Bakersfield Rep. Kevin McCarthy Launches Bid to Become Speaker of House

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House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), left, speaks while flanked by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) during a news conference at GOP headquarters on Capitol Hill July 22, 2015, in Washington, D.C. (Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield formally launched his bid to become speaker of the House on Monday afternoon, telling restive colleagues he plans to share more authority if elected to the most powerful job in Congress.

McCarthy has been the favorite to win the job since current Speaker John A. Boehner unexpectedly announced Friday that he would resign at the end of next month, after withstanding years of pressure from insurgent Republicans who urged Boehner to be more confrontational with the White House.

McCarthy helped elect many of those Republicans to Congress in recent years, recruiting them to run and raising money for their candidacies. But if he wins, he is likely to face the same pressure that Boehner did to avoid compromising with President Obama and other Democrats to fund the government.

The federal government partially shut down for more than two weeks in 2013 because Republicans insisted that they would not pass a budget that funded Obama’s healthcare plan, a condition Democrats would not meet. Congress is at risk of another shutdown this week because of a dispute over funding for Planned Parenthood.

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