Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has revealed a plan to pressure vulnerable Senate Democrats to help pass some of the House Republicans’ bills.
After passing a handful of bills during his first week as House Speaker, McCarthy is looking to Senate Democrats who are up for reelection in red states — including Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Jon Tester (D-MT) — as potential allies in the fight to pass the bills through the upper chamber.
One bill that passed the House with broad bipartisan support — where 113 Democrats joined the Republicans — seeks to restrict the Biden administration from draining oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to sell to China.
Not a gallon of oil should have ever left our Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) and been sent to China. Biden did that. But now, our Republican-led House has voted to end any SPR sales to China.
— Beth Van Duyne (@Bethvanduyne) January 13, 2023
Speaking about that bill on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” McCarthy said that he would “like to see Manchin and others in the Senate bring that bill up and move that to the President’s desk.”
The House Speaker also cited several other bills that he plans to bring to the House floor soon.
“We’ve got a number of bills coming up in the future: securing our border, producing more energy, stopping this COVID emergency across America so we can all get back to work,” he said.
Unfortunately for House Republicans, most of the legislation being brought up in the Senate depends on Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). While a bill might pass in the Republican-controlled House, there is no guarantee that Schumer will even allow the Senate to vote on the bill.
However, McCarthy is relying on the “moderate” Democrats in the Senate to “work together” to push the majority leader to bring his legislation to a vote, especially the bill preventing the SPR from being drained to sell to China.
“It’s overwhelmingly passed in the House. I don’t see why [the Senate] would stop. They’re not even in session. They haven’t produced any bill. So here’s their first bill over there that they can take right up,” McCarthy said. “And as you talk to those Democrats who — Manchin, Sherrod Brown, Tester, and others — who say they’re moderates and that they want to work together…here’s an example that 113 Democrats inside Congress voted for as well.”
Senate Democrats have a slim majority at the moment, holding just 51 seats. Until the next election, they are depending on moderate Democrats to not align with Republicans on any legislation. Some Senate Democrats are especially vulnerable in the next election, such as Manchin, who represents one of the reddest states in the country. Republicans have already had help from Manchin in the past to prevent some of the Democrats’ more radical legislation from passing, and McCarthy hopes that his assistance will continue into the next few years.