House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield on Monday formally launched his bid to become speaker of the House, promising to change the culture in Washington but offering few specifics on how he would unite the fractured Republican Party that controls Congress.
The House majority leader’s decision to succeed John Boehner, who said Friday he would resign as speaker at the end of October, was widely expected. On top of that, McCarthy is viewed suspiciously among a few conservatives by virtue of his position in the GOP leadership.
McCarthy reiterated his own belief that tax dollars should not be going to Planned Parenthood.
In a letter sent out to fellow House Republicans, the California Republican first elected in 2006 pledged that, if chosen, “we will have the courage to lead the fight for our conservative principles and make our case to the American people”. “And I know when we work together under the banner of freedom and opportunity there is little that is out of our reach”.
“As the speaker has said repeatedly, the president’s illegal executive action poisoned the well on reform, and we don’t expect anything to change that fact over the next month”, Boehner spokeswoman Emily Schillinger said.
Critics claimed Boehner did not fight hard enough against the Obama administration on issues such as illegal immigration and funding for Planned Parenthood.
“He’s one of the few standing who’s won two majorities”, McCarthy said. McCarthy may be able to foster inclusion, Webster added, “but I haven’t seen that in five years”. “And I woke up, said my prayers as I always do, and I decided today is the day I’m going to do this”. A significant number of the Republican House conference members were recruited to run by McCarthy himself, who headed up party’s recruitment efforts in 2010.
“We want to make sure that we’re closer to the people – that they feel this is their government, they’re in charge, and we serve them”, McCarthy said. If Boehner had tried to move on the immigration measure previous year, over the objections of most members of his conference, they would have removed him from his position (as Toobin acknowledges), and nearly certainly blocked the bill anyway. He needs a majority of the 247 House Republicans to be elected by the House GOP conference.
McCarthy declined to try to analyze Boehner’s demise or explain the outgoing speaker’s remarks Sunday about “false prophets“, an nearly certain reference to the most conservative Capitol Hill lawmakers and the special interest groups that pushed seemingly unrealistic goals like repealing ObamaCare.