Sessions's TARP vote could haunt him

Sessions's TARP vote could haunt him
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Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), who is touting himself as the conservative pick to replace Rep. Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by CVS Health — Trump’s love-hate relationship with the Senate Race for Republican Speaker rare chance to unify party for election Scalise allies upset over Ryan blindside on McCarthy endorsement MORE (R-Va.) as House majority leader, voted in favor of the “TARP” bill that bailed out the financial sector.

The vote could dog Sessions, who is campaigning to win the No. 2 spot among House Republicans against Rep. Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Outcry raises pressure on GOP for immigration fix Hillicon Valley: Trump hits China with massive tech tariffs | Facebook meets with GOP leaders over bias allegations | Judge sends Manafort to jail ahead of trial | AT&T completes Time Warner purchase McCarthy: 'The Mueller investigation has got to stop' MORE (R-Calif.), the majority whip.

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McCarthy is widely seen as the favorite among establishment Republicans, but he voted against the Troubled Asset Relief Program that is widely despised in conservative circles.

Sessions is casting himself as a conservative pick in the House majority leader’s race, especially on immigration.

But he voted for TARP twice, first when it came up on the House floor and failed and then days later when it returned and was ultimately passed.

McCarthy voted against it both times.

The financial rescue package has long been a sore spot for conservatives, and in many ways laid the seeds for the upstart Tea Party movement. Dave Brat, the economics professor that ousted Cantor in Tuesday’s primary, criticized Cantor for backing the TARP.

The fight to replace Cantor is a two-man race between McCarthy and Sessions after House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) announced Thursday he would not pursue the post.

Several prominent conservative pundits have already criticized McCarthy as a potential leader.