majority leader

House Republicans need a conservative leader, not another milquetoast squish like Kevin McCarthy

Raul Labrador

It appears that the House Republican Conference has learned nothing from Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) stunning defeat on Tuesday. Roll Call reports today that Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) may have enough support to replace Cantor, who will step down on July 31.

McCarthy isn’t an improvement over Cantor. If a majority of the House Republican Conference pick him, it will be an endorsement of the status quo — unprincipled, milquetoast leadership that, more often than not, ignores the grassroots.

Sure, Republicans talk a good game on the campaign trail. They say they believe in limited government and freedom on the stump. But when they get back to Washington, they kowtow to K Street. Suddenly, as Stephen Slivinski once said, they no longer look at the nation’s capital as a cesspool, but treat it like a jacuzzi.

There is, however, an alternative to McCarthy, who, as explained yesterday, has a terrible record on fiscal and constitutional issues.

Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), a liberty-minded Republican, announced just moments ago that he will challenge McCarthy for the top leadership post when the House Republican Conference holds its leadership election Thursday, June 19. Which, by the way, will be conducted by secret ballot.

“I was stunned when Eric Cantor lost his primary election earlier this week. Eric is a good friend and I have tremendous respect for him,” Labrador said in a press release. “But the message from Tuesday is clear – Americans are looking for a change in the status quo.”

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.

Harry Reid is the worst: Senate Democratic leader has all but weeded Republicans out of the legislative process

The toxic, hyperpartisan atmosphere in the United States Senate is the result of the grip Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has on the process in the upper chamber, says Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL).

The ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee blasted Reid for not allowing Republicans to offer amendments to legislation from the from the floor, which, Sessions said, is a partisan move by the Democratic leader to try to protect his at-risk majority in the upcoming mid-term election.

“The reason the Majority Leader will not allow amendments is because he wants to protect his members from actually being held accountable by the voters of the United States of America,” Session said on Thursday. “

That’s what it’s all about. It’s gone on way too long,” he continued. “It’s demeaning this Senate, and he demeans the loyal opposition who are doing the only thing they have as a tool, which is refuse to move forward with a bill if the Majority Leader is going to use parliamentary maneuvers to block anybody’s amendment.”

After McCarthy, Scalise victories, Ted Cruz will meet with House conservatives… again.

Paul Teller

Just minutes after House Republicans elected Reps. Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise to the positions of Majority Leader and Majority Whip, respectively, Texas Senator Ted Cruz invited the most conservative House Republicans to “an off-the-record gathering for an evening of discussion and fellowship” next Tuesday, June 24 at 7:00pm.

The email invitation, according to Washington Post national political reporter Robert Costa, was sent by Paul Teller, Sen. Cruz’s deputy chief of staff.

But Teller’s connection to newly-elected House Majority Whip Steve Scalise is one that conservatives shouldn’t forget. According to Teller’s LinkedIn account, he worked as the Executive Director of the Republican Study Committee (RSC) for nearly 13 years.

The RSC was founded by Paul Weyrich in 1973 to pull House Republicans to the Right. For most of its lifespan, the RSC was the conservative conscience of the House Republican Conference. According to a number of well-respected movement conservatives, many moderate and “Establishment” Republicans now claim membership in the RSC.

“It’s sort of the ‘cool thing’ to do,” said one conservative familiar with the organization’s membership.

Today in Liberty: Rand Paul smacks down Obama’s neocon foreign policy, House passes Massie NSA amendment

“Talk is cheap…except when Congress does it.” — Cullen Hightower

— Rand Paul smacks down Obama and neocon foreign policy: In an editorial at the Wall Street Journal, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) cautions the Obama administration and lawmakers from choosing sides in, what has become, the Iraq civil war. But something he mentioned in the piece deserves some attention. “Saying the mess in Iraq is President Obama’s fault ignores what President Bush did wrong. Saying it is President Bush’s fault is to ignore all the horrible foreign policy decisions in Syria, Libya, Egypt and elsewhere under President Obama, many of which may have contributed to the current crisis in Iraq. For former Bush officials to blame President Obama or for Democrats to blame President Bush only serves as a reminder that both sides continue to get foreign policy wrong. We need a new approach, one that emulates Reagan’s policies, puts America first, seeks peace, faces war reluctantly, and when necessary acts fully and decisively,” Paul writes. “Too many in Washington are prevented by their own pride from admitting their mistakes. They are more concerned about saving face or pursuing a rigid ideology than they are with constructing a realist foreign policy.” Basically, both sides are to blame for the foreign policy mess that we’re in today, and there’s really no getting around that.

Today in Liberty: House Republican Leadership elections are today, terrible bipartisan idea to hike the gas tax on the horizon

“The more the state ‘plans,’ the more difficult planning becomes for the individual.” — F.A. Hayek

— Raul Labrador makes his case for Majority Leader: Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) pitched his candidacy on Wednesday for House Majority Leader to his fellow Republicans. “If you have an idea, I want to empower you to take it through committee. You will not always succeed, but I want you to feel like you had a fair shot. I want members of Congress to be more relevant than the staff. Why are we even here if the leadership staff is going to make all decisions any way?” Labrador asked, according to prepared remarks. “I want the process to work. If bills pass, they must pass on their merits. I don’t want any more SGR bills passing on voice votes, Transportation/Postal Reform deals that nobody has heard of, NSA reform bills that pass a committee unanimously and are changed and watered down in the Rules committee.” He also said that he wants bill text posted online for at least 72 hours before the House votes and for the Republicans to keep their pledge to “reform Congress and restore trust,” asking his colleagues if they believed that they’d followed through on that promise. “If you vote for the status quo [on Thursday], you will prove that we are still not listening,” said Labrador. “We will break our pledge and with that we may lose the ability to regain control of the Senate and eventually win the Presidency.” The vote is schedule for today. We’ll have the results posted as soon as they’re available. Courtsey of Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), you can get an idea of how some House Republicans plan to vote.

Conservative-backed Raúl Labrador continues to upset the Republican establishment’s apple cart with his bid for Majority Leader

Raul Labrador for Majority Leader

Conservatives face an uphill battle within the House Republican Conference on Thursday. Republican Members of Congress are voting — by secret ballot — to select outgoing Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s replacement. The odds-on Establishment favorite to win is California Congressman and current Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, but conservatives aren’t simply going to allow a McCarthy “coronation” without running a principled conservative in the race.

Just a few days ago, Jason Pye here at UL highlighted seven of McCarthy’s worst votes. From support for the PATRIOT Act and opposition to Amash’s NSA Amendment to voting for unrestrained spending and debt, McCarthy’s record is not conservative.

As reported in this morning’s “Today in Liberty,” Michigan Congressman Justin Amash is keeping a count of those who are supporting McCarthy and Labrador, while The Hill has its own count.

But it’s important to note that, if Establishment Republicans had their way, Labrador may not have even made it to Congress in the first place. Then-State Representative Raul Labrador ran in the Republican primary in 2010 against an Iraq War veteran who was labeled by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) as one of their “Young Guns.”

Cantor Upset: Dave Brat won big by running against the crony Republican establishment

Eric Cantor loses to pro-market challnger

Big Business Republicans are losing a top ally in Congress. Last night’s surprise thumping of Eric Cantor by conservative-backed economics professor Dave Brat sent shockwaves through Washington.

POLITICO took note of Brat’s campaign messaging in late April:

The central theme of Brat’s campaign is that Cantor is beholden to business — specifically the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable.

“If you’re in big business, Eric’s been very good to you, and he gets a lot of donations because of that, right?” Brat said at [a local Republican Party meeting]. “Very powerful. Very good at fundraising because he favors big business. But when you’re favoring artificially big business, someone’s paying the tab for that. Someone’s paying the price for that, and guess who that is? You.”

In another piece about this race, POLITICO called Cantor the “darling of big Wall Street donors, the K Street business types and the Republican establishment” who had a “26-to-1 cash advantage” over his challenger. Who funded Cantor’s campaign? The second POLITICO piece reports:

Cantor’s top five campaign contributors were Blackstone Group, Scoggin Capital Management, Goldman Sachs, Altria Group and Charmer Sunbelt Group, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which takes into account both political action committee donations and employee contributions.

GOP leadership elections taking shape

As the recovery from the mid-term election begins, Republicans in the House are beginning to jockey for position in leadership roles, with Rep. Eric Cantor seems to be the frontrunner for House Majority, the number two spot in that chamber:

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor wasted little time after crushing Republican wins Tuesday night before announcing he will seek a promotion in the 112th Congress.

In a letter to his Republican colleagues, Cantor says he will run for majority leader and pledges to take the House in a new direction. Cantor’s goal, he says, is to respond to an American electorate that voted against Democrats more than voting for Republicans.

“I have announced my intention to stand for election as Majority Leader because I am results oriented and I want to help lead that effort and bring about these changes,” Cantor writes in the letter.

“Let us be under no illusion — many of those who cast their vote for Republicans yesterday have their share of doubts about whether we are up to the task of governing; about whether congressional Republicans have learned our lesson,” Cantor writes. “I harbor no such doubts. For the past two years, House Republicans dedicated ourselves to developing alternative solutions grounded in the time-tested principles of fiscal responsibility and small-government.”

As majority leader, Cantor says he would help Republicans “drain the swamp rather than learning to swim with the alligators.” But, he admits, his party isn’t going to succeed all at once.

Charlie Crist Hints That He Might Caucus With Democrats If Elected

Today on Meet The Press, Charlie Crist demonstrated once more just how much his political ambition outstrips his political principles when he said that he could possibly caucus with the Democrats if elected to the Senate:

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