House Speaker Kevin McCarthy suggested Thursday he’s willing to go to special lengths to set up a meeting with President Joe Biden to discuss such issues as America’s high energy costs.
He even joked about bringing Biden’s favorite food to the White House for a working lunch.
McCarthy’s remarks came following the House passage of H.R.1, the Lower Energy Costs Act, earlier in the day with bipartisan support.
The legislation is aimed at increasing domestic energy production through streamlining permits to drill for oil and natural gas on federal lands and offshore. It would also end Biden’s moratorium on hydraulic fracking on federal lands.
Further, it would make it easier to obtain permits to mine for minerals in the U.S. that are used to produce microchips and make electric car batteries, the bill’s sponsor House Majority Leader Steve Scalise said.
Scalise argued this policy change is essential to ending U.S. dependence on China, which manufactured 75 percent of the world’s lithium-ion batteries used in electric cars in 2021 versus just 7 percent built domestically.
Nonetheless, Biden vowed Monday to veto the legislation if it makes it to his desk saying, “H.R. 1 would take us backward.”
Earlier this month, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pronounced the bill is a “partisan, dead-on-arrival and unserious proposal for addressing America’s energy needs that they have laughingly labeled H.R. 1.”
A reporter asked McCarthy Thursday if he would be willing to negotiate on the “partisan” and “controversial” measures in the bill.
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In response, the speaker questioned what’s controversial about lowering energy costs and making the U.S. less dependent on China and Russia.
“[Biden] is making the decision that he wants to put the economy in jeopardy. I don’t know what more I can do,” McCarthy said.
“I would bring the lunch to the White House. I would make it soft food if that’s what he wants. It doesn’t matter,” the speaker joked, drawing laughter from the lawmakers on hand.
“Whatever it takes to meet. I just don’t know what’s changed from his comments before when he says, ‘It’s not right if people don’t sit down and meet together,’” McCarthy said.
Speaker McCarthy on wanting to meet with Biden:
“I would bring lunch to the White House, I would make it soft food if that’s what he wants. It doesn’t matter. Whatever it takes to meet.” pic.twitter.com/U8Kc0xqrmT
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) March 30, 2023
McCarthy’s joke about soft food may have been in reference to Biden’s oft-stated love for ice cream.
On Monday, Biden told a White House gathering, “I came down because I heard there was chocolate chip ice cream.”
“By the way, I have a whole refrigerator full upstairs. You think I’m kidding? I’m not,” he added.
Many found his attempt at levity inappropriate, given he was speaking soon after the Nashville school shooting that left six dead.
Biden has done much to hurt the energy industry in the United States from the day he took office in January 2021.
His executive orders included killing the Keystone XL pipeline and all but shutting down oil and natural gas exploration on federal lands.
The United States is still producing nearly 1 million barrels of oil per day less under Biden than it did under former President Donald Trump in 2019 prior to the pandemic.
In November 2019, the U.S. produced 13 million barrels per day, while in December 2022 the total was 12.1 million barrels, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Not surprisingly, the average gasoline price is up over $1 per gallon since Biden took office.
That is in effect a tax increase on all Americans, due to Biden’s policies.
The cost of gasoline factors into the price consumers pay for nearly everything, because goods have to be produced using energy and then transported to market.
If Biden really cares about the American people, he will meet with McCarthy and start reversing his ill-advised policies that have needlessly restricted energy production.
Author: Randy DeSoto