According to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the upcoming year in the House of Representatives will be the "laziest Congress is modern history."
That's because House Democrats — who hold a majority in the House and therefore manage the legislative calendar — have scheduled only 101 days of work for the upcoming year, a significant reduction compared to previous years.
"House Democrats have scheduled 101 days of work for next year — a 25% reduction. Let me say it again: 101 working days. For the whole year. Laziest Congress in modern history," McCarthy tweeted over the weekend.
House Democrats have scheduled 101 days of work for next year—a 25% reduction. Let me say it again: 101 working da… https://t.co/HQeyUf8PSZ— Kevin McCarthy (@Kevin McCarthy)1607262391.0
What did McCarthy say?
Speaking at his weekly press conference last Thursday, McCarthy expressed urgency over the coronavirus pandemic and providing Americans with relief — but said Democrats are not really interested in working.
"We have to get to work on this, we have to get it done, but working is something that this majority has not a good record on doing. Just look at the floor schedule this week, Democrats have focused on cats and cannabis, but not on COVID," McCarthy explained.
"You'd think after a humiliating defeat at the ballot box this year, that Democrats didn't defeat one Republican incumbent," he added. "Of the 27 most vulnerable races, Republicans won them all. That Democrats would get to the picture that the Americans are demanding some action on these issues."
"It certainly doesn't appear that in the next Congress anything will change. Yesterday, the Democrats released next year's House schedule. The average number of days working in the first session of the past four Congresses have been 134 days. You would think with all the challenges that this country has, that we'd probably maybe even work, at least more, or at the very least that same amount of time. Nope," McCarthy said.
As McCarthy explained, House Democrats last week passed measures to decriminalize recreational marijuana use and to ban private ownership of big cats, paying homage to the Netflix documentary "Tiger King."
They did not, however, address the COVID-19 crisis.
At his news conference, McCarthy went on to explain that next year's House calendar represents a larger problem within the Democratic Party: They like to get paid for not working.
"Democrats think Congress needs a 25% reduction. Yes, you don't even have to show up for work," McCarthy said. "Sixty Democrats yesterday, one third of them, didn't show up for work — just voted by proxy and still got paid. And now they found out they don't even have to work as much as they did ... Congresses before. A 25% reduction, with only scheduled 101 days."
"They'll probably become the laziest Congress we have ever had," McCarthy declared.
What about COVID relief?
Lawmakers have infamously been unable to compromise on additional COVID-19 relief. House Democrats passed a bill in May that would cost taxpayers more than $3 trillion; it was the largest bill the House had ever approved.
However, Republicans have rejected the massive spending, instead seeking to spend just around $1 trillion in the next bill, narrowing which Americans should receive economic benefits. Democrats have framed Republican efforts as refusing to help struggling Americans.
However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi admitted last week that she's now happy to negotiate and compromise on COVID-19 relief because Joe Biden appears to have won the White House.