House GOP Taps McCarthy as Next Minority Leader

In this Jan. 14, 2018 photo, President Donald Trump, right, accompanied by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., speaks to members of the media as they arrive for a dinner at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

(CN) – House Republicans selected Rep. Kevin McCarthy as their next minority leader on Wednesday in a landslide, 159 to 43.

McCarthy, the current majority leader, was expected to win the seat handily after House Speaker Paul Ryan announced his retirement this year. Though he faced some opposition from Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, the former chair of the more conservative House Freedom Caucus, he enjoyed the backing of Ryan and President Donald Trump.

The Bakersfield, California, representative won the president’s favor by introducing an immigration bill last month that would supply $23.4 billion in funding for the construction of a border wall between the United States and Mexico, a project on which Trump built his presidential campaign, and for which he continued to fight through the midterm election.

Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana was also unanimously chosen to be minority whip. Though he briefly considered challenging McCarthy for the top spot in the House, he backed down last week.

Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney, followed in her father’s footsteps by securing the position of House Republican Conference chair, a position he held from 1987 to 1989.

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