House Republicans promoted their Whip Kevin McCarthy to the job of Majority Leader on Thursday, replacing Eric Cantor who lost to a Tea Party candidate ten days ago in a primary.
In McCarthy, Republicans have found a moderate voice with strong business ties, and the ability to understand the concerns of smaller businesses. They have also found someone who may be able to unify the fractious voices that have prevented the Republican caucus from taking meaningful action on legislation like immigration reform. (Though Cantor's Tea Party rival, David Brat, isn't a fan.)
While Rep. Cantor was always at ease with Wall Street and its lobbyists, serving as their go-to man for such things as gutting provisions that would have raised taxes on private equity earnings or that would have required more transparency and disclosures from hedge funds, McCarthy, 49, is cut from a slightly different cloth.
An entrepreneur who built his first business, a sandwich shop, with winnings from a lucky lottery ticket, McCarthy was also responsible in recent weeks for pushing through America's Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2014, which will let small business owners write off capital purchases more speedily.
McCarthy, who represents California's 23rd Congressional District, is cozy with Silicon Valley businesses, from whose entrepreneurs he has reportedly raised more than $200,000. (He reportedly tapped investment bank Goldman Sachs for $75,000.)
According to McCarthy's Congressional website:
Kevin started his own small business before the age of 21. He built Kevin O's Deli from the ground up, even enlisting his father's help in building the deli's counter in their garage. He worked hard, hired employees and enjoyed success in his community. That's also where he first encountered government overregulation. The countless frivolous and redundant rules, as well as the taxes small businesses like his were burdened with, spurred Kevin's interest in public service.
Government transparency website govtrack.us calls McCarthy a centrist, based on an analysis of 40 sponsored bills, which include things like the Veteran Access to Timely Medical Appoints Act and the Access to Capital for Job Creators Act. McCarthy sits on the House Committee on Financial Services, as well as the Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises and Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit subcommittees.