House speaker candidate talks basics: highways, agencies

Kevin McCarthy
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif. smiles after finishing a speech about foreign policy, Monday, Sept. 28, 2015, during the John Hay Initiative, at a hotel in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who hopes to become speaker, is talking about fixing some basics of government after years of social issues rocking his party.

The California Republican told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday that he wants to pass a six-year bill to pay for highway and transportation repairs — an issue that has been stuck in short-term fixes.

And he wants to embark on a government-wide reorganization of federal agencies to eliminate wasteful duplication.

Outgoing Speaker John Boehner complained that some conservatives have pushed House Republicans to wage harmful fights they can’t win on issues such as President Barack Obama’s health care law and abortion.

McCarthy says he’ll listen to everyone. He says Planned Parenthood shouldn’t get taxpayer dollars, and that he believes in fighting. But McCarthy added, “I believe in winning.”

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