The House of Representatives needs a "new culture," Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a leading candidate for the Speaker's seat being vacated by Ohio Rep. John Boehner, said Tuesday, and that's what he'll bring if his fellow members elect him.
"A lot of people care about power, care about the institution more than they care about changing lives of everyday Americans," the California Republican told MSNBC's "Morning Joe"
program, noting that the House Speaker "sets the culture" of the government body.
An effective speaker, he said, "brings people together, lets every voice be heard, and brings [them] from the bottom up. We can make some great accomplishments and make some real change."
McCarthy, also appearing on "CBS This Morning,
" commended outgoing House Speaker John Boehner, calling him a "good and decent man" who has "served this country well."
But at the same time, he called the changing of the House guard a "generational change."
"I'm concerned about what I see in Washington," McCarthy told CBS. "People are concerned about power and institution, more so than changing the lives of everyday Americans. That's what fundamentally has to change. A lot of people think being Speaker is like being a team manager, but I feel it's [like being] a team captain."
McCarthy further told CBS that he works with many of the conservatives who wanted Boehner out of office, and some of them "are supporting me."
However, he said he is not going to endorse any of the candidates who are running for the House majority leader spot or for deputy whip, as he believes it is "healthy" for people to compete on their own.
McCarthy, though, does not back a call to shut down the government over continued Planned Parenthood funding, even though he doesn't believe tax dollars should benefit the agency.
The House is going to set up a select committee to investigate claims made in a series of undercover sting videos, he said, but noted that even the National Right to Life organization has asked officials not to shut down the government over the issue, as that would affect the pro-life movement.
In the MSNBC interview, McCarthy also commented on a Wall Street Journal
article that said there are concerns that he is not an innovator. He said his work to push a highway bill with tax reforms will mean "more money comes back to America."
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