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House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy has spent more than 3 hours delivering a rambling, erratic speech referencing Elon Musk, Abraham Lincoln, China, and Afghanistan in bid to delay passage of Biden spending bill

"I can't even afford to test drive a Tesla, and Elon is one of my best friends," McCarthy said during one of several lengthy tangents, despite there being no charge for test driving Teslas. ...
Collage: Elon Musk smirks, Kevin McCarthy gestures with an OK hand signal while pursing his lips.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

  • House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California delivered a chaotic marathon speech late Thursday.
  • McCarthy was trying to stall Democrats passing their roughly $1.7 trillion social spending bill.
  • As of midnight Thursday, McCarthy had been speaking for more than three hours. 

In an effort to stall and frustrate Democrats before passing their roughly $2 trillion social spending bill, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy took to the House floor Thursday night and delivered a meandering speech that drew audible jeers at various points from Democrats seated in the chamber.

Airing a series of grievances with his Democratic colleagues, the GOP congressman from California bounced around topics ranging from the military withdrawal from Afghanistan, Vice President Kamala Harris' laugh, a variety of items related to China, Elon Musk, Abraham Lincoln, and the best portraits hung in his office.

While McCarthy made clear in his speech that he was going to take as long as possible to delay the vote, it does not qualify as a filibuster, which is reserved for the Senate.

Democrats loudly jeered McCarthy as he started the speech. A group of about a dozen House Democrats soon filed out of the chamber, led by Rep. Joyce Beatty, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.

"We had enough at that point," Beatty told Insider. "I organized the group to just leave at one of his ridiculous moments."

Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas described McCarthy's remarks as "unhinged" to Insider with a bout of theatrics as left the floor and headed to his office.

At one point, McCarthy bemoaned Democrats for prioritizing subsidies for electric vehicles and complained that he can't even get to test drive a Tesla. 

"I can't even afford to test drive a Tesla, and Elon is one of my best friends," McCarthy said. 

Tesla does not demand a fee for test driving its vehicles, according to the company website.

As McCarthy's speech continued, Democratic members began leaving the room and mocking him both in the halls of Congress and online.

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"I'm just getting geared up," McCarthy said as he entered the third hour of his speech. House Democrats ultimately punted a vote on passage of the bill until Friday morning.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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