Share This Page

Californian chosen as Boehner successor

| Thursday, June 19, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

WASHINGTON — House Republicans elevated California Rep. Kevin McCarthy to majority leader and elected Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise whip on Thursday in a rare mid-session leadership shakeup caused by Majority Leader Eric Cantor's surprise defeat in last week's Virginia primary.

“I think you'll see a renewed energy” from the House GOP now, said Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore.

At a brief news conference with his new team, House Speaker John Boehner said, “Our job is to stay focused on the American people's priorities,” among them spending bills — or a stop-gap funding measure — with a Sept. 30 deadline to avoid a government shutdown.

Several conservatives said the election did not produce enough of a shakeup in the top ranks to satisfy them.

“There's still going to be a push” from conservatives to tug the leadership in a more rightward direction, said Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky. He supported McCarthy's sole competitor for the majority leader position, Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, who has been a frequent Boehner critic.

John Pitney, a political science professor at Claremont McKenna College, said that Boehner has a better relationship with McCarthy, 49, than he did with Cantor, who was seen as eager to seize the speaker's gavel from Boehner.

“One bit of good news for Boehner is that he doesn't have to look over his shoulder anymore,” Pitney said.

Scalise, 48, who is head of the Republican Study Committee, a conservative GOP faction, said he wanted to bring “a fresh new voice to the leadership table” but vowed to be part of a “unified team.” He easily defeated the current deputy whip, Rep. Peter Roskam of Illinois, and Rep. Marlin Stutzman of Indiana.

Cantor will step down from his post on July 31. At that point, McCarthy will become leader and Scalise will move into the third-ranking job.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.