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CORRESPONDENT

What Does Kevin McCarthy Do Now?

John Gizzi By Monday, 09 October 2023 07:54 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

One of the most surprising reports to make the rounds of Capitol Hill on Friday was that deposed House Speaker Kevin McCarthy would soon resign from Congress.

Newsmax even picked up rumors coming from California that McCarthy protégé and State Assemblyman Vince Fong — who formerly ran Rep. McCarthy's district office in Bakersfield — was gearing up to run in a special election.

"And remember, Kevin can now make a boatload of money," a Washington D.C., lawyer-lobbyist told us, suggesting that McCarthy could follow former Speaker John Boehner into the lucrative lobbying field or former Speaker Paul Ryan into membership on various boards of directors.

But it was not to be.

Hours after reports of his exodus from Congress, McCarthy announced Friday that he was not going anywhere and will seek reelection.

With McCarthy's 20th District considered the most securely Republican of any in California, the former speaker and 17-year lawmaker can stay in Congress for as long as he wants.

Out of the House GOP Leadership hierarchy, McCarthy could choose any House committee and enter with considerable seniority. Frequently criticized as someone concerned more with process than policy — notably by onetime mentor and former Rep. Bill Thomas, R-Calif., — McCarthy could now change directions and focus on a particular issue.

Shortly after McCarthy's ouster, Thomas told KGET-TV in Bakersfield that the speakership "was the only job he ever wanted. He didn't serve on committees, where you could become, to a degree, not an expert but at least very knowledgeable, where you have a bankable skill."

The late far-left Rep. Phil Burton, D-Calif., who lost the race for majority leader in a 1976 contest that is still discussed on Capitol Hill, subsequently focused his energy on the House Interior Committee and became a hero to conservationists.

McCarthy could also plot a comeback into the GOP leadership he loved.

"It would be quite stunning if McCarthy returned as speaker after being ousted," said Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute. "Not likely, to say the least."

Not likely but not out of the question. Boehner was deposed as House GOP Conference Chair in 1998 but rebounded to become GOP Leader in a 2007 upset.

Virtually all McCarthy watchers who spoke to us agree that he will continue to raise money for Republican House candidates in record numbers.

"Fundraiser extraordinaire," is how Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist characterized McCarthy, "His goal should be to win 20 seats with Reagan Republicans so the [Republican Conference] can rule rather than a few self-promoters."

Hinting not-so-subtly that McCarthy could work to bring down the eight Republicans who voted against him as speaker, Norquist noted that McCarthy "now has no requirement that he support destructive members."

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


John-Gizzi
One of the most surprising reports to make the rounds of Capitol Hill on Friday was that deposed House Speaker Kevin McCarthy would soon resign from Congress.
kevin mccarthy, speaker, ouster, john boehner, grover norquist, congress
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2023-54-09
Monday, 09 October 2023 07:54 PM
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