Few California lawmakers cause more headaches for Gov. Jerry Brown and the Democrats who dominate the state Legislature than Kevin McCarthy, the House Majority Leader from Bakersfield.
But McCarthy is widely expected to be elevated to the most powerful job in Congress following House Speaker John Boehner’s surprise announcement to colleagues Friday that he will resign at the end of next month.
Unlike Nancy Pelosi, the San Francisco Democrat who held the Speaker’s job until 2011 and was aligned with leaders in Sacramento, McCarthy’s political agenda runs counter to much of what the Brown administration is trying to achieve, and he has not been shy about using his power in Washington to try to roll back some of the state’s landmark liberal policies.
McCarthy opposes California’s aggressive climate-change rules. He wants to jettison the high-speed rail project. He is pushing to divert more of the state’s scarce water to parched growers, despite loud protest from the Brown administration that such a move could irreparably damage the fragile ecosystems that are the backbone of California’s water system.
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