House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Tuesday that the chamber would be taking up a roughly three-month stopgap spending measure this month that would push off the debate over funding the wall along the Mexican border until near the end of the calendar year.
“We have to deal with Harvey, we have the debt ceiling, we have a continuing resolution which will be just about a three-month continuing resolution, so you will deal with the wall a little later in the year,” McCarthy said. “We’ve got the budget to get done this month, as well. The budget is the beginning of tax reform because it allows us to go to reconciliation to start tax reform.”
Using the reconciliation process to re-write the tax code imposes some restrictions on the final product, but it would allow a bill to pass the Senate with just 50 votes and a potential tie-breaker from Vice President Mike Pence.
The California Republican outlined that plan in a Tuesday morning interview with the Fox Business Network. He has returned to the Capitol after a tour of hurricane-ravaged Texas. He met with local, state and federal officials along the Texas Gulf Coast, where he was hailed by his House colleagues in the Texas delegation for making the trip.
McCarthy announced Monday while in Texas that the House would take up the first tranche of emergency supplemental aid to deal with recovery from the hurricane on Wednesday morning.
McCarthy also had a message for colleagues who may want to drag on discussions about September’s agenda until the last minute ahead of what might be an inevitable result.
A short-term CR without funding for the border wall championed by President Donald Trump has always been expected on both sides of the Capitol, for instance.
“For those members who get afraid and not want to tackle the tough issues, I say the sooner we do it the stronger we are and the more that we can get done moving forward and get to greater growth,” the California Republican said on the Fox Business Network.