Based on his words alone, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy couldn’t be happier that the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation Wednesday night to raise the government debt ceiling and narrowly avoid the nation’s first-ever default. But his tone and body language seemed to tell a different story.
Speaking on C-SPAN after the vote, McCarthy’s vibe seemed to be at odds with his optimistic words about the passed legislation. 165 Democrats voted ‘yes’ to the bill compared to just 149 Republicans, implying the former party found the bill more beneficial than the latter. Reporters questioned McCarthy about the bipartisan nature of the voting, asking whether the Republican speaker regretted not pushing for deeper spending cuts and other hard-right demands to be included in the bill.
“This is great. I think it is wonderful that they voted for it,” McCarthy said, his pitch getting higher and higher with each passing word. “[The Democrats] are now on record. They can’t sit there and yell ‘this isn’t good.’ So I will bring something back tomorrow. Let’s get the rest of the IRS agents, the rest of the work requirements. Let’s cut more because we are in a big debt.”
“This is fabulous!” he continued. “This is one of the best nights I’ve ever [had] here. I thought it would be hard!” Check out the full video above (video from Acyn on Twitter).
As many people noted, and as you can see in the clip, McCarthy appeared to become angrier as he continued speaking. Some of his Republican constituents could be seen chuckling in the background. In response to the video, folks on Twitter had quite a bit of fun at McCarthy’s expense, with some joking that his role as House Speaker might be in jeopardy.
“Clearly he’s not at all incredibly worried that this will end his speakership whatsoever,” one user joked.
Check out some of the best responses below: