McConnell on CNBC’s “Squawk On The Street”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) joined CNBC’s “Squawk On The Street” this morning. See below for highlights or click here to watch the full interview.
On the Democrats’ Hard-Left Turn Hurting Our Economy:
“Let me quote Larry Summers, who was Bill Clinton’s Secretary of the Treasury, and Barack Obama’s head of the Council of Economic Advisers. He said at the beginning of the year that the previous package, the so-called rescue package, would create a wave of inflation. And only this week, he reiterated that happened just as he predicted, but it also included this extra bonus on top of state unemployment insurance that's keeping people from going back to work.
“So that's what they've already done and now they seem to want to double down and do more. What we would like to see done is a bipartisan agreement on traditional infrastructure, and much of it could be paid for by this additional money that's already been sent down to states and localities, many of which are in great shape financially, and have just received an incredible bonus of borrowed money from us.”
On the Bipartisan Infrastructure Negotiations:
“You had Shelley Moore Capito on your program earlier today. She’s our leader on the infrastructure bipartisan negotiation. Out of her committee came a traditional infrastructure package, just this week. We also are engaged with the administration, trying to reach an agreement. Part of the problem, as you suggest, is what is the definition of infrastructure? We pretty much understand it’s roads, bridges, ports, broadband, traditional infrastructure. The Democrats would like to spend a lot more.
“Speaking of their spending habits, so far this administration has recommended we spend $7 trillion additional dollars this year. That would be more than we spent in adjusted inflation dollars to win World War II. So they have huge spending desire, and as your introduction suggested, a great desire to add in $3.6 trillion in additional taxes on top of it.
“We're going to keep talking and I understand the President's willing to keep talking and we think the President is going to be more reasonable than some of the people surrounding him. We would like to get an outcome on a significant infrastructure package. And what we have already recommended, on a bipartisan basis out of one of the Senate committee’s just this week, is more than we have done over a multiyear infrastructure bill. So, we're open to spending some more.
“What we're not open to is going back and reopening the 2017 tax bill. Remember in February of 2020, we had the best economy we've had in half a century. Principle reason: the 2017 tax bill. We're not willing to reopen that, but there are other ways to pay for a significant infrastructure package and we hope to reach an agreement with the Democrats to do just that.”
On Paying for Infrastructure:
“The best way to do it is reopening the COVID relief package, and re-purposing the massive amount of money. States are getting so much money, they honestly don't know what to do with it, and they like infrastructure, all the states like infrastructure. It ought to be a way that we could pay for a significant portion of what we spend beyond the traditional amount of money that comes in from the gas tax. The gap between that and what we can agree to could easily be paid for by the massive amount of money we sent down to states and localities.”