Clay and Buck

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Leader Kevin McCarthy Joins Us with a Big Announcement

7 Dec 2022

BUCK: Right now, we have House Minority Leader and possible next speaker of the House Congressman Kevin McCarthy on the line with us. And he also has a big announcement, which I want to get to first about the vaccine mandate in the military. Congressman, appreciate you joining us, sir.

LEADER MCCARTHY: Thanks for having me. I appreciate having the opportunity to be on.

BUCK: So, what can you tell us about the status of the vaccine mandate for military service members as there’s a lot of back and forth right now with the NDAA funding, authorization, etc.?

LEADER MCCARTHY: Yes. Now we’ve got good news, finally. We’ve watched what this mandate has done. We’ve watched what Fauci has done to our nation, flip-flopping, trying to control. They tried to control our military too and what has happened, some of our very best have been kicked out. The Army is down 5000 soldiers short because they can’t meet their target for recruiting. They keep this mandate in there. We won the election. I know the Republicans lost in a lot of places, but in the House we won the majority. I went down and I saw the president the other week, the NDAA, the National Defense Authorization Act is up for renewal. And you know what happened? I told the president we wouldn’t pass it unless we lifted this mandate. And it was secretary of defense got mad at me. We had long discussions about this, but we just put the bill forth and we’re going to be able to lift the mandate off this. So, no longer will the men and women be forced to take this vaccine.

BUCK: Well, that’s certainly good news and a step, Congressman McCarthy, in the right direction. I have a couple of questions about it. First off, I do have to ask. The secretary of defense really thinks that the mandate for the vaccine that no one even argues stops the spread, or is even useful beyond a perhaps 60-day window at best for really almost anyone, he still thinks it’s a good idea? Is he unable to read the studies, the data? Why would he think that?

LEADER MCCARTHY: I don’t know. You know, we have a number of doctors who serve in Congress. They sent them a letter more than a month ago about lifting this. It’s giving all the statistics and actually showing that remember about the age of where this covid affects, and remember, if somebody has had it, the immune system, they’re actually stronger in the process. Yet they propose, why don’t you have a blood test on everyone and you see that none of these people have a problem. And you know what was happening, especially for a number of those members for Congress? We’re getting some of the best and brightest who want to go to the academies and then they’re being denied.

They’re being denied because they won’t be able to have vaccine. We’re seeing people that we have appointed have gone through and done all the work to graduate and now trying to be denied. We’re stopping all that. We’re lifting it. The secretary of defense, I called him about a month ago and told him, we need to lift this. He argued with me once I got the president on board, he called me again, trying to tell me, no, he wanted to keep this. And I said, “Look, we make policy here. I guess you need to talk to the president about having him veto the NDAA then, because this is going to be in it.”

And look, this is just a small thing we were able to get while the Democrats are still in the majority. But this is what’s coming in January 3rd. We’re going to be able to work on so much more. We’re going to be able to bring accountability. I just left Jim Jordan. Now, I’m a little… think about him as chairman of Judiciary or Jamie Comer on Oversight. This is an opportunity for one, for us to finally secure our border, get an economy that’s strong, but actually have a military that can do their job and stop the wokeism.

BUCK: Can I can I ask you, Congressman McCarthy, is there anything that you’re planning to at least try to do? I know that you don’t have the Senate and don’t have the presidency, but the people who have already been separated from the military because of that vaccine mandate, I believe, and we’ve been saying on the show, Clay and I agree vociferously, those individuals should be hired back, given back pay and no loss of, you know, they should get the rank that they would have had had they stayed in currently.

LEADER MCCARTHY: This is exactly the discussion I had with the president as well, because the secretary of defense kind of fought me on it. I don’t have the language I want completely but this is the uniqueness. When this portion now we start already in January to make sure all that happens. I’ve got a lot of assurance about much of that happening. They put a little study language in it. It’s not what I wanted, but this is one of the very first things we’re working on because these people have been denied and think of what they were able to do to defend our nation. The work that they did, the effort that they put in, and some of them on a religious basis were kicked out. That is wrong. So, we want to reinstate all those that want to go back and they should be able to go to the rank that they had the right reason to go to.

BUCK: We’re speaking to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. And, Congressman, you know, there’s a lot of disappointment and you’re speaking to an audience across the country that really feels that. You did point out that we did win the House, fortunately, not by what we had hoped or should have, in my opinion, but we did win control of the House, which is a step in the right direction. But as we’re going into what is already now going to be a clear presidential election cycle with a lot of — and also congressional — with a lot of interesting dynamics at play.

There is a dissatisfaction that comes up a lot with, well, what about the people in charge and what about accountability? Names that get talked about. Our Ronna McDaniel at the RNC. I know there’s an ongoing now contest to see who will lead the RNC, Mitch McConnell in the Senate and you as House minority leader. You are the likeliest still to be Speaker of the House in the next Congress. Why are you the right guy? What do you say to people who have concerns that you haven’t fought enough, or that, even if it’s just that there needs to be accountability for underperformance for the GOP writ large. What do you say to those people?

LEADER MCCARTHY: You know, that’s a debate we all should have. So, I say look at everybody based upon their merit. I’ve been leader for four years and those four years we’ve had two election cycles. And those two election cycles haven’t been good for Republicans. They’ve lost seats in the Senate. They’ve lost seats in governors. They’ve lost the presidency. But do you know, in those two cycles since I’ve been leader, we’ve only won seats. When everybody else lost, we won last time. We won this time. Do I want to win more? Yeah. Did we have higher Republican vote than Democrat did? Yeah.

Almost to the same measurement when you take those 107 million people who voted to the same of what it was in 2010, but we’ve had redistricting. It’s more competitive. Did we win five seats on peak places that the Democrats, Biden actually won by more than ten points? We beat the DCCC chair. That hasn’t happened in 42 years. Both cycles we won in California, picked up more seats. We won in Oregon. And look, from one perspective, if I didn’t fight enough? Think from this one moment, what did you just find for the vaccine lift that we’ve been trying to do for more than two years?

We just had that happen. So, yeah, I think people should be held accountable. I think people should be charged on their merit. If you think someone’s better that, from winning the majority, laying out the agenda and the commitment to America, working with everybody on the floor, then support that person. But I believe you have primaries and you have generals. So, I went before the entire conference after the election, won more than 85% of the conference vote. The one thing we cannot have happen here is we’re the only line of defense. We are the only ones that have a majority. The one thing I will tell everybody, they do not hand gavels out in small, medium and large. They just hand out one gavel. We have the same majority today that Nancy Pelosi has in the last Congress.

BUCK: And can I ask you, what are you going… we’re speaking to House Minority Leader McCarthy right now, everybody. What are you going to do? What is top of the agenda? I just wanted to give you the floor to make the case to everybody.

LEADER MCCARTHY: On the very first day we’re going to repeal the 87,000 IRS agents. We’re going to go in and we’re going to secure the border. How are we going to do that? I’ve already invited the president to go join, but we’re going to move hearings down to the border to make sure we secure it. The next thing you’re going to find us do we’re going to make America energy independent, but not just energy independent, where we grow our economy, lower our gas price. We want to make other countries depend upon us.

We’re going to bring the supply chain back. I’m going to announce tomorrow the creation of the Select Committee on China. We’re going to bring the supply chain back from China to America. You’re going to see the parents have a say in their kids’ education. No longer we’re going to watch what’s happening that’s been going on. We’re going to pass the Parents’ Bill of Rights. And most importantly, you’re going to find a government that’s held accountable.

We can’t send one subpoena out until we get this done. But if you watched the other day, I laid out very clearly, if you want to secure the border, we’ve got to start with the secretary of homeland. If Mayorkas does not resign before January 3rd, we’re going to start hearings and investigate what has gone on. There is no way he can look Americans in the eye and tell us that’s secure. He is lying to us and we will start that process on the very first day.

BUCK: Well, Congressman McCarthy and possibly Speaker McCarthy soon, we hope you’ll come back, talk to us again and really lay out how that agenda is unrolled and how it’s going in the new year, because we really need some wins. And if we’re going to get them at the national level, it’s got to come from the House. And if you’re in leadership, we’re going to we’re going to need you to do your absolute best, sir. We really appreciate you taking the time, coming on the show today and talking to us.

LEADER MCCARTHY: Oh, I appreciate you greatly. Look forward to coming back.

BUCK: Oh, and yeah. I’ve got to say congratulations on the vaccine mandate, because that is a big win. And we really do appreciate it.

LEADER MCCARTHY: That’s just the first one. Wait till we get sworn in. It’s all going to start to change.

BUCK: Excellent. Kevin McCarthy, everybody. Kevin, thanks so much being with us.

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