Kevin McCarthy's Floor Speech Longest in House History as Nancy Pelosi's Record Broken

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has broken the record for the longest speech on the floor of the House of Representatives after speaking for more than eight hours.

The Republican began speaking on the House floor at 8:38 p.m. ET Thursday and, a little hoarse at times, broke the record at 4:46 a.m. Friday morning.

At 5:11 a.m., 8 hours, 33 minutes after he took to the floor, he stopped talking.

The previous record was set in 2018 by then minority leader Nancy Pelosi—the current House Speaker—who spoke for eight hours and seven minutes about young, undocumented migrants.

McCarthy, who represents California's 23rd district, was speaking in opposition to the proposed $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act of social spending and infrastructure, which Democrats had hoped to be able to vote through the House on Thursday.

McCarthy had been able to speak for that length of time because of a House procedure known as the "Magic Minute," which allows the majority and minority leaders to speak for as long as they wish at the end of a debate on the floor.

Toward the end of his speech, the 56-year-old acknowledged its length, saying: "Personally, I didn't think I could go this long."

McCarthy received a round of applause from Republican members when it became clear that he had surpassed Pelosi's record.

"While it has been a long night for many of us who have been on this floor, my Democrat colleagues chose to handle this debate differently," McCarthy said in his closing remarks.

He mentioned that at one point in the debate he was told to address the speaker, and responded by saying that he could look wherever he wanted on the House floor.

"I want to thank my colleagues on the other side for being here," McCarthy went on. "I've enjoyed your company. I probably owe you dinner, too. Will you get in trouble if you have dinner with me? We don't have to tell people."

Several Democrats mocked McCarthy on social media during his speech, with Pelosi releasing a statement calling it a "temper tantrum" that avoided debate on legislation.

In response to Democrats' reactions in the House, McCarthy said: "Democrats were so unnerved with the truth behind this bill, they booed, they yelled, they heckled, they even mocked me. Quite honestly, it was shameful behavior. It was shameful. I'm not sure, but if it was on the other side, they probably would have lost their committees."

That comment was likely a reference to a recent vote of censure Republican Rep. Paul Gosar following his tweeting of a violent video depicting him murdering Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The resolution called for him to have his committee assignments revoked.

McCarthy ended his speech, saying: "This evening showed that hat no matter the time, the day, or the circumstances, house republicans will always fight for you, fight for your family, and fight for our country. With that, Madam Speaker, I yield back."

The Republican's record-breaking speech meant Democrats were unable to hold a vote on the Build Back Better that was due on Thursday. A vote is expected on Friday.

Kevin McCarthy on the house floor.
Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on the house floor during his long speech against the Build Back Better Act. House of Representatives