How the House's No. 2 Plans to Save the GOP

Party needs to change fast: Kevin McCarthy
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2014 11:25 AM CDT
How the House's No. 2 Plans to Save the GOP
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy speaks at the California GOP convention on Sept. 20, 2014, in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Eric Cantor's replacement as House majority leader has a warning for Republicans: The party needs to make big changes, fast, if it wants to win the White House in 2016. "If we don't capture the House stronger, and the Senate, and prove we could govern, there won't be a Republican president in 2016," Kevin McCarthy tells donors. And he's already planning some big changes to the way the party is run, Politico reports. In the federal government, "we're a century behind," he says. "We're dealing with a rotary phone."

Politico paints a picture of a man more focused on reorganization than policy. "The ideas are great," he says, "but what stops the ideas from becoming law? Some of the archaic things we do." He wants, for example, to look more to the long term: Congress should make budgets every two years rather than yearly, he says, and the Congressional Budget Office should consider policies' effects over 20 years, not 10. Meanwhile, he wants to work harder to forge agreement within his fractious party, and he wants to present voters with a clear and unified House-Senate plan (even if he's been called "baffling" as a speaker). "From the very first day after the election, we should be laying out to the American public what the expectations are," he adds. But all this will be tough, he says, if Democrats hold on to the Senate—where he sees a 75% chance of Republican victory. (More Kevin McCarthy stories.)

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