GOP vote counter jokes that murder would make his job easier

The chief vote counter for House Republicans this week joked that murder would be an effective way to keep rebellious lawmakers in line.

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) expressed admiration for his “House of Cards” alter-ego during a luncheon in Newport Beach, Calif., and said one violent plot twist struck him as particularly satisfying.

“He literally murders one member,” McCarthy said about Kevin Spacey, who plays a Democratic majority whip on the Netflix show. “If I could murder one member, I’d never have to worry about another vote.”

McCarthy has, at times, faced criticism for eschewing hard-nosed tactics as the majority whip. While previous vote counters, like former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas), ruled by intimidation, McCarthy has taken a more collaborative approach that mirrors the style of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

The House Republican conference has bucked leadership on a number of key votes, leading to embarrassing setbacks like the failure to pass Boehner’s “Plan B” during the “fiscal-cliff” fight last year. Some critics say those failed votes reflect a need for the GOP leadership to get tough.

McCarthy has taken that criticism in stride. The whip, who is fond of reciting movie lines, said he has respect for the different approach of Spacey’s character.

“I’ll say this about Spacey, I actually liked him — philosophically we’re different — but do you know why? I believe if Spacey made 100 bucks a week acting, he’d still act,” McCarthy said.

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