Kevin McCarthy Announces Bid to Become Next House Minority Leader

Rep. Kevin McCarthy / Getty Images
November 7, 2018

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) on Wednesday announced his bid to become the next House minority leader following the midterm elections, which resulted in Democrats taking back control of the House.

McCarthy, who raised over $60 million during this election cycle for Republicans, sent a letter to his colleagues informing them he would run to be the next minority leader in the House of Representatives. He told his Republican colleagues that all of their successes over the last two years will be "under attack" by Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), the current minority leader who may be the next House speaker.

"We have a responsibility to protect our constituents from higher taxes and increasing government control over their lives. And we need to lay the groundwork to regain the majority so that we can continue working alongside President Trump to fulfill our promise to fundamentally change Washington," McCarthy wrote. "I helped build a majority from a deeper hole than this and I have what it takes to do it again. That is why I have decided to run for Republican Leader and humbly ask for your support."

He laid out his expectations for the upcoming congressional session, saying he expects to be a listener, use every tool at his disposal to "deliberately challenge" House Democrats, and "work tirelessly" to uphold conservative convictions.

I expect to use every tool at our disposal to deliberately challenge House Democrats and move the Senate to the right. A surefire way to motivate me to is to argue: "that’s never been done before." I believe we must embrace unconventional methods and strategies if we are to maximize our leverage and put wins on the board. As Majority Leader, I have wielded a variety of parliamentary tactics, including the Congressional Review Act—which we used a record 16 times to repeal over $4.1 billion in regulatory costs—as well as the Impoundment Control Act to rescind needless government spending. Outside-the-box thinking will prove critical in our efforts to confront Democrat extremism in committee, on the floor, and in the public square.

I expect us to work tirelessly and with a sense of urgency for our conservative convictions. The last time we were in this position, we had only 178 members. Political pundits openly mocked the notion that we could take back the House. But day by day, as we outworked and outmaneuvered the Democrats, the American people began to embrace our vision of freedom, opportunity, limited government, and accountability. In turn, conservatives of all stripes were elected across the nation and America is now confident again. It’s time for us to revive that mentality. I have been here before and I know how to win this back. We will not shrug our shoulders—we will roll up our sleeves and be relentless in pursuing our core convictions.

McCarthy concluded the letter by talking about his optimism that Republicans can win back the House in 2020.

"More importantly, we have seen where Democrats want to take our country— open borders, government-run healthcare, impeaching President Trump, and crushing debt for our kids and grandkids," McCarthy wrote. "We simply cannot let that happen. Our mission is to demonstrate that the road to America’s success is paved by conservative solutions. You can count on me fighting in every corner of this nation to draw a contrast with the radical left, make the case for our shared values and priorities, and prove the naysayers wrong once again."

McCarthy has traveled to 46 states and counting, helping 75 members of Congress and 22 candidates raise millions of dollars for their campaigns while also helping build a national donor network who supports Republican achievements in Congress.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R., Ohio) also announced his plan on Wednesday to run for House minority leader.

"In 2016, the American people elected Republicans to come here and change this town. I think the president is doing just that, but I don't think they see the same intensity from folks in Congress, folks in the House of Representatives," Jordan said.

"Have we replaced ObamaCare yet? Have we secured the border yet? Have we reformed welfare yet? No we haven't," he added.