House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy criticized the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Tuesday for running ads against Republican House members for the Trump administration’s coronavirus response.
“We are not in the majority, we cannot determine the floor so Speaker Pelosi left and had us leave Congress. This week, we hope we’re able to bring it up,” he told reporters at a media conference, The Hill reported.
The California Republican pointed out that because Republicans cannot control what is discussed on the House floor, they should not be subjected to attacks from the Democrats.
“And why now is … the DCCC running ads against seven Republicans on something they could not vote on?” he said.
“Are they playing politics and holding the money up so their political arm can attack Republicans on this issue? Can they for one time put people before politics?”
The California Republican was responding to the DCCC’s announcement that it will be running ads on Facebook against Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar’s comments about the coronavirus he made during a hearing on Wednesday.
Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois had asked Azar if a vaccine will be affordable for the people who need it, Forbes reported.
“We would want to ensure that we work to make it affordable, but we can’t control that price because we need the private sector to invest,” Azar replied. “Price controls won’t get us there.”
The DCCC’s ads target Azar and say, “The Trump administration would rather pad the pockets of drug manufacturers than provide access to an affordable coronavirus vaccine.”
WATCH: We just launched a bilingual ad campaign demanding seven vulnerable Republicans stand up to President Trump and demand a coronavirus vaccine that is affordable for all Americans, not just the wealthy. pic.twitter.com/MXviNBKeeL
— DCCC (@dccc) March 2, 2020
McCarthy responded by saying Democrats need to “stop playing politics with this” crisis.
“I think they owe the American public an apology. I think the speaker needs to apologize, Cheri Bustos needs to take those ads down and stop playing politics with this. America is nervous, we’ve been preparing for years in advance,” he said, referring to the DCCC chair, an Illinois representative.
The House minority leader outlined how Republicans have been preparing for an outbreak like this in an interview on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.”
“When Republicans were in the majority, the last four to five years, we’ve increased [National Institutes of Health] and [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] funding almost 40 percent. And you know what we created? Infectious Disease Rapid Response Fund,” he said. “Republicans created that wondering if this day would ever come.”
McCarthy also said that Democrats had tried to criticize the president for shutting down the planes coming from China.
“We’ve got to make sure we have all the needed resources there so bring the bill to the floor. You’ve seen Republicans in every single meeting, trying to work through this to get this done now. You do not see ads coming out for Republicans, but we do see from the Democratic Congressional Committee,” he said at the media conference, according to The Hill.
“I don’t believe anybody should be a part of [these] attacks … it’s not a partisan issue.”
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