House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was able to win the minority leader position on Wednesday.
Congressional Republicans had a bittersweet midterm after results came in on Election Day, November 5. While they were able to maintain control of the Senate, it was a different story for the House.
McCarthy (shown above left) began bidding for the seat when his party lost the majority. He was the expected person to win but still faced a notable challenge by Freedom Caucus member Jim Jordan (above right).
House Republicans voted 159 to 43 for him during a closed meeting.
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) opened the door for a possible replacement when he announced he wasn’t going to run again on April 11.
McCarthy will be officially replacing him when the new Congress starts in January.
He will also be coming in with an extensive congressional background dating back to 2006.
McCarthy has served in a leadership position for most of that time, including as chief deputy whip, majority whip and majority leader. He has tackled issues such as immigration, health care and technology.
He has also opposed many progressive environmental regulations over the years. Additionally, he was an early supporter of President Donald Trump back during his 2016 campaign.
McCarthy was highly critical of a program from the Obama administration to lower the carbon dioxide emitted by power generators known as the Clean Power Plan. He led efforts to use the Congressional Review Act to reverse numerous environmental regulations in 2017.
He was also at the forefront of trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act in 2017.
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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is expected to win her battle to become majority leader. She was quick to call for bipartisan cooperation in which both sides can work with the president after the midterm elections but warned Democrats would fight back if and when he did something that went against their principals.
She previously served as speaker from 2007 to 2011.
Senate Republicans have started to fill some rolls as well in preparation for the upcoming term. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) was nominated Wednesday to become the next President Pro Tempore for instance. The position is one of the few that was envisioned by the founding fathers and puts him third in the line of presidential succession.
The midterms overall have drawn a considerable amount of attention, indicative of the political unrest across the country. Trump’s win of the presidential election in 2016 was seen by many as a rebuke of elitist dogma that hurt everyday people. But critics see the midterms as a way to challenge the president and what they see as a racist and hateful agenda.
The Center for Responsive Politics released a report last week projecting that the current midterm elections will be the most expensive ever, at more than $5.2 billion.
Every prior election didn’t even surpass $4.2 billion in spending when adjusted for inflation. The overall estimated cost would represent a 35 percent increase from 2014.
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