Following a closed-door meeting between House Republicans that pitted two prominent party figures against each other, House GOP members have voted Kevin McCarthy as their new Minority Leader.
Defeating what some considered a long-shot challenger, McCarthy successfully defended his Republican leader status by a 159-43 vote against Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio.
With current Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) stepping down at the end of December, McCarthy was widely expected to be the next in line, however, a surge in Democratic pickups during the midterm has ousted the Republican majority. Instead, McCarthy will have to settle for Minority Leader.
The endorsements McCarthy was able to gain from Speaker Paul Ryan and President Trump no doubt helped to propel the favorite over Jordan – the co-founder of the conservative Freedom Caucus.
Fellow House Republican Steve Scalise of Louisiana, who was almost fatally shot last year, has also been elected to a new leadership position as he will serve as Minority Whip.
After accepting his nomination, Representative McCarthy held a press conference where he vowed to help the GOP win back the majority in the House as well as oppose any Democrats looking to kick off 2019 with presidential impeachment hearings.
“We will work with anybody across that aisle if they are there to work to move America forward. But let me be very clear, if their agenda is simply investigations, impeachment, and not focused on the hardworking American public, we will be there to defend the American public,” McCarthy said.
Following the press conference, McCarthy also tweeted two goals, “Keep America prosperous and strong” and “win back the majority.”
Honored to be elected Republican Leader for the 116th Congress.
We are united in our mission:
-KEEP AMERICA PROSPEROUS & STRONG
-WIN BACK THE MAJORITY pic.twitter.com/NpIGeXmclA
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) November 15, 2018
“I think Jim has earned the position for ranking member on Judiciary, but that’s not my call. That’s going to be the Steering Committee’s call, and certainly as we look at that they will be making those decisions after Thanksgiving,” he said.
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