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Rep. Kevin McCarthy

House Minority Leader and Representative for California’s 23rd District

pronounced KEH-vin // muh-KAHR-thee


McCarthy is the representative for California’s 23rd congressional district (view map) and is a Republican. He has served since Jan 3, 2013. McCarthy is next up for reelection in 2022 and serves until Jan 3, 2023.

He is also House Minority Leader, a party leadership role. Party leaders focus more on setting their party’s legislative priorties than on introducing legislation.

He was previously the representative for California’s 22nd congressional district as a Republican from 2007 to 2012.

McCarthy is among the Republican legislators who participated in the months-long, multifarious attempted coup following the 2020 presidential election. Shortly after the election, McCarthy joined a case before the Supreme Court calling for all the votes for president in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — states that were narrowly won by Democrats — to be discarded, in order to change the outcome of the election, based on lies and a preposterous legal argument which the Supreme Court rejected. (Following the rejection of several related cases before the Supreme Court, another legislator who joined the case called for violence.) On January 6, 2021 in the hours after the insurrection at the Capitol, McCarthy voted to reject the state-certified election results of Arizona and/or Pennsylvania (states narrowly won by Democrats), which could have changed the outcome of the election. These legislators have generally changed their story after their vote, claiming it was merely a protest and not intended to change the outcome of the election as they clearly sought prior to the vote. In the days after the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the Capitol which succeeded in halting, for a time, the electoral count that determined the outcome of the presidential election, McCarthy said President Trump “bears responsibility” and urged him to resign ahead of his impeachment for inciting the insurrection at the Capitol, and said his behavior was “atrocious and totally wrong,” but he returned to supporting the former president shortly after.
Photo of Rep. Kevin McCarthy [R-CA23]

Analysis

Ideology–Leadership Chart

McCarthy is shown as a purple triangle in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot is a member of the House of Representatives positioned according to our ideology score (left to right) and our leadership score (leaders are toward the top).

The chart is based on the bills McCarthy has sponsored and cosponsored from Jan 3, 2017 to May 17, 2022. See full analysis methodology.

Enacted Legislation

McCarthy was the primary sponsor of 15 bills that were enacted. The most recent include:

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Does 15 not sound like a lot? Very few bills are ever enacted — most legislators sponsor only a handful that are signed into law. But there are other legislative activities that we don’t track that are also important, including offering amendments, committee work and oversight of the other branches, and constituent services.

We consider a bill enacted if one of the following is true: a) it is enacted itself, b) it has a companion bill in the other chamber (as identified by Congress) which was enacted, or c) if at least about half of its provisions were incorporated into bills that were enacted (as determined by an automated text analysis, applicable beginning with bills in the 110th Congress).

Bills Sponsored

Issue Areas

McCarthy sponsors bills primarily in these issue areas:

International Affairs (29%) Health (21%) Armed Forces and National Security (21%) Government Operations and Politics (14%) Water Resources Development (14%)

Recently Introduced Bills

McCarthy recently introduced the following legislation:

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Most legislation has no activity after being introduced.

As House Minority Leader, McCarthy may be focused on his responsibilities other than introducing legislation, such as setting the chamber’s agenda, uniting his party, and brokering deals.

Voting Record

Key Votes

McCarthy voted Nay

Passed 329/56 on Apr 8, 2019.

McCarthy voted Yea

Passed 338/88 on May 13, 2015.

The USA Freedom Act (H.R. 2048, Pub.L. 114–23) is a U.S. law enacted on June 2, 2015 that restored in modified form several provisions of …

McCarthy voted Yea

Passed 219/206 on Dec 11, 2014.

This bill became the vehicle for passage of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 [pdf], which was approved by the House on December …

McCarthy voted Aye

McCarthy voted Aye

Passed 304/117 on Jun 23, 2011.

The Leahy–Smith America Invents Act (AIA) is a United States federal statute that was passed by Congress and was signed into law by President Barack …

McCarthy voted Yea

McCarthy voted Yea

Passed 240/179 on Jun 3, 2009.

McCarthy voted Nay

McCarthy voted No

Missed Votes

From Jan 2007 to May 2022, McCarthy missed 192 of 10,507 roll call votes, which is 1.8%. This is on par with the median of 2.1% among the lifetime records of representatives currently serving. The chart below reports missed votes over time.

We don’t track why legislators miss votes, but it’s often due to medical absenses and major life events.

Show the numbers...

Primary Sources

The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including: