House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Thursday blasted Speaker Nancy Pelosi for canceling a Friday session of Congress and giving members a “three-day weekend,” after yet another failed attempt on Capitol Hill to pass bipartisan legislation to re-open the government amid the longest shutdown in U.S. history.
Friday will mark the 35th day of the partial government shutdown and the second missed paycheck for more than 800,000 federal workers and contractors working, or furloughed, without pay.
“People are going into their second week of not getting their paycheck,” McCarthy said on Fox News' “The Daily Briefing” on Thursday. “Speaker Pelosi just gave the members of Congress a three-day weekend and canceled Friday, instead of staying here and solving the problem.”
McCarthy, instead, said he was “asking that all leaders come together” on Friday and “not leave” until they reach a bipartisan agreement on a spending package to re-open the government.
“Speaker Pelosi is a very strong leader—she holds her members back and forces them to do things they don’t want to do,” he said. “She just gave a three-day weekend, while 800,000 federal workers are missing their second paychecks.”
Several government agencies first ran out of funding on Dec. 22, after Congress rejected President Trump's call for $5.7 billion for border security and construction of a border wall. Democrats have vowed to block any spending package that includes funding for the wall.
Over the weekend, the president announced a potential compromise package. Trump said he was prepared to back a three-year extension of protections for 700,000 immigrants who came to the country illegally as children and were shielded from deportation under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This, in exchange for his requested $5.7 billion for a barrier on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Democrats, though, largely opposed the plan. Dueling Senate bills, one of which represented Trump's compromise offer, failed Thursday on procedural votes, sending lawmakers back to the drawing board on a potential resolution.
Pelosi's office did not respond to questions about McCarthy's criticism of the long weekend, but the speaker noted earlier Thursday that House Democrats have passed a series of bills to reopen the government (without border wall funding), and the Senate will not take them up.
She said the Senate has "refused to take yes for an answer" and there's "no excuse" for Senate Republicans not to pass the House bills.
Fox News' Adam Shaw contributed to this report.