have a few months, while people are still paying attention to what’s going on in Congress, we have a real opportunity to show people what we stand for.

“But when you look at 2015, we ended with an omnibus bill where we laid out a number of things we wanted to achieve.  We wanted to first of all get more buy-in from our own Members.  Early on, getting 100 of our Members to vote for it would have been a significant accomplishment.  But we pushed for a majority of the majority, and we had 150 Republicans vote for the final product.  There were some important components in that, especially tied to tax extenders.  We got 20 different tax extenders made permanent, including R&D, putting some certainty in a tax code that’s had big, big problems with uncertainty.  That was a big achievement.

“Getting a highway bill done and paid for – that was also a big achievement.  We were able to come together with the Senate for the first time since 2001 to pass a budget that actually gets to balance in a 10-year window.  That’s not something that should happen every 15 years, but it was something we were able to do.  It was a big achievement, too, and it gave us a tool of reconciliation to go after Obamacare.  Ultimately, we were able to pass a bill that guts Obamacare and defunds Planned Parenthood and get it to the President’s desk.  He vetoed it last week.  But the Majority Leader has set a date, and on January 26th we’ll have the first-ever House vote to override a Barack Obama veto.  It shows people that if you actually had a President who shared our values, you could gut Obamacare, which has devastated jobs all across the country.”

Pointing to other agreements that Congress reached on the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) and trade, Scalise concluded by saying that: “It was a very successful year in terms of the things we were able to get done.  We blocked some bad things, but we actually got some really good things done for the country and the economy.”

McCarthy agreed.

“There are a couple things that Steve talked about that were big and we should actually celebrate,” the Majority Leader stated.  “One thing this majority has not learned how to do is celebrate.  Seventeen times they tried to solve SGR, and they had all three bodies at the time — the Senate, the House, and the Presidency.  On the highway bill, 35 times they passed a short-term extension.  We passed a five-year plan. With regard to what we passed on tax extenders… that sets the stage for overall tax reform.”

Looking ahead to the coming year, McCarthy struck an ambitious but realistic tone.

“The goal is to come out and frame an agenda,” he declared.  “We want to be very bold.  We want to have something that we like. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the presidential race — nobody can predict that.  But we want to make sure we have something that we can run on.  I think that will help the presidential nominee.”

The Majority Leader also discussed the uncertain political and economic climate in America, and the “positive disruption” that is now taking place.

“You see the climate in everything you do,” he observed.  “I call it positive disruption. Positive disruption is happening all across this country. We are actually in our fourth Industrial Revolution, and it’s happening much faster than any revolution we’ve had before.  How old is Uber?  Yet it has transformed something that has been around forever — the taxi industry, which is like a big bureaucracy.  Think about all the disruption that’s happening politically and economically.  We need to start having it inside government, as well.”

To view the remarks of Majority Leader McCarthy and Majority Whip Scalise before The Ripon Society’s lunch discussion yesterday afternoon, please click on the link below:

The Ripon Society is a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin. One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s success. These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people.