Ever since Eric Cantor unexpectedly lost his reelection bid in last Tuesday's primary, the question has been: who will be the next House majority leader? Well, now we know. (Via Flickr / Gage Skidmore)
BOEHNER: "Our new majority leader Kevin McCarthy."
MCCARTHY: "Well, first and foremost, I want to thank my constituents and my colleagues." (Via C-SPAN)
McCarthy, a four-term congressman from California and current House majority whip, was the predicted favorite to take House leadership at the end of July. His only strong competition, Texas Republican Pete Sessions, withdrew himself from consideration to avoid "unnecessary and painful division within our party." Plus, McCarthy has Cantor's endorsement. (Via YouTube / gopweeklyaddress, The Hill)
CANTOR: "If my dear friend and colleague Kevin McCarthy does decide to run, I think he'd make an outstanding majority leader." (Via CNN)
McCarthy is the first Californian to take over the role of House Republican majority leader, and, according to The Washington Post's Aaron Blake, he's also the fastest-rising party leader ever.
McCarthy has served only four terms in Congress. Before him, "The party leaders with the fewest terms served were Cantor, John Sharp Williams in the early 1900s and Dick Armey in the 1990s. All were in their sixth terms when they ascended." (Via Twitter / @AaronBlakeWP, The Washington Post)
So who is Kevin McCarthy? It may come as a surprise that, even though Cantor lost his primary to a Tea Party-aligned candidate, the man the GOP chose to replace him is seen as a moderate. (Via Fora TV)
"When Tea Party types knocked Eric Cantor out of his office, there was a lot of talk after that they wanted more representation in the party leadership. ... Instead, today they've elected a Republican out of California." (Via Fox News)
While the Tea Party might not have gotten exactly what they wanted in a majority leader, they did get closer with the whip.
McCarthy's ascension opened up that role, and it was filled by Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, the chairman of the Republican Study Committee who ran on his conservative credentials. (Via Politico)
Though even he might not be conservative enough. Breitbart reports some of his former staffers accuse Scalise of throttling conservative causes in the Committee in order to gain more exposure for himself.
But if the Tea Party wing isn't happy with how this leadership vote played out, they won't have to wait long. Another vote is planned for this November after the mid-term elections.