How Kevin McCarthy became the most powerful House Republican

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks during a news conference about the House Republicans’ "commitment to America" outside the United States Capitol building in Washington, D.C., U.S., on September 29, 2022. Photo by REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein.

If Republicans win control of the U.S. House in the November midterm elections, as expected, then Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is likely to take over as its speaker. The Bakersfield politician has eyed this job for a long time. The position seemed within his grasp seven years ago, until he lost the support of his party’s more conservative members in 2015.