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Could Eric Cantor’s loss change the California GOP?




House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) addresses a news conference after telling the Republican caucus that he will resign his post at the U.S. Capitol June 11, 2014 in Washington, DC. Cantor announced that he will resign his leadership position in the House of Representatives on July 31 after losing a primary race to Tea Party-backed college professor David Brat.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) addresses a news conference after telling the Republican caucus that he will resign his post at the U.S. Capitol June 11, 2014 in Washington, DC. Cantor announced that he will resign his leadership position in the House of Representatives on July 31 after losing a primary race to Tea Party-backed college professor David Brat.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s surprising primary loss may shake things up for California. Kevin McCarthy, a Republican congressman from Bakersfield, is considered a likely candidate to fill Cantor’s position when he steps down this summer.

If McCarthy, a viable fundraiser and the current House Whip, were to become the Majority Leader, it could impact California’s political influence in Congress. McCarthy focuses on key issues that face major opposition in California, including easing environmental rules, spending on oil and gas, and expanding fracking programs. If he were chosen as Majority Leader, he would be under pressure to cut the budget, and would be the face of a party diametrically opposed to many of California’s big-government programs.

How would McCarthy’s influence in a Congressional leadership position differ from Nancy Pelosi’s former Speaker of the House clout? How will California policy and politics change if McCarthy wins Cantor’s seat -- will it affect the state GOP? What do McCarthy and his Bakersfield district represent for the Republican party? 

Guest:  

Evan Halper, writes about policy from Washington DC for the Los Angeles Times