McCarthy eyes Republican-controlled House and Senate

Incoming House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) sees a rosy future for both House and Senate Republicans. 

The rising leader told The Hill at Sunday evening’s Ford’s Theatre Lincoln Medal gala that he thinks there’s a 75 percent chance Republicans take back the Senate. He was similarly optimistic they would add to their numbers in the House, too. 

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“I believe there’s a 75 percent chance that Republicans take the majority in the Senate and that will transform the nation,” said McCarthy. 

“I think you’re going to find that Republicans are going to grow. That we’re going to win more seats,” he continued. “Every race that you have — all races are like that — I think people get more in tune with their districts, but they see what’s transforming in D.C. right now, and nothing ever gets through the Senate. The Senate has held back.”

The current GOP whip looked back at his own successful bid last week to succeed outgoing leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who was ousted in a shocking primary upset, as a way to unify Republicans in the caucus.  

“The election is always a unique time where you talk to members. You build. I think now that the election is over, you see a lot of unity within the conference; which way we’re moving forward,” said McCarthy, who brushed off a last-minute challenge from Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho).  

While McCarthy was successful in his own bid up the leadership ladder, his chief deputy whip, Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), was not. He lost to Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.). McCarthy said he had a good relationship with all the contenders, but is now excited to start working together. 

“I have a great relationship with all of them. Peter Roskam is a very unique individual. Scalise and I have been friends since before we ever came to Congress. We served in Young Republicans together — I was the national chairman and he was the state chairman of Louisiana,” said McCarthy. “We worked together in that team and we will continue to work together as we move forward. 

—This post was updated at 3:19 p.m.   

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