Despite fierce opposition from staunch conservative Republicans, Kevin McCarthy, the likely successor to John Boehner as House Speaker, supports granting legal status to undocumented workers. McCarthy, who represents Bakersfield, Calif., has a great deal of Hispanic constituents who strongly support immigration reform and citizenship for undocumented immigrants, according to ABC News on Monday.
McCarthy has announced his candidacy for Speaker after Boehner announced that he is resigning as of the end of next month. McCarthy sent out an email to his GOP colleagues on Capitol HIll asking them for their support. In that email, McCarthy promised to be a unifier and a healer. McCarthy stated that the differences within the GOP Conference will be resolved with “work, time and trust.”
If McCarthy does secure the Speaker’s seat, he will be the second person in line to succeed to the Presidency after the Vice-President. He will assign members to committees, appoint committee chairpersons, and make substantive decisions on the disposition of bills introduced by members of Congress. As Speaker, McCarthy will work closely with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as well as President Obama and his successor after the 2016 Presidential election.
The role of Speaker of the House is vital and the person who fills it has got to have conciliatory negotiation skills. The Speaker also has got to he able to work successfully with people of opposing political ideals and from divergent backgrounds and places. McCarthy has promised to fit the shoes of this person and to meet the compelling demands of the position of Speaker of the House. Here are four things that the voters should know about Kevin McCarthy before he succeeds John Boehner as House Speaker:
1) McCarthy used to own and run a small deli while attending college. He paid his way through college making submarine sandwiches at his shop in Orange County before that market was cornered by Subway, Togos and other corporate sandwich makers.
2) McCarthy’s ascendancy within the Republican Party was very quick. After serving as an intern to Congressman Bill Thomas, McCarthy served in the California State Assembly. He was elected to Congress only nine years ago, making him one of the fastest climbers up the ladder to the Speakership in history.
3) McCarthy is one of the House members most responsible for the GOP majority in the House. Although he does not chair any committee in the House, McCarthy was a chief architect of the GOP House takeover in 2010. It is believed that McCarthy and his fellow House conservatives are largely responsible for Boehner’s premature resignation from both his Speakership and his Congressional seat.
4) McCarthy is a movie buff from way back. He even showed parts of the movie, “The Town” to GOP members of Congress during the debt ceiling crisis of 2011.
Kevin McCarthy is 50 years old. He represents a conservative region of one of the most liberal states in the country, California. Thus far McCarthy has no opposition in his bid to be Speaker. It appears unlikely that anyone else at this point in time could muster up enough support to launch any kind of serious opposition to McCarthy.
In keeping with the tradition that the political party that holds the majority in Congress elects the House Speaker, the Democrats will not have a claim on the Speakership until they once again are in the majority. Nancy Pelosi, the last Democratic Party Speaker, was ousted and replaced by Boehner after the Democrats lost their majority in the House in 2010.