Kevin McCarthy

Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from January to October 2023

Kevin Owen McCarthy (born January 26, 1965) is an American politician who served as House Majority Whip between 2011 and 2014, House Majority Leader between 2014 and 2019, and briefly as the 55th speaker of the United States House of Representatives in 2023. A member of the Republican Party, McCarthy is in his ninth House term, serving as the U.S. representative for California's 20th congressional district since 2007. The district, which was numbered the 22nd district from 2007 to 2013 and the 23rd district from 2013 to 2023, has had various changes in location, but now covers the southern half of the San Joaquin Valley.

Kevin McCarthy in 2016

McCarthy was elected House Majority Leader after the defeat of Eric Cantor in a primary challenge, and retained the position during the presidency of Donald Trump. After the Republican Party won the 2022 United States House of Representatives election, McCarthy won a protracted Speaker of the House election. McCarthy was Speaker during the 2023 United States debt-ceiling crisis, in which a standoff between the House Republicans and the Biden administration nearly led to a national default. However, he was removed under a motion to vacate by Matt Gaetz in October 2023, and was replaced by Mike Johnson.


We cannot just sweep this under the rug. We need to know why it happened, who did it, and people need to be held accountable for it.
  • There are two different types of leader. A person can either be like a thermometer or a thermostat. A thermometer will tell you what the temperature is. A thermostat will not only tell you what the temperature is, but it'll move you to the temperature you need to get to.
  • The President bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding. These facts require immediate action by President Trump, accept his share of responsibility, quell the brewing unrest and ensure President elect Biden is able to successfully begin his term. The President’s immediate action also deserves congressional action, which is why I think a fact finding commission and a censure resolution would be prudent. Unfortunately, that is not where we are today.
    Truly, this past week was one of the most difficult for Congress and our nation. Of all the days here, last Wednesday was the worst day I’ve ever seen in Congress. Our country is deeply hurt. So where do we go from here? After all the violence and chaos of the last week, it is important to remember that we’re still here to deliver a better future for all Americans. It does not matter if you are liberal, moderate, or conservative. All of us must resist the temptation of further polarization.
    Instead, we must unite once again as Americans. I understand for some this call for unity may ring hollow, but times like these are when we must remember who we are as Americans and what we as a nation stand for. And as history shows, unity is not an option. It’s a necessity. It is as necessary today as it was at the start of our country.
  • House Republicans are committed to upholding the sanctity of life, and we will continue to fight to be a voice for the truly voiceless. There is nothing more special, extraordinary, and worth fighting for than the miracle of life
    • As quoted in "Collins, Manchin and other lawmakers react to the Supreme Court draft opinion", Politico (3 May 2022)
  • That was easy huh?
I hope one thing's clear after the week. I never give up.

Quotes about McCarthy

  • Do you think he’s actually running his caucus or do you think someone else is?” Jen Psaki asked. “He’s not. I think you’ve got Marjorie Taylor Greene running the caucus, and she makes very common public statements to that effect. Every time something irks her, she communicates that McCarthy is doing her bidding. And I think that this is something that is quite clear...I think that speaker McCarthy is stuck between having to please the most racist and heinous elements of his party with having to maintain a majority, and he is choosing to side with the extremists,”
    • AOC MSNBC interview (April 2023) quoted here
  • McCarthy doesn’t have the votes
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