Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)

House Majority Whip, 112th Congress (since January 2011)

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Why He Matters

McCarthy is great at making friends. And those friends have given him a top spot in the House GOP majority as the majority whip in the GOP-majority 112th Congress.

McCarthy rose from chief deputy whip in the 110th Congress, as well as head of recruitment for the House GOP campaign arm in the 2010 election cycle.

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Lady Antebellum, Kevin McCarthy, Nancy Pelosi to nab Grammys on the Hill

The annual awards, slated for April 2, will feature performances and tributes.

Where can you see members of Congress rock out on stage? Grammys on the Hill Awards.

There’s only one place in D.C. where Nancy Pelosi will name drop Miley Cyrus.


Obama hails 8 million enrollees for insurance under federal health-care law

He calls feat a success story that Democrats should “forcefully defend and be proud of.”


Vampires, RINOs and things that go bump in the night

(Tom Toles)

In Florida, politics again take a strange turn.


At a Glance

  • Career History: House Chief Deputy Republican Whip (since December 2008-January 2011); Member of the California Assembly (2002 to 2006); District Director for Rep. Bill Thomas (1987 to 2002); Owner of Kevin O's Deli (1986 to 1987)
  • Birthday: Jan. 26, 1965
  • Hometown: Bakersfield, Calif.
  • Alma Mater: Attended Bakersfield College, 1984-85; California State University, B.S., 1989; California State University, MBA, 1994
  • Spouse: Judy
  • Religion: Baptist
  • DC Office: 1523 Longworth House Office Building, 202-225-2915
  • District Office: Atascadero, 805-461-1034; Bakersfield, 661-327-3611

Path to Power

McCarthy was born in Bakersfield, Calif. He was chair of the California Young Republicans at California State University in Bakersfield. While in school, he also invested the $5,000 he won in the state lottery in the stock market, and used the profit he made to start his own deli, Kevin O's. He received his B.S. in 1989.

McCarthy began working for former House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calif.) in 1987. He quickly became Thomas' favorite staffer, working his way up from district office volunteer to director. McCarthy also chaired the National Young Republicans.

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The Issues

McCarthy is a conservative voter with a 100 percent rating from the American Conservative Union in 2007. He voted with his party 96 percent of the time during the 110th Congress.

But his legislative approach is more pragmatic than dogmatic. He emphasizes job creation, cutting government spending and developing better math and science programs in public schools. He would also like to figure out ways to use new technologies that will improve transparency and accountability in the federal government.

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The Network

McCarthy owes his political start to ex-Rep. Bill Thomas (R-Calif.), who groomed him beginning when McCarthy was in his early twenties. The two share an interest in cars and car shows.

As a member of the "Young Guns," McCarthy, Rep. Eric Cantor and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) have worked closely together. The trio sees itself as the future of the Republican Party in the House.

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