7 Reasons Why Kevin McCarthy Shouldn’t Replace Eric Cantor

John Boehner, Kevin McCarthy, and Eric Cantor

Republicans were jockeying for position to move up on the ladder before Eric Cantor (R-VA), who lost his primary bid in a shocking upset on Tuesday night, announced that he would step down from his post as House Majority Leader at the end of July.

But with the leadership election scheduled for Thursday, June 19, several names are being kicked around to replace Cantor, among them is current Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

Yeah, no. That’s a terrible idea.

McCarthy has been in lock-step with Cantor, who endorsed him yesterday, and Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). He’s essentially the status quo. Nothing will change in the House if McCarthy becomes the next Majority Leader. It would be a politically tone deaf move for House Republicans to choose a carbon copy of Cantor to lead their conference.

And here are some reasons why.

McCarthy voted for the USA PATRIOT Act

Not only did the USA PATRIOT Act significantly expand law enforcement and intelligence community powers, Section 215 has been used by the National Security Agency to spy on innocent Americans by collecting their cell phone metadata from wireless providers. While he wasn’t in Washington when the law originally was passed, McCarthy has voted for reauthorization every single time since he joined the House of Representatives in 2007.

(Roll Call Vote 67, 2/25/2010; Roll Call Vote 36, 2/14/2011; Roll Call Vote 66, 2/17/2011; Roll Call Vote 376, 5/26/2011)

McCarthy opposed the Amash amendment to end NSA spying

Not long after the NSA’s domestic surveillance became public knowledge, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) offered an amendment that would effectively end the unconstitutional bulk metadata collection. McCarthy joined Eric Cantor and John Boehner to defeat the amendment, allowing the NSA to continue to violating Americans’ privacy.

(Roll Call Vote 412, 7/24/2013)

McCarthy voted for reauthorization of the crony Ex-Im Bank

This one is especially notable because this is a battle that Congress will revisit in the coming months. The Export-Import Bank, also known by its nickname, “Boeing’s Bank,” has doled out billions to big businesses. The Ex-Im Bank has become, as conservatives have called it, the “face of cronyism.” Unfortunately, McCarthy voted to allow the Export-Import Bank to keep funding its crony friends in big business.

(Roll Call Vote 224, 5/9/2012)

McCarthy was key to passage $1 trillion Farm Bill

McCarthy lobbied House Republicans to vote for a five-year, nearly $1 trillion Farm Bill without any reforms and packed with giveaways to special interest groups. This bill represented a 49 percent increase over the previous measure. Adding almost another $1 trillion to $17+ trillion national debt is fiscally reckless.

(Roll Call Vote 286, 6/30/2013; Roll Call Vote 31, 1/29/2014)

McCarthy backed the bloated Sandy relief spending measure

While he did oppose an amendment to add an additional $33.7 billion to the Hurricane Sandy relief bill, McCarthy rendered that vote meaningless when he backed the bloated $50.1 billion measure that included the spending. McCarthy also voted against an amendment offered by Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) that would have offset the cost of the bill. The Sandy relief bill contained billions in wasteful spending and, according to a recent report, much of the money appropriated by Congress remains unspent.

(Roll Call Vote 14, 1/15/2013; Roll Call Vote 23, 1/15/2013)

McCarthy supported a budget deal that blew past spending limits

McCarthy backed and lobbied House Republicans to get behind the Ryan-Murray budget deal, a measure that blew through bipartisan spending caps set in the 2011 Budget Control Act. The Budget Control Act slowed the rate a spending increases, setting the discretionary spending at $967 billion in FY 2014. But McCarthy voted for a budget deal that busted through that cap, increasing spending levels to $1.012 trillion in the current fiscal year, a difference of $45 billion.

(Roll Call Vote 640, 12/12/2013)

And McCarthy voted for a debt ceiling hike without spending cuts

Twice in this current Congress has McCarthy cast votes for a “clean” debt ceiling increase without spending cuts. The national has more than doubled since he joined Congress in 2007, increasing from $8.7 trillion to nearly $17.6 trillion.

(Roll Call Vote 30, 1/23/2013; Roll Call Vote 61, 2/11/2014)


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