House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy slammed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday, arguing that the “lame duck speaker” is on her way out of office, which is reflected in how she is conducting business.
“Where was she last month when the Democrats were working on reconciliation? The U.K.,” McCarthy, R-Calif., remarked during an exclusive interview on “Sunday Morning Futures,” noting that currently “she’s back in Europe when she’s supposed to be concerned about the debt ceiling.”
Senators voted to approve a short-term increase to the federal debt ceiling on Thursday night, ending a weekslong standoff on Capitol Hill and likely averting a default that could have triggered a recession.
Senate Democrats passed the $480 billion increase by a simple majority vote of 50-48. The vote on the final measure occurred after 11 GOP lawmakers joined Democrats in a vote to invoke cloture, clearing the 60-vote filibuster threshold.
The bill will now proceed to the House, where lawmakers could consider it by as early as this week. The $480 billion increase is enough to fund the government through at least early December.
In the meantime, Pelosi participated in the G20 Parliamentary Speakers’ Summit, which began Thursday in Rome, “for important presentations on coordinating international coronavirus response efforts, national security issues and united action on climate,” according to a news release from her office.
McCarthy commented that Pelosi is “on her farewell tour,” and argued that this is why in the reconciliation bill she included “$200 million from our hard-working taxpayers for a park in her district.”
House Republicans tried in vain last month to block the proposed $200 million allotment for improvements to a national park in Pelosi’s San Francisco district. The money would be part of the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill currently being debated on Capitol Hill.
GOP lawmakers proposed a half-dozen amendments to divert the $200 million to other needs, but each Republican proposal was defeated by the Democrat-majority House, the Washington Times reported.
The House minority leader also argued on Sunday that “a big problem that we have is what Nancy Pelosi has done in Congress.”
He said that the House speaker has “desecrated” the institution by making “it almost impossible for the minority to get documents from the Biden administration,” asserting that it’s in an effort to avoid being held accountable for certain situations, including how the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan was handled.
“She now has proxy voting where there are Democrats that have not shown up for work for months, but they still get their paycheck,” McCarthy told host Maria Bartiromo, adding that Pelosi also “now fines members up to $5,000 if they just walk through the wrong door going to the chambers.”
McCarthy was referencing the fines implemented in January for members who refuse to go through metal detectors in the U.S. Capitol or refuse to comply with security following the deadly assault earlier in the month.
Pelosi said the chamber was adopting the new rules, which included a $5,000 fine for a first-time offense and $10,000 for a second one, starting Jan. 21 and that the money will be taken out of members’ pay, according to a news release from the speaker’s office.
McCarthy also blasted Pelosi for selecting who can be on a committee, which he argues was never done before in Congress.
“She denied the minority the ability to even offer an amendment, something that hasn’t [been] done in the history of Congress,” he continued.
A Pelosi spokesperson did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
McCarthy’s claim that Pelosi is a “lame duck” speaker is predicated on the assumption that Democrats would lose control of the House to Republicans in the 2022 midterm elections. If that were to happen, McCarthy would be in prime position to assume that role.
Additionally, last November, Pelosi signaled in a series of vague comments that this term could be her last as leader of the House.
Fox News’ Dom Calicchio and Brie Stimson, as well as FOX Business’ Thomas Barrabi, contributed to this report.