By the time House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) yielded the floor at 5:11 a.m. Friday, completing a speech that began some 8 ½ hours earlier, he had repeatedly taken aim at House Democrats and their $2.1 trillion social spending and climate change agenda.
But he also had veered into somewhat unrelated topics — from his friendship with Tesla owner Elon Musk to how President Jimmy Carter’s penchant for wearing sweaters influenced him to become a Republican to the coronavirus booster shot he received earlier in the day and the deli he opened in his youth.
But the speech — the longest in the House in modern history — only delayed the inevitable. At 9:46 a.m., the Democratic-led House passed President Biden’s signature initiative on a 220-213 vote in a major win for the administration, a moment marked by cheers and chants of “Build Back Better.” The legislation now heads to the Senate where the odds are tougher, but not impossible, in the 50-50 chamber.
During his speech, even McCarthy acknowledged the outcome.
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