National Political Editor Neil McCabe Weighs in on Kevin McCarthy and the Two Infrastructure Bills That Could


Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed The Tennessee Star’s National Political Editor Neil McCabe to the newsmaker line to discuss House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s compliance with the passing of a pork loaded infrastructure bill and the second one on the horizon.

Leahy: We are joined on our newsmaker line by the national political editor for The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network, my good friend Neil McCabe. Good morning, Neil.

McCabe: Morning, Michael.

Leahy: I understand that there’s been a report of a crime in Washington, D.C. Someone apparently stole ranking Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s backbone.

McCabe: (Laughs) Yeah, he had a bit of a spine deficit. It’s really amazing what McCarthy did, because this is a guy who has all the leverage in the world. Everyone and his brother knows that this guy is lined up to be the next Speaker of the House.

The Republicans are teed up to win at least 40 or 50 House seats. He has all of this leverage, and he can tell his own Republicans, I will make sure that you are on these committees and whatnot.

And remember when you have a big majority in the House, that means you have big majorities on all the committees, too. So you can load up those great committees that congressmen love to be on, like Armed Services and Ways and Means and even Rules.

That means that he can keep you off committees. And he can put you on the subcommittee for trademarks and patents. If he doesn’t like you or you can take away all your committee assignments altogether.

Leahy: Who wouldn’t want to be on the subcommittee for trademarks and patents? (Laughs)

McCabe: It’s a great committee. And then he basically looked the other way as 13 House Republicans saved Nancy Pelosi and President Biden’s bacon on this infrastructure pork bill. One of the greatest pork bills ever created. And McCarthy, it’s unconscionable.

Leahy: He knew it was coming. He’s got pretty boy Adam Kinzinger now who is on the select committee, the Inquisition joining turncoat Liz Cheney and basically flipping off I suppose you could say, McCarthy. He knew this was coming. What did he do? Just wait and let them do this?

McCabe: He knew they were doing it. He was right there on the House floor. He could have changed their votes. And yet you have a Whip operation. The fact of the matter is that Kevin McCarthy raises a slew of money from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and all of its members.

The business community wanted this bill. I imagine Caterpillar was thrilled with this bill. I imagine the guys who sell gravel for highways. All of these infrastructure companies were lining up to crack open that piggy bank.

And then some of that money is going to go to McCarthy. And obviously, some of it’s going to go to the Republican Party. And so, Michael, he had a great line. He said everyone says that they want to go back to a time in Washington when Republicans and Democrats work together.

He said the problem in Washington starts when Republicans and Democrats work together. That’s when all the bad stuff gets passed. And this is a great example. When Republicans and Democrats work together, the taxpayers get soaked.

Leahy: Crom Carmichael has a question for you, Neil.

Carmichael: Neil, of the 13 who voted with the Democrats, how many of those do you think, two questions: Will run for reelection and how many of those do you think who do choose to run will be primaried and lose?

McCabe: It’s very difficult to primary this late in the game. If you don’t have people lined up this close, these guys, and remember, these guys are all incumbents. Obviously, Kinzinger is getting out.

Carmichael: And so is the guy from Ohio, Anthony Gonzalez.

McCabe: Yeah, Gonzalez. But the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee, the NRCC, they’re there to back incumbents. And also McCarthy has his own PAC. And so he’s going to back some of these people.

Nancy Mace, I’m not sure if she has an opponent yet, but it’s just very difficult this late in the game to have somebody primaried. And so there’s a lot of talk about primaries, but I just don’t see it happening.

Leahy: Are you telling us, Neil, that McCarthy’s problem isn’t necessarily that his spine is missing? That he actually secretly wanted this bill to pass? Is that what you’re saying?

McCabe: Absolutely. I don’t know if it’s a secret or not. If this is important to him, he would have done something about it and he has leverage. Remember, he didn’t strong arm them. And so if they voted for this bill, they voted for the bill with the acquiescence of leadership.

Leahy: That is a very good point. That’s why you are the national political editor for The Star News Network.

Carmichael: Let’s move to the so-called human infrastructure bill. Where do you think Republicans will be on that in the House? And then where do you think the Democrats will be on that in the Senate?

McCabe: What’s going to happen is the deal is going to be cut with Manchin and Sinema. And then once that deal is cut, all the Democrats will vote for it. All the Republicans will vote against it, and it will pass once they know it will pass.

If they know it will pass without Republican help, the Republicans aren’t needed in the House. And there’s going to be so much money splashing around that no House Democrat is going to vote against it once they cut down to the actual deal.

Leahy: So you think The Squad, the six members, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, you think those six who voted against this infrastructure bill, you think they’re going to be all in on the human infrastructure bill, which is even worse?

McCabe: Right. This is the bill they want. The reason why they voted against the infrastructure bill was the protest because the infrastructure bill was the hostage that they were holding on to because they wanted the human bill to go first.

And so they were afraid that once the infrastructure bill passed, there would be less pressure to pass the reconciliation bill. But there’s a lot of lobbyists who have invested a lot of money and effort into getting that human infrastructure bill passed. That’s going to pass. It’s just that they have to knock it down and they basically have to come down to Manchin’s number.

Carmichael: Now question. Sinema says that she will not support an increase in marginal tax rates on individuals, an increase in the corporate tax rate, or an increase in the capital gains tax rate.

Will she stick to her guns on that? And if she does, where will the tax revenue come from, or do the Democrats even care?

McCabe: No one cares about tax revenue anymore, because in effect, when the Federal Reserve is buying all the treasury bonds, you’re basically just printing money. The reason the deficit was a big problem for the government was that interest payments on the debt were crowding out other parts of the budget.

That’s what really put the pressure on say Clinton when he was going up against Gingrich. Interest on the debt was going over 10 percent of the annual budget. But when the treasury sells bonds to the Fed, the federal government can’t pay interest to itself.

And so, in effect, there are no interest payments on the debt. For the vast majority of this debt, there are no interest payments anymore so it’s not part of the federal budget anymore. You’re basically just printing money. And then whatever.

Carmichael: So will there not be a tax increase?

McCabe: There will be some tax increase. There will be some changes to the tax law, just because that’s how people make their money.

Lobbyists will want a little tinker handle tinker there, and they’ll give money to people to change the tax law. But it’s not going to be the big tax hike that Biden wanted.

– – –

Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
















Related posts