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Kevin McCarthy Re-Elected Minority Leader After GOP's 'Historic' House Upset

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Rep. Kevin McCarthy easily won re-election as House Republican leader on Tuesday as the entire GOP leadership team was rewarded by their colleagues for reducing the Democrats’ House advantage in the November election.

The California Republican faced no opposition to return as minority leader during the closed-door gathering.

After a quick vote, he won a standing ovation, according to an aide who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“Our country has faced unbelievable challenges,” McCarthy said afterward. House Republicans are “the most united and energized” he’s ever seen after their “historic political upset.”

Republicans saw little reason to shake up their leadership after not a single GOP lawmaker lost re-election in the House.

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The No. 2 Republican, Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, won another term as GOP whip.

Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming was re-elected as chair of the conference, and Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota will again lead the campaign arm, the National Republican Congressional Committee.

The internal party elections were far from the drama-filled episodes of days past.

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“A monster election,” Texas GOP Rep. Kevin Brady said.

Republicans exceeded every expectation by defending their House seats and ousting more than a handful of Democrats to shrink Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s majority.

With the chamber poised to be more narrowly split — so far 219-204 — and about a dozen races still undecided, House Republicans could see their power grow during the next congressional term.

McCarthy said that while Republicans as the minority party won’t be able to control the schedule of bills that come for a vote, they will “run the floor.”

The GOP now has a legitimate pathway back to power. Their wins in this election cycle open the door for Republicans to reach 218 seats and topple the Democratic majority in the 2022 midterms.

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“When our leaders were working their tails off, you know — whether it’s on the political side, messaging side, bringing the team together — it’s important to keep … the winning team in place as we set our sights on the majority,” Brady, the top Republican on the Ways & Means Committee, said.

McCarthy helped power this year’s victories, raising more than $106 million this election cycle and spending 107 days on the road this year — campaigning in 33 cities in the final three weeks of the campaign, according to his staff.

President Donald Trump found an ally in McCarthy, an early endorser of his 2016 campaign.

McCarthy represents Bakersfield, a longtime oil and farming hub in a patch of California’s Trump country.

He was first elected in 2006, taking over the seat of former Rep. Bill Thomas, for whom he worked as an aide.


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