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Politics: Fact check: Minority leader Kevin McCarthy made false claims in marathon House speech

In hours-long rant, GOP's 'angry' McCarthy stalls Biden bill

  In hours-long rant, GOP's 'angry' McCarthy stalls Biden bill WASHINGTON (AP) — Part political performance, part stall tactic, Republican leader Kevin McCarthy unleashed a long, rambling and vitriolic speech, seizing control of the House floor and preempting passage of President Joe Biden’s big domestic policy bill. Sneering with disdain one minute, spilling sarcasm the next, McCarthy carried on for hours as Thursday night became Friday morning. He spewed a tirade of grievances that reached far beyond Biden’s legislative package, morphing into a monologue of complaints over what’s wrong with the country and the Democrats who control Washington.

During his marathon floor speech before House passage of the Build Back Better bill, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy , R-Calif., criticized the Democratic-backed measure as profligate and harmful to the economy. Starting on Nov. 18, McCarthy spoke for more than eight hours prior to the final At one point in his speech , McCarthy said, "Never in American history has so much been spent at one time. Never in American history will so many taxes be raised and so much borrowing be needed to pay for this reckless spending." It seemed unlikely that a bill that raises historic levels of taxes to pay for its

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy speaks on the House floor during debate on the Democrats' expansive bill. A fiery House of Representatives debate on the massive social spending bill raged into the early morning Friday, as Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy delivered a lengthy speech amid heckles from Democrats. McCarthy (R-Calif.) bashed the .75 trillion Build Back Better Act, calling it “the single most irresponsible and reckless” spending bill in US history during a 5-hour speech that forced Democrats to push the vote back to 8 a.m. Friday.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy gave the longest House floor speech in US history on Thursday night and Friday morning -- an 8-hour, 32-minute address that delayed the passage of a $1.9 trillion Democratic bill to expand the social safety net and fight the climate crisis.

In this image from House Television, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., speaks on the House floor during debate on the Democrats' expansive social and environment bill at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, in Washington. (House Television via AP) © House Television/AP In this image from House Television, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., speaks on the House floor during debate on the Democrats' expansive social and environment bill at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, in Washington. (House Television via AP)

The House passed the bill on Friday morning. It now awaits consideration in the Senate.

In hourslong rant, GOP's 'angry' McCarthy stalls Biden bill

  In hourslong rant, GOP's 'angry' McCarthy stalls Biden bill WASHINGTON (AP) — Part political performance, part stall tactic, Republican leader Kevin McCarthy unleashed a long, rambling and vitriolic speech overnight, seizing control of the House floor and preempting passage of President Joe Biden’s big domestic policy bill. Sneering with disdain one minute, spilling sarcasm the next, McCarthy carried on for more than eight hours as Thursday night became Friday morning. He spewed a tirade of grievances that reached far beyond Biden’s legislative package, morphing into a monologue of complaints over what’s wrong with the country and the Democrats who control Washington.

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy , R-Calif., spoke for over eight hours on the floor Thursday night and into Friday morning ahead of a crucial House vote, making his final case against the President Biden social spending bill that Republicans say will cause long-term damage to the U.S. economy. In his scathing floor speech , McCarthy described the legislation as the "single most reckless and irresponsible spending bill in our nation’s history." He criticized nearly every proposal included in the .75 trillion package, dubbed the "Build Back Better Act," as well as the Biden administration's

The line that Kevin McCarthy made a false claim is a LIE the Inspector General’s Report,the Too Little Too Late C.Y.A. letters from the F.I.S.A. “judges” and the FACT that The Department Of Justice has a Grand Jury investigating the CRIMINAL ACTS by employees of the F.B.I.,D.O.J. , State Department and the “. intelligence”agencies working in cooperation with Foreign intelligence agencies and the Clinton Crime Family do make this coup attempt bigger than Watergate because the deep state has gone way past criminal acts they have committed TREASON.

McCarthy's speech contained far too many claims for us to try to check all of them; he talked about everything from the war in Afghanistan to the menu at McDonald's. But here is a look at some of the claims that were inaccurate or lacking key context.

Democrats and Iron Dome funding

McCarthy mentioned Israel's Iron Dome aerial defense system, then told a Democrat that "your party actually defunded that."

Facts First: This is false. Democrats did not defund Iron Dome; in September, the Democratic-controlled House approved $1 billion in funding for Iron Dome in an overwhelming and bipartisan 420-9 vote. (Among Democrats, the vote was 210 in favor, 8 opposed, 2 voting "present.") The Democratic-controlled Senate is also planning to approve the Iron Dome funding. In October, a Democratic effort to get the Senate to rapidly approve the funding was derailed by a Republican senator, Rand Paul of Kentucky, who objected to how the US government planned to pay for this spending.

Kevin McCarthy’s Very Trumpy 8-Hour Audition for House Speaker

  Kevin McCarthy’s Very Trumpy 8-Hour Audition for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy's speech was ostensibly in opposition to the Build Back Better bill. But it quickly became apparent that he was auditioning for the job of Speaker of the House . And by the time he wrapped at 5:10 a.m.—eight hours and 32 minutes later—it was clear that he had an audience of one: ex-President Donald Trump, a figure who is still widely seen as the true commander of the Republican Party and still a critic of McCarthy for not doing more to keep Trump in the White House after his electoral loss.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ridiculed House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy amid his lengthy speech Thursday night, calling him an 'imbecile' and even criticizing his vocabulary. AOC mocks Kevin McCarthy 's eight-hour speech , calling him an 'imbecile' with 'one of the lowest vocabularies ever' and after she shouted 'I did' when he said 'nobody elected Biden to be FDR'. The GOP leader wrapped up his oratory just after 5am in D.C. on Friday, smashing a record previously set by Nancy Pelosi in 2018.

The House minority leader held the floor for more than eight hours overnight, stalling a vote on President Biden’s social spending and climate bill. The vote may still happen on Friday.

Because of opposition from some lawmakers on the left of the Democratic caucus, House Democrats took the Iron Dome funding package out of a September bill that needed to pass to prevent a government shutdown. But Democrats then passed the Iron Dome funding in a separate bill the same week. That just does not qualify as "defunding."

"I understand that we are in a particularly partisan season but that's not an accurate or fair characterization" by McCarthy, said Bradley Bowman, a former adviser to Republican senators who is now senior director of the Center on Military and Political Power at the pro-Israel Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Bowman criticized the stances of the left-wing Democrats who opposed the funding, but he emphasized that "their views are nowhere near a controlling majority in the House of Representatives or the Democratic party."

McCarthy's office didn't respond to our request for comment for this article.

McCarthy’s record 8.5-hour floor speech wins points with Republicans after leadership questioned

  McCarthy’s record 8.5-hour floor speech wins points with Republicans after leadership questioned House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s record filibuster-style floor speech delaying passage of Democrats’ Build Back Better social spending and climate bill won points with conservatives in the Republican conference right when he needed it, potentially boosting his resume for a bid for House speaker if Republicans win back the House in 2022. © Provided by Washington Examiner Earlier in the week, McCarthy faced angry conservatives in a House Republican conference meeting, outside criticisms of his leadership after 13 Republicans joined with Democrats to pass a $1.

As House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy wound his way through what would become a more than eight-and-a-half hour jeremiad against Democrats’ Build Back Better Act and the Biden administration in general, House Democrats chose to pass the time by mocking the California congressman. One of them, New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, made her thoughts known both on and off the floor. At one point during Mr McCarthy ’s stemwinder, the GOP leader suggested that voters did not elect President Joe Biden to be another transformational president in the

Democrats and energy

Blaming Democrats for high gas prices, McCarthy claimed that they "banned oil and gas." Moments later, he narrowed his claim to make it, "They banned drilling for oil and gas."

Facts First: Neither of these claims is true. It's obviously not true that Democrats completely banned oil and gas. And the narrower claim, that Democrats "banned drilling for oil and gas," would have been a major exaggeration even in the weeks after Biden signed a January executive order to put a pause on new oil and gas leases (not to ban all oil and gas activity) on public lands and offshore waters (not on all land in the country). The claim is even less correct now:

Biden's January executive order directed the Secretary of the Interior to pause new oil and natural gas leases on public lands and offshore waters, "to the extent consistent with applicable law," until the completion of a review of federal leasing policy. As the Interior Department emphasized at the time, this order did not affect existing oil and gas leases; US oil and gas drilling was never banned and never stopped. (The Energy Information Administration has predicted that US production of natural gas for 2021 will set a new record.)

The Left's Kevin McCarthy Attacks Are Fuel for His Fire

  The Left's Kevin McCarthy Attacks Are Fuel for His Fire The relentless Democratic criticism of the Republican House minority leader is playing into his hands ahead of the 2022 midterms.While high-profile critics on the left dutifully took McCarthy to task, it's unclear in what ways they will benefit from these attacks, or even that they will harm the top Republican in the House. In fact, they may boost him.

Then, in June, a federal court issued a preliminary injunction blocking the Biden moratorium on new leases. While the administration has appealed the decision, it has said its hands are tied for now -- and on Wednesday, it opened 80.9 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico to auction for drilling, proceeding with a move initially planned by the Trump administration. (The auction resulted in 1.7 million of the 80.9 million acres actually being leased.)

We won't go deep here on McCarthy's effort to blame Biden for high gas prices. As we've written before, prices at the pumps are driven by a complex array of global economic factors, not by the policies of any single president.


Video: Watch Biden sign the infrastructure bill into law (CNN)

Pipelines and jobs

McCarthy repeatedly attacked Biden for his January decision to revoke the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline that would have carried oil from Canada into the US. (The company behind the pipeline then announced in June that it was terminating the project.)

At one point, McCarthy said that Biden's Keystone decision resulted in "thousands" of blue-collar workers losing their jobs. But at another point, he claimed that there are "more than one million people who lost their job after President Biden was sworn in because he shut down a pipeline" -- here McCarthy didn't name the pipeline -- while "allowing" Russia to increase production.

How Kevin McCarthy tried to sabotage the House January 6 investigation

  How Kevin McCarthy tried to sabotage the House January 6 investigation Of course McCarthy never wanted a real investigation into the insurrection he encouraged.Instead, he said at a news conference that House Republicans will conduct their own investigation of an attempt to reject last November’s election results that most of them supported and that was instigated by the leader of their party.

Facts First: McCarthy's "more than one million people" claim is false. There is simply no Biden pipeline decision that resulted in a million job losses; construction of the Keystone XL pipeline was expected to involve thousands of people in 2021, not even close to one million. (Also, overall job growth under Biden has averaged more than 600,000 jobs per month.)

It's not clear what McCarthy was even talking about here, and McCarthy's office didn't respond to a request for an explanation, but we can still safely say the claim is inaccurate.

It's possible that McCarthy was referring to a 2020 analysis that was done for the American Petroleum Institute, which represents the interests of oil and gas companies. The analysis projected about a million job losses by 2022 if the government halted not only new oil and gas leases on federal lands and offshore waters but also new oil and gas development on lands and waters that had already been leased.

This analysis doesn't tell us what happened in 2021 -- Biden never actually put forward a ban on development -- and, again, it was not an analysis about the impact of a pipeline shutdown.

Before Biden revoked the permit for Keystone XL, the company behind the project announced in late 2020 that it anticipated that the pipeline would employ "more than 11,000 Americans in 2021," mostly in construction. It's not clear how many of these 11,000 hypothetical people actually lost a job because of Biden's 2021 cancellation of the permit rather than simply losing the opportunity to work on that particular project. In addition, this was not long-term employment. Before its cancellation, Keystone XL was expected to create just dozens of permanent positions.

Biden and the FBI

McCarthy said "Biden used the FBI to target parents as domestic terrorists. Can you imagine that? To use your own FBI. To go after parents, calling them domestic terrorists. Without any evidence. Simply in aiming to silence their First Amendment rights. A whistleblower just confirmed it."

Facts First: At very least, this claim is missing key context. McCarthy was likely referring to the news that the FBI's counterterrorism division had been involved in creating an internal "threat tag," the phrase "EDUOFFICIALS," to help FBI employees keep track of investigations and assessments related to threats of violence against school board officials, teachers and staff. But McCarthy didn't provide even minimal specifics, much less mention that the internal tag is intended as an organizing method for cases related to people who have issued threats. And it was the National School Boards Association, not the Biden administration, that invoked "domestic terrorism" in the context of threats against education officials.

House Republicans have publicized an October joint memo from the FBI's counterterrorism division and criminal investigative division -- Republicans said it was received from a "whistleblower" -- that explained the creation of the new threat tag. But nothing in the memo is evidence that any parent is being treated as a domestic terrorist simply for, say, criticizing school policy. (It's certainly possible that the FBI will target some parent without good evidence; the "whistleblower" just did not provide evidence that this is currently happening.)

In a statement emailed to CNN, the FBI said that "a tag is merely a statistical tool to track information for review and reporting," that tags are used to group various kinds of related cases, that the counterterrorism division is involved in this issue because it shares responsibility with the criminal investigative division for handling violent threats, and that "the FBI has never been in the business of investigating parents who speak out or policing speech at school board meetings, and we are not going to start now."

"We are fully committed to preserving and protecting First Amendment rights, including freedom of speech," the FBI said. "The FBI's focus is on violence and threats of violence that potentially violate federal law."

This controversy erupted in September, when the National School Boards Associations sent a letter to Biden in which it said that "acts of malice, violence, and threats against public school officials" could be classified as "the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes" and asked for a federal review that would include a look at whether there were "appropriate enforceable actions against these crimes" under various laws, including "the PATRIOT Act in regards to domestic terrorism." (The NSBA board has since apologized for language in the letter.)

A subsequent public statement from the Department of Justice vowing to take action on threats against educators was also criticized by many Republicans as evidence of federal overreach. But that statement, unlike the NSBA letter, did not mention domestic terrorism. Republicans have also noted that the NSBA was in communication with White House officials before sending the letter to Biden, but they haven't shown any indication to date that the White House was responsible for the NSBA's inclusion of the phrase "domestic terrorism" or the reference to the Patriot Act.

Biden and separated families

McCarthy criticized the Biden administration for "considering paying illegal immigrants $450,000 per family." He said, "You're gonna reward people that came here illegally with $450,000 from hardworking taxpayer Americans."

Facts First: The Biden administration is not considering $450,000 payments to every undocumented family or a large percentage of undocumented families, as McCarthy's broad wording would likely lead some listeners to believe. Rather, in response to a series of lawsuits against the government -- not as part of the bill the House passed -- the Biden administration is considering compensation payments, of a size that is not publicly known, to families who were separated at the US-Mexico border under the Trump administration's controversial and ultimately abandoned "zero tolerance" policy.

It is not clear how many people might be eligible for compensation, but the number is certainly a small fraction of the total US undocumented population that has been estimated at around 11 million. More than 3,000 children were separated from their families under the Trump policy.

McCarthy didn't invent the $450,000 figure; the Wall Street Journal reported in late October that the Biden administration was considering payments of around $450,000 per person to families that were separated. However, the Biden administration has publicly contested the figure, saying it is indeed considering a financial settlement but that the $450,000 figure is too high.

Biden said in early November: "If in fact, because of the outrageous behavior of the last administration, you were coming across the border, whether it was legal or illegal, and you lost your child -- you lost your child -- it's gone -- you deserve some kind of compensation, no matter what the circumstance. What that will be, I have no idea. I have no idea."

How Kevin McCarthy tried to sabotage the House January 6 investigation .
Of course McCarthy never wanted a real investigation into the insurrection he encouraged.Instead, he said at a news conference that House Republicans will conduct their own investigation of an attempt to reject last November’s election results that most of them supported and that was instigated by the leader of their party.

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