House Republicans pick Kevin McCarthy to be majority whip

Republican Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, was chosen by his peers Wednesday to serve as the majority whip for the 112th Congress, the No. 3 job in the House of Representatives’ party leadership.

“It is truly an honor to have the opportunity to serve my colleagues as the majority whip,” McCarthy said in a news release. “I believe that together we can usher in the era of America’s comeback through hard work and a strong commitment to our conservative principles.”

While his home office is in Bakersfield, McCarthy’s sprawling 22nd District includes the North County and stretches down to Arroyo Grande. Enjoying strong Republican registration in his district, McCarthy was unopposed in November’s election.

In his statement, McCarthy vowed to “take back our country” with an agenda that will “create jobs, end economic uncertainty, stop out-of-control spending and reform Washington.”

“I will bring the values of the Central Valley to the leadership table as we work to create jobs and cut spending,” he said.

McCarthy has been in the House Republican leadership since being elected in 2006 and served as the minority chief deputy whip for the 111th Congress.

McCarthy will be the 26th majority whip and the first Republican majority whip from California.

The whip “is charged with mobilizing the party vote on important legislation, acting as a liaison between members and ... leadership, and coordinating strategy within the caucus,” according to the website of the outgoing majority whip, Rep. James Clyburn, D-S. Carolina.

The term “whip” first was used in 1897, according to Clyburn, and derives from the phrase, “whipper in ... a British term for the person responsible for keeping the foxhounds from leaving the pack.”