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Republican

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R)

Leadership: Majority Leader
Kevin McCarthy Contact
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Email: n/a
DC Contact Information

Phone: 202-225-2915

Address: 2421 RHOB, DC 20515

State Office Contact Information

Phone: (661) 327-3611

Address: 4100 Empire Drive, Bakersfield CA 93309-0409

Kevin McCarthy Staff
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Lombardi, Kyle
Legislative Director
Caram, George
Legislative Assistant
Lombardi, Kyle
Legislative Director
Lombardi, Kyle
Legislative Director
Lombardi, Kyle
Legislative Director
Lombardi, Kyle
Legislative Director
Lombardi, Kyle
Legislative Director
Min, James
Chief of Staff
Lombardi, Kyle
Legislative Director
Caram, George
Legislative Assistant
Lombardi, Kyle
Legislative Director
Lombardi, Kyle
Legislative Director
Caram, George
Legislative Assistant
Lombardi, Kyle
Legislative Director
Lombardi, Kyle
Legislative Director
Min, James
Chief of Staff
Lombardi, Kyle
Legislative Director
Lombardi, Kyle
Legislative Director
Min, James
Chief of Staff
Lombardi, Kyle
Legislative Director
Lombardi, Kyle
Legislative Director
Smith, Trevor
Legislative Correspondent
Lombardi, Kyle
Legislative Director
Smith, Trevor
Legislative Correspondent
Van Kopp, Sam
Legislative Fellow
Caram, George
Legislative Assistant
Caram, George
Legislative Assistant
Lombardi, Kyle
Legislative Director
Van Kopp, Sam
Legislative Fellow
Lombardi, Kyle
Legislative Director
Caram, George
Legislative Assistant
Caram, George
Legislative Assistant
Smith, Trevor
Legislative Correspondent
Lombardi, Kyle
Legislative Director
Lombardi, Kyle
Legislative Director
Lombardi, Kyle
Legislative Director
Min, James
Chief of Staff
Caram, George
Legislative Assistant
Lombardi, Kyle
Legislative Director
Caram, George
Legislative Assistant
Smith, Trevor
Legislative Correspondent
Caram, George
Legislative Assistant
Caram, George
Legislative Assistant
Lombardi, Kyle
Legislative Director
Caram, George
Legislative Assistant
Caram, George
Legislative Assistant
Lombardi, Kyle
Legislative Director
Lombardi, Kyle
Legislative Director
Smith, Trevor
Legislative Correspondent
Caram, George
Legislative Assistant
Duncan, Chris
District Scheduler
Fong, Vincent
District Director
Hochschild, Keenan
Field Representative
Lake-Foster, Robin
District Administrator
Lombardi, Kyle
Legislative Director
McKeown, Kati
Constituent Services Representative
Min, James
Chief of Staff
Smith, Trevor
Legislative Correspondent
Sparks, Matt
Press Secretary
Tarascio, Alex
Staff Assistant; Tour Coordinator
Turner, Joi
Constituent Services Representative
Van Kopp, Sam
Legislative Fellow
Lake-Foster, Robin
District Administrator
Min, James
Chief of Staff
Tarascio, Alex
Staff Assistant; Tour Coordinator
Fong, Vincent
District Director
Van Kopp, Sam
Legislative Fellow
Caram, George
Legislative Assistant
Smith, Trevor
Legislative Correspondent
Lombardi, Kyle
Legislative Director
Sparks, Matt
Press Secretary
Hochschild, Keenan
Field Representative
McKeown, Kati
Constituent Services Representative
Turner, Joi
Constituent Services Representative
Duncan, Chris
District Scheduler
Tarascio, Alex
Staff Assistant; Tour Coordinator
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Kevin McCarthy Biography
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  • Elected: 2006, 5th term.
  • District: California 23
  • Born: Jan. 26, 1965, Bakersfield
  • Home: Bakersfield
  • Education:

    Attended Bakersfield Col., 1984-85, CA St. U., B.S. 1989, M.B.A. 1994

  • Professional Career:

    Owner, Kevin O’s Deli, 1986-87, Mesa Marin Batting Range, 1991-92; Dist. dir., U.S. Rep. Bill Thomas, 1987-2002.

  • Political Career:

    Kern Comm. Col. Board, 2000-02, CA Assembly, 2002-06, min.ldr., 2003-06.

  • Ethnicity: White/Caucasian
  • Religion:

    Baptist

  • Family: Married (Judy); 2 children

Kevin McCarthy is a gregarious former Capitol Hill staffer elected in 2006 whom his Republican colleague from the Central Valley, Devin Nunes, says “lives and breathes politics.” McCarthy rocketed to the No. 3 spot in the House GOP leadership to become majority whip by making himself indispensable to the party’s campaign planning operations, then in June 2014 moved up a notch to the post of majority leader in the fallout from Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor's stunning primary defeat. Read More

Kevin McCarthy is a gregarious former Capitol Hill staffer elected in 2006 whom his Republican colleague from the Central Valley, Devin Nunes, says “lives and breathes politics.” McCarthy rocketed to the No. 3 spot in the House GOP leadership to become majority whip by making himself indispensable to the party’s campaign planning operations, then in June 2014 moved up a notch to the post of majority leader in the fallout from Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor's stunning primary defeat.

McCarthy grew up in Bakersfield, where his blue-collar family has lived for generations and often voted Democratic. He moved in the other direction. At 19, he won $5,000 in the state lottery and invested it in a deli, which helped pay for business school at Cal State, Bakersfield. In college, he was elected chairman of the California Young Republicans and later headed the national Young Republicans organization. After he sold the deli, he got a job in the local office of U.S. Rep. Bill Thomas, who was then on his way to chairing the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. McCarthy eventually became Thomas’ district director and protégé. In 2000, McCarthy was elected to the Kern County Community College Board and in 2002, he, like Thomas before him, was elected to the Assembly. He was immediately chosen Republican leader (which is a little easier than it looks—because of California’s term limits, no assemblyman at the beginning of a session has served more than two terms). McCarthy worked with Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on the budget, workers' compensation issues, and redistricting procedures.

When Thomas announced his retirement in March 2006 from the old 22nd District, just four days before the filing deadline, McCarthy was the obvious candidate to succeed him. He faced only token opposition in the Republican primary. In November, he won 71%-29%. Looking ahead, he raised more than $1 million and traveled the country campaigning for other Republican congressional candidates. That attracted the attention of party leaders. After the election, he was chosen the freshman representative on the Republican Steering Committee, a leadership-run group that makes all-important committee assignments. He also chaired the Platform Committee at the 2008 Republican National Convention, winning praise for soliciting a wide spectrum of views and uniting conservatives and moderates.

McCarthy landed a leadership position in 2009 when Minority Whip Cantor appointed him chief deputy whip—an unusual amount of responsibility bestowed on a House member serving only his second term. On the night of President Barack Obama’s inauguration that year, he reportedly implored a gathering of leading GOP lawmakers and activists plotting strategy to be aggressive. “If you act like you’re the minority, you’re going to stay in the minority,” McCarthy said, according to Robert Draper’s 2012 book Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives. “We’ve gotta challenge them on every single bill and challenge them on every single campaign.”

The deputy whip assignment became the start of McCarthy’s ascension. He was the head of recruiting for the National Republican Congressional Committee in what turned out to be a highly successful election for the GOP in 2010. He traveled widely looking for candidates, identifying people capable of taking on Democrats used to winning against weak opposition. Ultimately, Republicans had candidates in 430 of the 435 congressional districts, the highest number ever. With Cantor and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, he was named head of the party’s “Young Guns” program to spotlight otherwise obscure Republican challengers. House Minority Leader John Boehner also assigned McCarthy and Rep. Peter Roskam of Illinois to draw up a document similar to the House Republicans’ 1994 Contract with America. They solicited ideas from the public on the Internet, and ultimately compiled the “Pledge to America” policy manifesto. Kept deliberately vague to deter Democratic attacks, it did not make as big an impression as the Contract, but it did tend to commit incoming and veteran Republicans to a single set of policies, such as extending the Bush-era tax cuts and repealing Obama’s health care overhaul.

McCarthy was rewarded for his impressive efforts for the party. When Cantor ascended to majority leader after Republicans won control of the House in 2010, McCarthy was chosen by his peers to replace Cantor as whip, the third-ranking position in the House after speaker and majority leader. Rep.Pete Sessions of Texas, another influential Republican, wanted the post, but was persuaded by Boehner to stay on for a second term as chairman of the NRCC, clearing the way for McCarthy to run unchallenged for whip.

In his new job, McCarthy avoided the tensions with Boehner that Cantor experienced and employed a nice-guy approach in building trust. He mountain-biked with Republican members in the mornings and rounded up others in the evenings for group dinners, drawing them out by asking questions such as, “What’s the most embarrassing thing that happened to you at college?” and “What was the first concert you went to?” He encouraged lawmakers to hang around his whip office on the first floor of the Capitol and he got acquainted with their families. “He knows everybody, and their spouse, and their kids,” fellow California Republican Rep. John Campbell marveled in July 2012.

“A conference united around policies creates better legislation than using intimidation,” McCarthy told The New York Times. But he also did not go out of his way to build bridges to House Democrats, or senators of either party. “The Senate is like a country club, and the House is like stopping at a truck stop for breakfast,” he told reporters at an August 2012 gathering at which he suggested the current Senate was the worst in history. “We are a microcosm of society, and we reflect it first.”

McCarthy paid particular attention to the often-rambunctious pack of tea party freshmen elected in 2010. He offered them advice, including telling them to vote their conscience at times if it meant disagreeing with the leadership. Sometimes the results were disastrous. When the leadership decided in April 2011 to back a continuing resolution to keep the federal government operating, 59 Republicans defected. And at the height of the “fiscal cliff” negotiations in December 2012, when the two parties struggled against a deadline to reach agreement on spending and tax cuts, Boehner’s “Plan B” proposal was pulled from the floor when it became clear that it lacked sufficient Republican votes. But a modest level of consensus ultimately emerged in the GOP caucus. A McClatchy Newspapers analysis in October 2012 found that the 68 tea party freshmen backed the party line 92% of the time—the exact same rate for lawmakers from both parties in the entire House.

McCarthy's whip operation continued to face periodic criticism for its failure to unite Republicans. But it didn't affect him when Cantor unexpectedly lost his primary; with the support of friendly colleagues and the GOP's establishment wing, he immediately geared up a campaign to replace his fallen friend. Early on, it appeared he might face stiff competition from two committee chairs from Texas who previously had served in leadership -- Jeb Hensarling of Financial Services and Sessions of Rules. But both dropped their bids, leaving Idaho's Raul Labrador as his only opponent. Yet Labrador got into the race less than a week before the vote, and never stood a chance against McCarthy's formidable vote-counting operation.

In his new job, McCarthy quickly showed his allegiance to the hard right when he publicly endorsed closing the U.S. Export-Import Bank when its charter expired in September. McCarthy had voted in 2012 to renew the charter of the bank, which many conservatives accuse of engaging in crony capitalism. But he showed a pragmatic side as well, warning a group of New York donors that unless the Republican-controlled Congress could prove it could govern, its party would not capture the White House in 2016. He promised to overhaul how the House did its work by giving committee chairmen more autonomy, by having GOP leaders work more closely with their Senate counterparts, and to find issues that could draw a clear contrast between the parties for 2016.

McCarthy made it clear that he saw a big opportunity for the GOP in the opening months of the 114th Congress (2015-16). He helped create a working group of committee chairs to develop a Republican alternative to the Affordable Care Act. But after a month, Republicans roundly were criticized for their inability to get bills through the chamber and for picking what many saw as an unwinnable fight with President Obama over immigration policy by trying to use a Department of Homeland Security spending bill to force an end to his executive order on the subject. The leadership also had to jettison a planned vote on a controversial anti-abortion bill after some female Republicans complained it was too harsh. Boehner shouldered the bulk of the blame, at least publicly.

McCarthy is no close friend of Democrats. But gets along with some of them -- at least superficially -- far better than Cantor. At Obama’s 2013 inauguration, McCarthy sat with liberal Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, and he once beseeched Vice President Joe Biden to call his mother on her birthday. In early 2015, he vowed to work closely with Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein on helping to ease the state's crippling drought. He has a far more adversarial relationship with California's other senator, Barbara Boxer; in January 2015 he blamed her for torpedoing a drought-relief bill the previous year. The tart-tongued Boxer said that when McCarthy made similar comments to her, she told him he was dreaming.

On legislation, McCarthy succeeded in passing in the House his bill in 2011 to remove a regulatory ban preventing small, privately held companies from using advertisements to solicit sophisticated investors for private offerings, and he sought to guard against what he considers overregulation of the commercial space industry to help his district’s Mojave Air and Space Port. But McCarthy never will be mistaken for a policy wonk; his first love is political strategizing. In spring 2012, he launched a program called “Trailblazers” aimed at grooming candidates running for state legislative offices.

McCarthy had no major party opposition in 2008 or 2010. In the newly reconfigured, but still very Republican 23rd District, he beat Independent journalist Terry Phillips in 2012 with 73% of the vote. In that year's subsequent lame-duck session, he and Cantor split from Boehner in opposing the final fiscal cliff deal. “I voted no because it was not a balanced approach,” he told KERO-TV in Bakersfield. “I voted no because I did not think the bill was good enough from the standpoint that it made no cuts and added $4 trillion. We’ve got to change the tide and the debt that has been accumulating.”

Show Less
Kevin McCarthy Election Results
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2012 General (Top-Two General)
Kevin McCarthy (R)
Votes: 158,161
Percent: 73.22%
Terry Phillips (I)
Votes: 57,842
Percent: 26.78%
2012 Primary (Top-Two Primary)
Kevin McCarthy (R)
Votes: 71,109
Percent: 72.16%
Terry Phillips (I)
Votes: 17,018
Percent: 17.27%
Eric Parker (R)
Votes: 10,414
Percent: 10.57%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (99%), 2008 (100%), 2006 (71%)
Kevin McCarthy Votes and Bills
Back to top NJ Vote Ratings

National Journal’s rating system is an objective method of analyzing voting. The liberal score means that the lawmaker’s votes were more liberal than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The conservative score means his votes were more conservative than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The composite score is an average of a lawmaker’s six issue-based scores. See all NJ Voting

More Liberal
More Conservative
2013 2012 2011
Economic 42 (L) : 57 (C) 25 (L) : 74 (C) 10 (L) : 83 (C)
Social 16 (L) : 74 (C) 17 (L) : 83 (C) - (L) : 83 (C)
Foreign 44 (L) : 54 (C) 9 (L) : 86 (C) 9 (L) : 86 (C)
Composite 36.2 (L) : 63.8 (C) 18.0 (L) : 82.0 (C) 11.2 (L) : 88.8 (C)
Interest Group Ratings

The vote ratings by 10 special interest groups provide insight into a lawmaker’s general ideology and the degree to which he or she agrees with the group’s point of view. Two organizations provide just one combined rating for 2011 and 2012, the two sessions of the 112th Congress. They are the ACLU and the ITIC. About the interest groups.

20112012
FRC9066
LCV96
CFG6366
ITIC-92
NTU7272
20112012
COC100-
ACLU-0
ACU8086
ADA00
AFSCME0-
Key House Votes

The key votes show how a member of Congress voted on the major bills of the year. N indicates a "no" vote; Y a "yes" vote. If a member voted "present" or was absent, the bill caption is not shown. For a complete description of the bills included in key votes, see the Almanac's Guide to Usage.

    • Pass GOP budget
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • End fiscal cliff
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Extend payroll tax cut
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Find AG in contempt
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Stop student loan hike
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Repeal health care
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Raise debt limit
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Pass cut, cap, balance
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Defund Planned Parenthood
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Repeal lightbulb ban
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Add endangered listings
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Speed troop withdrawal
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Regulate financial firms
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Pass tax cuts for some
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Stop detainee transfers
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Legalize immigrants' kids
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Repeal don't ask, tell
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Limit campaign funds
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Overturn Ledbetter
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass $820 billion stimulus
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Let guns in national parks
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass cap-and-trade
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Bar federal abortion funds
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass health care bill
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Bail out financial markets
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2008
    • Repeal D.C. gun law
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2008
    • Overhaul FISA
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2008
    • Increase minimum wage
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Expand SCHIP
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Raise CAFE standards
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Share immigration data
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Foreign aid abortion ban
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Ban gay bias in workplace
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Withdraw troops 8/08
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • No operations in Iran
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Free trade with Peru
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
Read More
Kevin McCarthy Leadership Staff
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Berry, Timothy
Chief of Staff
Bien, Christopher
Staff Assistant
Borden, Robert
Director, Oversight
Bradley, Neil
Deputy Chief of Staff, Policy
Buchanan, Natalie
Director, Member Services
Burr, Danielle
Director, External Affairs
Carey, Brittany
External Affairs; Member Services Assistant
Dixon, Kelly
Director, Legislative Operations
Franc, Michael
Director, Policy; Counsel
Glancey, Tess
Digital Coordinator
Howard, Ben
Director, Floor Operations
Karem, Robert
Senior Advisor, Policy
Kluttz, Lawson
Special Assistant
Leganski, John
Floor Assistant
Long, Mike
Director, Communications
Mahan, Roger
Senior Advisor, Policy
McClelland, Wesley
Senior Advisor, Policy
Min, James
Deputy Chief of Staff
Murry, Emily
Senior Advisor, Policy
Sparks, Matt
Press Secretary
Stipicevic, John
Deputy Chief of Staff, Floor and Member Services
Thiele, Aaron
Senior Staff Assistant
Torres, Alec
Speechwriter; Communications Assistant
Karem, Robert
Senior Advisor, Policy
Mahan, Roger
Senior Advisor, Policy
McClelland, Wesley
Senior Advisor, Policy
Murry, Emily
Senior Advisor, Policy
Torres, Alec
Speechwriter; Communications Assistant
Berry, Timothy
Chief of Staff
Bradley, Neil
Deputy Chief of Staff, Policy
Stipicevic, John
Deputy Chief of Staff, Floor and Member Services
Glancey, Tess
Digital Coordinator
Franc, Michael
Director, Policy; Counsel
Min, James
Deputy Chief of Staff
Borden, Robert
Director, Oversight
Buchanan, Natalie
Director, Member Services
Burr, Danielle
Director, External Affairs
Dixon, Kelly
Director, Legislative Operations
Franc, Michael
Director, Policy; Counsel
Howard, Ben
Director, Floor Operations
Long, Mike
Director, Communications
Sparks, Matt
Press Secretary
Kluttz, Lawson
Special Assistant
Torres, Alec
Speechwriter; Communications Assistant
Bien, Christopher
Staff Assistant
Thiele, Aaron
Senior Staff Assistant
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The Almanac is a members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics. Comprehensive online profiles include biographical and political summaries of elected officials, campaign expenditures, voting records, interest-group ratings, and congressional staff look-ups. In-depth overviews of each state and house district are included as well, along with demographic data, analysis of voting trends, and political histories.
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