House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) called Speaker Nancy Pelosi the “lame duck speaker” on Sunday and said her status is shown in how she is doing business on Capitol Hill recently.
McCarthy noted that in the last month, Pelosi has been in the U.K. while the House worked on Joe Biden’s massive budget reconciliation bill and that she was back in Europe this past week as the debt ceiling loomed over the federal government.
Senators worked out a compromise vote late Thursday evening, approving a short-term fix that was then sent to the House for approval. The measure passed the Senate 50-48 on a party-line vote after 11 Republicans voted to invoke cloture, getting the measure past the 60-vote filibuster hurdle.
While that was happening, Pelosi was in Rome to participate in the G20 Parliamentary Speakers’ Summit. The Speaker’s office said she was there for “important presentations” on international COVID response and “united action on climate.”
McCarthy added on Sunday that Pelosi is off on a “farewell tour.” He said this is also why she insisted on adding $200 million to the reconciliation bill in her San Francisco district. Republicans in the House tried unsuccessfully to amend the draft reconciliation bill to remove that allotment.
He added that Pelosi has “desecrated” the House of Representatives by making it “almost impossible” for Republicans to “get documents” from the White House. His comments were explicitly directed at documents related to the chaotic withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Afghanistan ordered by Biden.
McCarthy also noted the proxy voting procedure allowed for Democrats has resulted in some Representatives not showing up for work “for months” while still being paid. At the same time, Pelosi has fined members up to $5,000 if they “walk through the wrong door” entering the House Chamber. He was referring to the metal detectors installed since the events of January 6.
Calling Pelosi a “lame duck speaker” refers to the assumption that Republicans will retake control of the House after the midterm elections next year. In that event, McCarthy appears to be the front-runner to become the next House Speaker.