Who’s On The Kochs’ Shortlist For Speaker? Kevin McCarthy.

September 29, 2015

Whoever is elected to the next class of House Republican leadership will no doubt have to pass the litmus test administered by Charles and David Koch and commit to pushing their self-enriching agenda that’s good for billionaires like the Kochs and bad for middle class families across the country.

As Kevin McCarthy emerges as the top contender to be the next Speaker of the House, he’s no doubt positioned himself to be a Koch favorite to lead House Republicans.

The Kochs have been with McCarthy since his first campaign for Congress and contributed over $55,000 to his campaigns over the course of his career. And on issue after issue — from pushing deauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank to lifting the oil export ban, opposing Wall Street Reform,  blocking environmental regulations, and more — McCarthy has been fully supportive of the Koch agenda.

While the GOP leadership infighting is likely far from over — and some of the Kochs’ favorites are likely to jockey for top positions — check out the Bridge Project research below that reveals that Kevin McCarthy is just another puppet of the Koch brothers:

Kevin McCarthy


Koch Industries Has Contributed $55,500 To Rep. Kevin McCarthy Over The Course Of His Career. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Koch Industries gave Rep. Kevin McCarthy $5,500 in the 2006 cycle, 10,000 in the 2010 cycle, 20,000 in the 2012 cycle, and $20,000 in the 2014 cycle. [OpenSecrets.org, accessed 9/25/159/25/159/25/159/25/15]

Koch Group Ties

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy Participated In Concerned Veterans For America’s Summit On Veterans Healthcare.  According to Military Times, “When officials from Concerned Veterans for America hold their summit on veterans health care next month, lawmakers will be listening. […] House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller, R-Fla., and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., have already announced plans to participate in the event. Other lawmakers are expected to follow in coming weeks.” [Military Times, 1/23/15]

American’s For Prosperity Gave Kevin McCarthy A 100% On Their Congressional Scorecard For His Voting Record This Year And A Lifetime Score Of 86%. According to Americans for Prosperity’s Congressional Scorecard, Kevin McCarthy has a current score of 100% for his voting record and a lifetime score of 86%. [Americans for Prosperity, accessed 9/25/15]

Alignment With Kochs On The Issues


Headline: “McCarthy: Allow Ex-Im Bank To Close” [Politico, 6/22/14]

McCarthy Aide: “Leader McCarthy Has Two Priorities: To Make Sure Must-Pass Bills Pass And To Continue The Fight Against Ex-Im.” According to The Hill, “McCarthy was traveling on Monday and unavailable for comment. But when asked about whether the leader would bring up a Senate highway bill with an Ex-Im provision, an aide replied: ‘Leader McCarthy has two priorities: to make sure must-pass bills pass and to continue the fight against Ex-Im.’” [The Hill, 7/7/15]

McCarthy “Quickly Made Clear That The Bank’s Charter Should Expire” After Becoming House Majority Leader. According to the L.A. Times, “Andy Roth, vice president of government affairs at Club for Growth, said a turning point came a year ago after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) suffered a stunning primary loss to a tea party challenger who had made the bank one of his issues. Cantor’s successor as majority leader, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield), quickly made clear that the bank’s charter should expire. ‘It was no longer us shouting from the cheap seats,’ Roth said. ‘Leadership was echoing.’” [L.A. Times, 7/2/15]

  • House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy On Financing Exports: “The Private Sector Can Do It.”According to Politico, “New House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said on Sunday he favors closing down the U.S. Export-Import Bank when its charter expires in September because the government does not need to be involved in financing exports. ‘I think Ex-Im Bank is … something government does not have to be involved in. The private sector can do it,’ McCarthy (R-Calif.) said in an interview on Fox News Sunday. ‘One of the biggest problems with government is they go and take hard-earned money so others do things that the private sector can do. That’s what the Ex-Im Bank does,’ McCarthy said.” [Politico, 6/22/14]

McCarthy’s Ex-Im Opposition Was Contrary To His Position In 2012, “When He Voted To Renew The Bank’s Charter And Raise Its Lending Cap To $140 Billion.” According to Politico, “Fox News interviewer Chris Wallace asked McCarthy directly if he ‘would allow the Ex-Im Bank to expire in September?’ ‘Yes, because it’s something the private sector can be able to do,’ replied McCarthy, reversing the position he held in 2012, when he voted to renew the bank’s charter and raise its lending cap to $140 billion.” [Politico, 6/22/14]

  • McCarthySpent 2015 “Positioning Himself As An Ardent Foe Of The Bank, Which Finances Overseas Investments For U.S. Companies.” According to The Hill, “A possible House vote this month on whether to renew the Export-Import Bank carries big risks for Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. The California Republican has spent the past year positioning himself as an ardent foe of the bank, which finances overseas investments for U.S. companies.” [The Hill, 7/7/15]
  • McCarthy Aligning Himself Against Renewal Ahead Of A Possible Speakership Race Could “Bolster His Conservative Bona Fides.”According to The Hill, “In doing so, McCarthy has aligned himself ahead of a possible Speakership race next year with a growing faction of GOP conservatives who blast the bank as a blatant example of corporate welfare. Killing off the bank would give McCarthy, the No. 2 House leader, something to bolster his conservative bona fides. The Ex-Im charter expired at the end of June, and its opponents have its headstone in their sights. The problem is that Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has signaled he’ll allow a vote on renewing the bank’s charter later this month.” [The Hill, 7/7/15]

Former GOP Aide: McCarthy “Walking Lockstep With Him On Ex-Im Keeps Hensarling From Having A Wedge Issue To Tout Against Him” In Seeking The Speakership. According to The Hill, “A former GOP aide said it makes sense for McCarthy, who once backed the bank, to oppose it so that he and Hensarling have the same position. ‘McCarthy’s change of tune certainly makes a lot of sense considering one of his most talked-about challengers for Speaker is chairman Hensarling. Walking lockstep with him on Ex-Im keeps Hensarling from having a wedge issue to tout against him in the future,’ the former aide said.” [The Hill, 7/7/15]

AFP Applauded Kevin McCarthy For His Opposition To Export-Import Bank And For Urging His House Colleagues To Join Him In Opposing Reauthorization.  According to Americans for Prosperity, “Americans for Prosperity, the nation’s foremost grassroots advocate for economic freedom, is applauding incoming House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy for his position on the Export-Import Bank, and urging his House colleagues to join him in opposing reauthorization. The group is leading a broad coalition of organizations, representing millions of Americans, in calling on Congress to let the bank expire. ‘I’m pleased that Rep. McCarthy understands the downsides of government intruding in our exports market,’ said AFP President Tim Phillips. ‘The Export-Import Bank mostly benefits large, well-connected corporations at taxpayer expense, and nonpartisan investigators have found the Bank’s outdated accounting practices disguise the fact that it’s losing billions of taxpayer dollars. It’s the wrong way for government to do business.’” [Americans for Prosperity, 6/24/14]

  • AFP President Tim Phillips: “We’re Hopeful Congress Will Follow McCarthy’s Lead.”According to a post on the Americans for Prosperity website, “‘I’m pleased that Rep. McCarthy understands the downsides of government intruding in our exports market,’ said AFP President Tim Phillips. ‘[…] We see widespread support at the grassroots level and among conservative organizations for letting the Bank expire this summer, and we’re hopeful Congress will follow McCarthy’s lead.’” [Americans for Prosperity, 6/24/14]

Oil Export Ban

Rep McCarthy: “If There Was Ever A Time To Lift The Oil Export Ban, It’s Now…Lifting The Oil Export Ban Will” Help Our Economy And “Also Bolster Our Geopolitical Standing.” According to the New York Times, “Representative Kevin McCarthy, Republican of California and majority leader, said on Tuesday that the House was preparing to vote later this month to repeal a 40-year-old ban on the export of crude oil. […] ‘If there was ever a time to lift the oil export ban, it’s now,’ Mr. McCarthy said in a copy provided by his office of a speech that was given Tuesday in Houston. ‘Lifting the oil export ban will not only help our economy, it will also bolster our geopolitical standing.’” [New York Times, 9/15/15]

McCarthy: I Ask President Obama, “If We’re Going To Lift The Ban And Let Iranian Oil Sell Around The World, Can’t You At Least Treat Americans Equal? Can’t We Lift The Ban?” According to Your Houston News, “‘Last week we had debates on the (House) floor about the Iran agreement that the president has proposed,’ McCarthy said. ‘I oppose it, but when I look at the White House and wonder if they’ll support lifting the ban, I ask the president one question: “Why won’t you do for America what you’re doing for Iran? If we’re going to lift the ban and let Iranian oil sell around the world, can’t you at least treat Americans equal? Can’t we lift the ban?”’” [Your Houston News, 9/15/15]

McCarthy: When You See “What Putin Is Doing Now” In Syria And Ukraine, “Lifting The Ban On Oil And Gas Equalizes Everything” By Allowing Allies Of The U.S. To Avoid “Buying Oil From A Dictator In Russia.” According to Your Houston News, “McCarthy said lifting the ban would also be beneficial for American allies overseas who are frequently compelled to import oil from countries like Russia. ‘When you look around the world and see what (Russian President Vladimir) Putin is doing now in Syria and what he’s done in the Ukraine, lifting just the ban on oil and gas equalizes everything. Our allies can say my only option is not buying oil from a dictator in Russia,’ he said.” [Your Houston News, 9/15/15]


Representative Kevin McCarthy Sponsored The Wilderness And Roadless Area Release Act, Which Would “End Protections On 43 Million Acres” Of Land In The West. According to the Bradenton Herald, “Another bill that’s pending is the Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act, sponsored by Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. He said the bill would ‘create jobs and grow local communities.’ It would end protections on 43 million acres in the West, lands where Congress hasn’t made final decisions about formal wilderness protection.” [Bradenton Herald, 6/13/11]

Oakland Planning Commission Chair Vien Truong: Kevin McCarthy Sponsored The Wilderness And Roadless Area Release Act, Which Guts Environmental Standards. According to an opinion by Oakland Planning Commission Chair Vien Truong for the Oakland Tribune, “I have watched congressional events this summer with a mixture of concern and outright alarm. Week after week, GOP congressional leaders have advanced efforts that would profoundly affect our communities’ health, our local economies, our environment and accessibility to our shared outdoors. A leading example is Bakersfield’s Rep. Kevin McCarthy and his ‘Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act.’ It guts the environmental standards that keep our air, water and soil free of pollutants.” [Vien Truong – Oakland Tribune, 9/1/11]

Chair Of The City Of Oakland Planning Commission Vien Truong: Representative Kevin McCarthy’s Wilderness And Roadless Area Release Act Would “Diminish The Land And Water Conservation Fund.” According to an opinion by chair of the city of Oakland Planning Commission Vien Truong, “I have watched congressional events this summer with a mixture of concern and outright alarm. Week after week, GOP congressional leaders have advanced efforts that would profoundly affect our communities’ health, our local economies, our environment and accessibility to our shared outdoors. A leading example is Bakersfield’s Rep. Kevin McCarthy and his ‘Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act.’ It guts the environmental standards that keep our air, water and soil free of pollutants.” [Fresno Bee, 9/1/11]

Minimum Wage

McCarthy Voted Against Increasing The Minimum Wage From $5.15 An Hour In 2007. According to the Washington Post’s U.S. Congress Votes Database, “This bill would increase the federal minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $7.25 an hour over two years. It would increase the minimum wage in three increments. Sixty days after enactment, the minimum wage is to be raised to $5.85. A year after that it will be $6.55, and a year after that it will be $7.25. This is the first change to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 since 1997 when the federal minimum wage was increased from $4.75 to $5.15 an hour.” McCarthy voted no. [Washington Post U.S. Congress Votes Database, accessed 9/25/15; House Vote #18, 1/10/07]

  • McCarthy Supported “Keeping The Minimum Wage Down” Because Raising It “Could Hurt Our Economy.”According to National Public Radio, “Senator KEVIN McCARTHY (Republican, California): I think raising of the minimum wage could hurt our economy. We have created 450,000 new jobs in California by keeping the minimum wage down. I don’t know that the time is right to raise the minimum wage.” [National Public Radio, 1/6/06]

McCarthy Opposed Increasing The Minimum Wage From $7.25 An Hour In 2013. According to FOX News, “The president, during his fifth State of the Union address, proposed increasing the hourly rate from $7.25. He said those workers currently have an annual salary of $14,500. ‘Even with the tax relief we’ve put in place, a family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line,’ Obama said. ‘That’s wrong.’ However, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy said Obama’s plan would not have the desired effect of getting Americans off government support and improving the economy.” [FOX News, 2/13/13]

  • McCarthy: Increasing The Minimum Wage Would Not Improve The Economy.According to the FOX News, “However, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy said Obama’s plan would not have the desired effect of getting Americans off government support and improving the economy. The California Republican said increasing the wage would instead put more strain on small business, a huge job creator in the U.S. economy that has struggled now for years.” [FOX News, 2/13/13]

Climate Change

Kevin McCarthy Signed AFP’s No Climate Tax Pledge. According to Americans for Prosperity, “The California chapter of the free market grassroots group Americans for Prosperity (AFP-CA) today applauded U.S. Representative and Chief Deputy Whip Kevin McCarthy (22nd District) for signing the group’s “No Climate Tax Pledge.” McCarthy joins more than 625 bipartisan lawmakers and candidates on the federal, state and local levels pledging to ‘oppose legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue.’” [Americans for Prosperity, 8/10/10]

McCarthy Led The Charge To Block A 30 Percent Reduction In Carbon Pollution From The Power Sector And Used The Drought As An Excuse To Attack Endangered Species Act Protections.According to Earthjustice.org, “Stanford scientists forewarned that human-caused climate change was ‘very likely’ contributing to California’s drought. But Rep. McCarthy chose to ignore them and instead reward the polluters that have bankrolled his campaigns. Last Congress, House Republicans voted 236 times to block action on climate change. Now Rep. McCarthy is leading the charge to block a 30 percent reduction in carbon pollution from the power sector. He is also using the drought as an excuse to attack Endangered Species Act protections in California’s Bay-Delta ecosystem that safeguard native salmon plus thousands of farming and fishing jobs in the Bay-Delta and beyond.” [Earthjustice.org, 4/10/15]

McCarthy Vowed To Try To Stop The EPA’s New Carbon Rules From Multiple Angles, Ranging From Passing Standalone Legislation To Nix The Rule And Launching A Website Criticizing Various EPA Regulations. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Mr. McCarthy vowed to try to stop the Environmental Protection Agency‘s new carbon rules from multiple angles. In addition to passing standalone legislation that nixes the rule and launching a website criticizing a host of different EPA regulations, Mr. McCarthy said his party is likely to try to stop the rules via the appropriations process, something Republicans have tried—but failed—to do in the past with other EPA rules. ‘We have legislation moving here from appropriations and others that we do a lot of our different riders on,’ Mr. McCarthy said. ‘That becomes some of the most effective areas to combat it.’” [Wall Street Journal, 6/13/14] 

McCarthy On Whether Climate Change Exists: “I Think There Are Changes In The Environment. There Are A Lot Of Items To Contribute To It.” According to the Guardian, “McCarthy was a vocal opponent of Obama’s announcement last June of new emissions rules for coal-fired power plants. At the time he prepared legislation to hamper the EPA in its regulatory role, in what may be a preview of the Republican strategy to come. ‘We have legislation moving here from appropriations and others that we do a lot of our different riders on,’ McCarthy said. ‘That becomes some of the most effective areas to combat it.’ As for whether climate change exists: ‘I think there are changes in the environment,’ McCarthy has said. ‘There are a lot of items to contribute to it.’” [Guardian, 11/17/14] 

McCarthy: We Have A Major Drought. Everyone Is Concerned About Today. The President Comes Out And Says He Has A Solution. He Stands Up And Says It’s Climate Change. Well, That Does No One Any Good […]” According to the Wall Street Journal, “‘I think there are changes in the environment. There are a lot of items to contribute to it,’ Mr. McCarthy said when pressed about whether he thinks humans’ burning of fossil fuels is exacerbating climate change, which most scientists agree to be the case. He didn’t connect his state’s historic drought to climate change and criticized President Barack Obama’s visit to California earlier this year to talk about the issue. ‘We have a major drought. Everyone is concerned about today,’ Mr. McCarthy said. ‘The president comes out and says he has a solution. He stands up and says it’s climate change. Well, that does no one any good, [farmers] sitting there who can’t grow, they find their prices are higher and now they’re out of work.’” [Wall Street Journal, 6/13/14]

McCarthy On Wind Energy Subsidies: “I’ve Always Supported That In The Past Temporarily. But, Look At Where They Are Today. Are They At Parity Now That They Can Sustain Themselves? I Think They’ve Had Their Time.” According to the Wall Street Journal, “Mr. McCarthy no longer supports extending the production tax credit, a temporary subsidy the wind industry has been receiving on a sporadic basis since 1992. ‘I’ve always supported that in the past temporarily,’ Mr. McCarthy said. ‘But, look at where they are today. Are they at parity now that they can sustain themselves? I think that they are at this point.’ Mr. McCarthy, who touts the fact that his district also boasts wind energy, supported the last temporary extension that Congress approved at the end of 2012. He says he wouldn’t again: ‘I think they’ve had their time.’” [Wall Street Journal, 6/13/14]

Fair Pay

2009: Representative Kevin McCarthy Voted Against The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. According to Gov Track, California Representative Kevin McCarthy voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. [GovTrack.us, Accessed 9/25/15]

2008: McCarthy Voted Against The Paycheck Fairness Act, Which Made It Easier For Women To Successfully Sue Their Employers Over Unequal Compensation. In July 2008, McCarthy voted against a bill that, according to Congressional Quarterly, “would make it easier for women who are paid less than their male counterparts to bring suits against their employers and receive compensation. Employers seeking to justify unequal pay would have to prove that disparities are job-related and required by a business necessity. Workers who won wage discrimination cases could collect compensatory and punitive damages. As amended, it would specify that punitive damages could only be awarded to plaintiffs who prove intentional discrimination.” The House passed the bill, named the Paycheck Fairness Act, by a vote of 247 to 178. The Senate took no substantive action on the measure. [House Vote 556, 7/31/08; Congressional Quarterly, 7/31/08; Congressional Actions, H.R. 1338]

2009: McCarthy Voted Against The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. In 2009, McCarthy voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which allowed lawsuits for pay discrimination to be filed within 180 days of any discrimination-affected paycheck, even if it was the result of discrimination that occurred more than 180 days ago. The bill effectively overturned the Supreme Court’s 2006 ruling in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. According to The New York Times, in that case, “A jury found [Ledbetter’s] employer, the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company plant in Gadsden, Ala., guilty of pay discrimination. But in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court threw out the case, ruling that she should have filed her suit within 180 days of the date that Goodyear first paid her less than her peers.” According to the New York Times, the Ledbetter Act “restarts the six-month clock every time the worker receives a paycheck.” The bill passed the House, 250 to 177, and President Obama signed it into law on January 29, 2009. [House Vote 37, 1/27/09; Public Law 111-2, 1/29/09; New York Times, 1/29/09]

Wall Street Reform

House Majority Leader McCarthy Following The Passage Of H.R. 37: “The Number Of Regulations That Have Piled Up Over The Past Six Years Are Compounding And Holding Back Main Street Business.” According to a press release by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, “Excess regulations hurt jobs and put added costs on our economy. The number of regulations that have piled up over the past six years are compounding and holding back Main Street businesses.” [1/14/15]

  • McCarthy: “I Am Disappointed That A Fracture In The Democratic Caucus Is Causing So Many Democrats To Switch Their Votes In A Zealous Defense Of Dodd-Frank Regulations.” According to a press release by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, “I thank Representative Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-08) for putting together a good bill that includes a number of provisions to reduce red tape and makes it easier for small businesses to access the capital they need to grow and create good-paying jobs. These provisions have enjoyed overwhelming bipartisan support in the past, so I am disappointed that a fracture in the Democratic Caucus is causing so many Democrats to switch their votes in a zealous defense of Dodd-Frank regulations.” [1/14/15]
  • Bloomberg: Wall Street Lobbyists “Called The Office Of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy Urging The Republican Lawmaker To Drop” H.R. 37 In The Face Of Democratic Backlash, But “Republicans Proceeded Anyway.” According to a press release by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, “Soon after, Wall Street lobbyists called the office of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy urging the Republican lawmaker to drop it, according to three people with knowledge of the talks. The lobbyists told his staff the legislation wasn’t a high priority to big banks and not worth the public backlash being stirred up by Warren, Pelosi and Waters, a California Democrat, the people said. Republicans proceeded anyway.” [Bloomberg, 2/11/15]

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