Kevin McCarthy predicts White House infrastructure meeting won’t go well – Washington Examiner
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is doubtful President Trump and congressional Democrats will reach an agreement on an infrastructure package.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., advised Trump this week ahead of their Tuesday meeting at the White House that they were seeking “substantial, new and real revenue” to finance an infrastructure package, adding that they wanted the deal to also address climate change and create more union jobs.
That’s likely a deal-killer, McCarthy told reporters on Capitol Hill Tuesday.
“I don’t think the meeting will go very well. No matter what you do on infrastructure, you have to have it bipartisan,” McCarthy said. “And they’re walking into a meeting today saying you have to change the tax cuts to the American public and raise taxes on the American public, if you want them to go along with an infrastructure [plan]. I think that’s a loss,”
McCarthy said he spoke to Trump Monday night and deferred questions about the president’s position on hiking up the federal gasoline tax, a possible revenue stream given it has not been increased since 1993.
“The Democrats aren’t talking about the gasoline tax,” he said. “They’re talking about changing the tax code, making sure that people pay more.”
The California Republican also slammed House Democrats for ratcheting up tensions with Attorney General William Barr over his handling of special counsel Robert Mueller’s federal Russia investigation report. Barr is scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, but threatened to cancel his appearance after Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., announced counsels for the Democratic and Republican parties would be assigned 30 minutes each to grill Barr.
“I think the attorney general wants to come and speak to members of Congress, and I think that’s his priority,” McCarthy said. “It’s interesting to me that the Democratic majority, when you try to change course, that they are more concerned with attorneys talking to the attorney general than members themselves. I think the priority should be members.”