Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has been elected Majority Leader in the House. McCarthy currently served as Majority Whip. McCarthy faced competition from Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), who had made an effort to represent the Tea Party wing of the House Republicans. McCarthy was expected to win and he and the backing of current Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Today’s elections were brought on by Leader Cantor’s primary loss last week. Initially, McCarthy also had competition from Rep. Pete Sessions, the chairman of the House Rules Committee. However, Sessions eventually withdrew his name and McCarthy was the only name for a period of time. Then, Labrador announced his bid for Majority Leader.
Today’s votes were both closed-door for the House Republican caucus, so we may never know how many people voted for McCarthy and the other candidates.
The much more heated election was for Majority Whip. Whereas with the Leader election, there was an expected succession, that was not the case for Majority Whip. There were two major candidates, Reps. Steve Scalise and Deputy Majority Whip Pete Roskam. Politico reported that Scalise started early with his campaign and Roskam waited out of respect for Cantor. Scalise eventually amassed an insurmountable lead.
Starting August 1, the House GOP leadership will be as follows:
Speaker John Boehner
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy
Majority Whip Steve Scalise
Deputy Majority Whip Pete Roskam
House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rogers