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Rep. Kevin McCarthy

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

pronounced KE-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, by calling for entire states to be disenfranchised in the 2020 presidential election, fomented the terrorist attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021 that aimed to prevent the determination of the next president of the United States. Shortly after the 2020 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 discounted, claiming that some voters there followed procedures set by the wrong state officials. The case amplified lies and conspiracy theories that fueled the movement that led to the attack on the Capitol. The Supreme Court rejected the case. Following the rejection of several cases before the Supreme Court, one legislator called for violence. On January 6, 2021 in the hours after the attack on the Capitol, McCarthy voted for the exclusion of Arizona and/or Pennsylvania — states narrowly won by Democrats — from the count of Electoral College votes that determined the next President of the United States.
Photo of Rep. Kevin McCarthy [R-CA23]

Analysis

Legislative Metrics

Read our 2020 Report Card for McCarthy.

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 Jun 17, 2021. See full analysis methodology.

Ratings from Advocacy Organizations

United States Chamber of Commerce: 92% The Club for Growth: 70% The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws: D League of Conservation Voters: 3% Human Rights Campaign: 0% Planned Parenthood Action Fund: 0%

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 (26%) Government Operations and Politics (26%) Armed Forces and National Security (16%) Health (11%) Water Resources Development (11%) Emergency Management (11%)

Recent Bills

Some of McCarthy’s most recently sponsored bills include...

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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 Jun 2021, McCarthy missed 189 of 10,002 roll call votes, which is 1.9%. This is on par with the median of 2.0% 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: