US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy vows to tackle immigration, ‘woke’ education policies and IRS funding

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) addresses the House of Representatives for the first time since being elected Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 15th round of voting on the fourth day of the 118th Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 7, 2023.

John Cherry | Reuters

Newly elected Speaker of the US House Kevin McCarthy He took the room after a week of fighting within his own party, promising to tackle the immigration crisis at the Mexican border, cut IRS funding, “fix what has raised the stakes in our education and pursue a conservative, America-first agenda.”

After losing by 14 votes from Tuesday, the California Republican Party managed to overcome opposition after making unusual concessions to a small group of far-right activists who refused to support his bid for speaker.

McCarthy laid out an ambitious plan during his address to the 118th Congress on Saturday morning. Joe Biden’s principles. He said the first piece of legislation he plans to tackle would eliminate funding for more than 87,000 new IRS agents. He highlighted immigration reform as a top priority, saying the Republican-controlled House would hold some of the first hearings of the year on the southern border.

“No longer ignore this security and sovereignty crisis,” he said. “We have to protect our border.”

On the fourth day of the 118th Congress, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) held the speaker’s chair for the first time since being selected as the next speaker of the US House of Representatives in the 15th round of voting on the fourth day of the 118th Congress. Capitol in Washington, USA, January 7, 2023.

Evelyn Hochstein | Reuters

McCarthy said he would pass bills that would fix “urgent” problems in the country with an America-first approach. In addition to immigration, he said he wanted to address “America-last” energy policies and “woke teaching” in schools, noting that children come first and should be taught to “dream big.”

He reaffirmed his commitment to law enforcement and criminal prosecution, as he plans to address long-term challenges such as debt and the Chinese Communist Party.

McCarthy said this week’s tense standoff on the House floor was proof that he’s not one to give up easily.

“You know – my father always told me: It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish,” he said. “Now we have to finish strong for the American people.”

McCarthy said that while his election marked the end of a long week and night in Washington, it was also a new beginning for the nation.

House Republican Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is elected Speaker of the House in the House Chamber on January 07, 2023 at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, DC.

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Biden He congratulated McCarthy on his election as House Speaker, in a statement released just before 1 a.m. ET.

“Jill and I congratulate Kevin McCarthy on his election as Speaker of the House,” Biden said. “I’m willing to work with Republicans as much as I can, and voters have made it clear that they expect Republicans to be willing to work with me,” he added.

Other Democratic leaders were less congratulatory following McCarthy’s victory.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DNY, said in a tweet Saturday that “Speaker McCarthy’s dream job will become a nightmare for the American people.”

Jan. 6, 2021 House Democrat Cory Bush of Missouri said the GOP elected a speaker who sparked violent protests at the Capitol.

“McCarthy sold his armor like he sold our democracy – to the white supremacists,” he said. in a tweet on Saturday. “That’s not leadership.”

At a press conference Saturday morning, McCarthy thanked the former president Donald Trump He said he was instrumental in securing the final votes McCarthy needed for his support.

“I don’t think he should, anyone should doubt his influence,” McCarthy said. “Been with me from the beginning.”

Trump publicly voiced his support for McCarthy on his social media site, Truth Social, on Saturday. The former president said the Republican Party came together and it was “a beautiful thing to see.”

“The ‘speaker’ selection process, as crazy as it may sound, has been done in a more routine way rather than making everything so big and important,” he said. “Congratulations to Kevin McCarthy and our great Republican Party!”

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell also shared his support for McCarthy Saturday. says in a tweet Senate Republicans look forward to working with him.

McCarthy’s first job as speaker was to administer the oath of office to the other 433 members of Congress who have been in limbo as elected members since the 118th Congress first opened on Tuesday. With all the new members sworn in, the House approved a new set of rules that McCarthy had negotiated with hard-right Republicans.

McCarthy McCarthy said negotiating is difficult because of slim margins in the majority, but his victory shows the Republican Party can work together.

“I think what you’ll see by having this now is that we’ve figured out how to work together,” he said.

— CNBC Christina Wilkie contributed to this report

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