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Kevin McCarthy elected new House majority leader

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/20/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Election comes on heels of stunning defeat of Rep. Eric Cantor

After a stunning defeat knocked Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., out of his post as House majority leader earlier this month, House Republicans elevated two new leaders to helm their caucus. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., was selected to be the No. 2 Republican in the House, chief lieutenant under Speaker John Boehner, in a closed door meeting.

Kevin McCarthy's only opponent was conservative Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, who refused to back Boehner at the beginning of the 113th Congress and mounted a long-shot candidacy at the last minute.

Kevin McCarthy's only opponent was conservative Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, who refused to back Boehner at the beginning of the 113th Congress and mounted a long-shot candidacy at the last minute.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
6/20/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Kevin McCarthy, GOP, Eric Cantor, chief lieutenant


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., chairman of the Republican Study Committee, is expected to replace McCarthy as majority whip in a three-way race. In the case, the relative newcomer prevailed, backed by many who wanted a red state Republican among the ranks of leadership.

McCarthy's only opponent was conservative Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, who refused to back Boehner at the beginning of the 113th Congress and mounted a long-shot candidacy at the last minute.

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"America is struggling . they are looking for individuals who put people before politics," McCarthy said in a press conference. "I make one promise. I will work every single day to make sure that this conference has the courage to lead and the wisdom to listen."

Political analysts agreed that GOP members decided to go with continuity in an election year.

"Given the way Cantor is going out, it's important to show a little bit of stability," Rep. John Campbell, R-Calif., told journalists.

Cantor announced the day after his primary defeat that he would step down from the role of majority leader July 31, although he will be serving out the remainder of his term as a member of Congress.

Known for his geniality, McCarthy is not known for his policy chops or ideological fierceness. A former delicatessen owner, McCarthy started his career in the California General Assembly, and eventually rose to become minority leader of that body. He was first elected to Congress in 2006 and rapidly rose through the House leadership, with both Cantor and Boehner as close allies. In 2010, he helped recruit many of the candidates who now make up the caucus.

It must be noted that McCarthy's ascension to majority leader is not expected to dramatically alter the House GOP's legislative agenda.

"On the policy level, this is not going to make much difference," Jack Pitney, a former GOP congressional aide says. "Any leader has to be responsive to the rank and file, whether it's Eric Cantor or Kevin McCarthy - they're responding to the same set of interests and ideological concerns."

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