"We are going to win. Take it to the bank." These were the words of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi just a few weeks ago.
What a difference a few weeks make. Now, the woman who was celebrated as the first female speaker in history will soon be the first former female speaker. Taking over for Pelosi and her leadership team will be a group of conservative Republicans dubbed the "Young Guns."
But "young" is a relative term. The men who are likely to take over key leadership roles in the House are seasoned political operatives, beginning with John Boehner, the man who is likely to take over as speaker. Here's a quick run-down of some of the likely new leaders of the House:
John Boehner (Ohio-8) will likely become speaker of the House. As speaker, he will appoint members to the Rules Committee. Boehner has solid conservative credentials that go back to the 1994 "Republican Revolution": He worked with Newt Gingrich to help draft the Contract with America. But Boehner has used his experience to nurture protégés-the so-called Young Guns of the Republican Party. So he has the support of both the old guard in the Republican House as well as younger members who are more closely aligned with the Tea Party movement.
Eric Cantor (Va.-7) will likely become Majority Leader, with power second only to the speaker. (He's been minority whip since 2008.) He co-founded the Young Guns and really is one of the younger members of the House at age 47. Cantor is solidly conservative on both social and economic issues. He is in favor of making the Bush tax cuts permanent and wants to repeal Obamacare. He's the only Jewish Republican in the House of Representatives.
Kevin McCarthy (Calif.-22), another co-founder of the Young Guns, is expected to be the majority whip, whose job it will be to count votes and maintain vote discipline. McCarthy has been in the House only since 2007 but has been a protégé of Boehner's. In 2008, Boehner asked him to serve as chairman of the Republican Platform Committee, and that group produced the party platform for 2008. McCarthy also has a perfect 100 percent rating from the American Conservative Union.
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