Government affairs

Legislative Updates

Shakeup in House leadership

On Thursday, House Republicans elected Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to become the new House majority leader, replacing Eric Cantor (R-VA), who unexpectedly lost his House seat in the Virginia GOP primary to college professor David Brat. McCarthy beat Tea Party candidate Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID).

Cantor was the first majority leader to lose in a primary election since the majority leader position was created back in 1899. The day after his June 10 loss, Cantor announced that he would be stepping down from his leadership position at the end of July.

McCarthy, who serves as House majority whip, beat conservative Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID). With McCarthy’s elevation to the No. 2 spot in House leadership, an additional election had to be held to replace him during the closed-door caucus meeting that followed the majority leader vote.

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) was selected to replace McCarthy as whip. Scalise, who represents the more conservative arm of House Republicans, beat Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL), who is currently part of Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) leadership team, and Tea Party member Rep. Marlin Stuzman (R-IN). Scalise also is chairman of the conservative Republican Study Group.

The whip battle symbolizes internal friction within the House Republican leadership. This will complicate efforts to enact any serious legislation for the rest of the year.

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