Kevin McCarthy (California politician)
|House Majority Leader|
August 1, 2014
|Preceded by||Eric Cantor|
|House Majority Whip|
January 3, 2011 – August 1, 2014
|Preceded by||Jim Clyburn|
|Succeeded by||Steve Scalise|
|House Republican Chief Deputy Whip|
January 3, 2009 – January 3, 2011
|Preceded by||Eric Cantor|
|Succeeded by||Peter Roskam|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 23rd district
January 3, 2013
|Preceded by||Lois Capps|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 22nd district
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2013
|Preceded by||Bill Thomas|
|Succeeded by||Devin Nunes|
|Minority Leader of the California Assembly|
January 5, 2004 – April 17, 2006
|Preceded by||Dave Cox|
|Succeeded by||George Plescia|
|Member of the California State Assembly
from the 32nd district
December 2, 2002 – November 30, 2006
|Preceded by||Roy Ashburn|
|Succeeded by||Jean Fuller|
|Born||Kevin Owen McCarthy
January 26, 1965
Bakersfield, California, U.S.
|Alma mater||California State University, Bakersfield|
A Republican, he was formerly Chairman of the California Young Republicans and the Young Republican National Federation, McCarthy worked as district director for U.S. Representative Bill Thomas and in 2000 was elected to serve as a Trustee to the Kern Community College District. He then served in the California State Assembly from 2002 to 2006, including a spell from 2004 to 2006 as the Minority Leader. When Thomas retired from the House in 2006, McCarthy ran to succeed him and won the election. The 23rd district (numbered as the 22nd District from 2007 to 2013), is based in Bakersfield and includes large slices of Kern and Tulare counties.
In the House, McCarthy served as House Chief Deputy Republican Whip from 2009 to 2011 and as House Majority Whip from 2011 to August 2014, when he was elected House Majority Leader to replace the outgoing Eric Cantor, who had been defeated in the Republican primary for his seat.
Early life and education
McCarthy was born in Bakersfield, California, the son of Roberta (Palladino), a homemaker, and Owen McCarthy, an assistant city fire chief. McCarthy is a fourth-generation resident of Kern County. He is the first Republican in his immediate family; his parents were Democrats. At the age of 19 he opened his first business, a deli, after winning five thousand dollars from a lottery ticket. He subsequently sold the deli to attend California State University, Bakersfield. He obtained a B.S. in marketing, in 1989 and an M.B.A., in 1994.
Early political career
In 1995, he was chairman of the California Young Republicans. From 1999 to 2001, he was chairman of the Young Republican National Federation. From the late 1990s until 2000, he was the district director for U.S. Representative Bill Thomas, who, at the time, chaired the House Ways and Means Committee. Kevin won his first election in 2000 as Trustee to the Kern Community College District.
McCarthy was elected to the California State Assembly in 2002, becoming Republican floor leader in his freshman term in 2003. He was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2006.
U.S. House of Representatives
McCarthy entered the Republican primary for the 22nd—the real contest in this heavily Republican district—after his former boss, Thomas, announced his retirement. He won the general election with 70.7% of the vote.
He ran unopposed.
He was a primary author H.R. 1581 Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act of 2011. It released wilderness study areas and forest service road-less areas administered and managed by the Bureau of Land Management from federal protection. It also attempted to undo the decades-old multiple use approach enshrined in the National Forest Management Act and Federal Land Policy and Management Act, where wilderness is balanced with other public uses. Over 4 million acres in California alone would have been stripped of wilderness protection. The bill was widely opposed by environmentalists, as well as outdoor recreation advocates and businesses, and ultimately died in committee.
Redistricting before the 2012 election resulted in McCarthy's district being renumbered as the 23rd District. It became somewhat more compact, losing its share of the Central Coast while picking up a large chunk of Tulare County. However, the district was as heavily Republican as its predecessor, and McCarthy easily won a fourth term, taking 73.2% of the vote vs. 26.8% for independent (No Party Preference, or NPP) opponent Terry Phillips.
McCarthy won re-election to a fifth term in 2014.
- Committee on Financial Services
- House Republican Steering Committee
- House Chief Deputy Republican Whip, 2009–2011
- House Majority Whip, 2011–2014
- House Majority Leader, 2014–present
As a freshman, McCarthy was appointed to the Republican Steering Committee. In 2008, Republican leader John Boehner appointed him chairman of the Republican Platform Committee during the committee's meetings in Minneapolis in August 2008, which produced the Republican Party Platform for 2008. He was also one of the three founding members of the GOP Young Guns Program.
After the 2008 elections, he was chosen as chief deputy minority whip, the highest-ranking appointed position in the House Republican caucus. His predecessor, Eric Cantor, was named minority whip. On November 17, 2010, he was selected by the House Republican caucus to be the House majority whip in the 112th Congress. In this post, he was the third-ranking House Republican, behind Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
Cantor lost the June 2014 primary for his seat in Congress, and announced he would step down from House leadership at the end of July. McCarthy sought to succeed Cantor, and after some speculation that Representatives Pete Sessions and Jeb Hensarling would challenge him, both dropped out leaving a clear path for McCarthy to become House majority leader. On June 13 conservative Representative Raul Labrador announced he also was seeking the leadership position. On June 19 the Republican caucus elected McCarthy majority leader.
According to the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, McCarthy is the least-tenured Majority Leader in the history of the House of Representatives. When he assumes the Majority Leader position in July 2014, he will have served for only seven years, six months and 29 days, the least experience of any floor leader in the House's history by more than a year.
McCarthy kept four of his predecessor's staff members on his staff when he took over as majority leader, including deputy chief of staff Neil Bradley, who now has served in that role for three majority leaders.
McCarthy is pro-life and has received a 100% rating from the National Right to Life Committee. He has voted against ObamaCare, to ban abortions, to stop taxpayer funding of abortion and has also voted repeatedly to defund ObamaCare and repeal it.
McCarthy and his wife Judy have two children. They are lifelong residents of Bakersfield.
- "Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise vault into GOP leadership". Politico. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
- "GOP Rep. McCarthy elected House majority leader". AP via Yahoo news. June 19, 2014. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
- McCarthy, Kevin (June 22, 2014). Kevin McCarthy talks Iraq, future of the GOP; latest on IRS scandal. Interview with Chris Wallace. Fox News Sunday. Washington, D.C. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
- Cottle, Michelle (October 26, 2010). "McCarthism". New Republic (Washington, D.C.: Chris Hughes). Retrieved June 20, 2014.
- Nichols, Laura (September 27, 2011). "The Young Guns Take to Facebook". National Review Online. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
- "Full Biography". Congressman Kevin McCarthy website. U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
- Sewell, Abby (12 June 2014). "Kevin McCarthy, would-be majority leader, at home in D.C., Bakersfield". LA Times. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
- "Statement of the Vote – November 2006" (PDF). California Secretary of State. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
- "CA – District 22". OurCampaigns.com. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
- "Statement of Vote: November 4, 2008, General Election" (PDF). California Secretary of State. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
- "Statement of Vote: November 2, 2010, General Election" (PDF). California Secretary of State. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
- H.R. 1581
- Open Congress
- "Statement of Vote: November 6, 2012 General Election" (PDF). California Secretary of State. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
- "Young Guns – About". gopyoungguns.com/. National Republican Congressional Committee.
- Fuller, Matt (June 12, 2014). "Pete Sessions Drops Out of Majority Leader Race, Clearing Way for Kevin McCarthy". Roll Call. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
- Cornwell, Susan (June 13, 2014). "Republican Rep. Labrador running for House majority leader post". Reuters. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
- "Eric Cantor to leave leadership post". Politico. June 11, 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
- Can Kevin McCarthy instill a California mind-set in his House GOP colleagues?, The Los Angeles Times, June 20, 2014
- Bobic, Igor (June 20, 2014). "Kevin McCarthy Is The Least Tenured House Majority Leader Ever". The Huffington Post (New York: AOL). Retrieved June 24, 2014.
- Dumain, Emma. "Majority Leader-Elect McCarthy Inherits Top Cantor Aides". www.rollcall.com. Roll Call. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
- Rich, Gillian (June 23, 2014). "Boeing May Lose Exports If Ex-Im Bank Charter Revoked". Investor's Business Daily (Los Angeles: William O'Neil). Retrieved June 23, 2014.
- Ertelt, Steven (June 19, 2014). "Pro-Life Rep. Kevin McCarthy Elected Republican House Majority Leader Replacing Cantor". LifeNews. Retrieved May 16, 2015.
- "Community Action Partnership of Kern". Capk.org. Retrieved 2010-09-01.
- Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy
- Congressman Kevin McCarthy official U.S. House site
- Kevin McCarthy for Congress
- Kevin McCarthy at DMOZ
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at The Library of Congress