June 19 - House Republicans chose representative Kevin McCarthy of California to replace Eric Cantor as majority leader, despite a push from Tea Party conservatives to elect one of their own to the party's leadership. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
U.S. House of Representatives Republicans on Thursday (June 19) chose an ally of Speaker John Boehner for the No. 2 job in the chamber, a setback for some conservatives hoping to use a leadership election to boost their influence.
Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, already the third-ranking House Republican, was chosen to replace Eric Cantor as majority leader. He will control the House floor and help decide the party's legislative priorities.
Tea Party Republicans had pushed for one of their own to join the leadership after a little-known professor defeated Cantor in his Virginia primary by accusing the majority leader of not pursuing a conservative enough agenda. Cantor will leave his position at the end of July.
The race brought fresh turmoil to the caucus, as Tea Party favorites argued that Boehner and other, business-friendly leaders gave in too easily to Democrats on spending disputes.
McCarthy is seen as having similar political views to Cantor, if a more laid-back leadership style. On Thursday, he emphasized economic issues and the Republican push to repeal President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law.
"America is struggling. It's struggling with a stagnant economy, a failed healthcare law," McCarthy said.
McCarthy fended off a challenge in the secret-ballot election from Idaho Representative Raul Labrador, a Tea Party favorite who told Republicans on Wednesday he was running because the caucus lacked a "clear, bold vision."
The race could embolden Tea Party Republicans to push their own candidates after the November midterm elections, when the party will again select its leaders, including the House speaker. Boehner has said he plans to run again.
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