Kevin McCarthy calls GOP 'workers party' as it fights to help the rich


House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and his Republican caucus have opposed workers' again and again.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy claimed on Monday that the Republican Party now represents workers. But he and his caucus have repeatedly worked to undermine labor rights.

In an interview with Punchbowl News, McCarthy (R-CA) was asked about the schism in his party between House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney and Donald Trump. Rather than answer the question, he told the outlet that the GOP has "always been about conservative ideas, promoting opportunity, and the uniqueness of this party today is we're the workers party, we're the American workers' party."

In reality, McCarthy and his colleagues have a long record of opposing the rights of workers and of siding with the interests of businesses. His campaign website openly boasts that he works to "produce a business-friendly environment" and to "allow American businesses to compete in a global marketplace" by opposing government regulation.

McCarthy and nearly all of his caucus have opposed efforts to raise the minimum wage. In July 2019, he and 191 other House Republicans voted against the Raise the Wage Act, which would have gradually raised the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour — he decried it as a "Democrat-socialists' plan" to "kill American jobs."

In 2007, he opposed the law that would increase the minimum wage to the current $7.25 an hour floor. McCarthy has, however, lamented that members of his caucus make just $174,000 a year.

He and 186 House Republicans voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act in March 2019. That legislation would ensure fair pay for employees and make it easier for workers to fight sex discrimination.

Last February, McCarthy joined 185 House Republicans in opposing the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, which would have expanded the rights of workers to unionize and collectively bargain with their employers. The GOP platform endorses so-called "right-to-work" laws nationally, which significantly undermine labor unions.

Most recently, McCarthy undermined efforts to send struggling Americans a $2,000 relief check to help them get through the pandemic and the economic downturn it has caused.

According to the AFL-CIO, McCarthy has voted with working people just 13% of the time over his tenure in Congress. In recent years, the average House Republican has also voted against working people more than two-thirds of the time, according to the union scorecard.

As a result of their anti-worker record, House Republicans have received millions in campaign contributions from the business lobby. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has spent the vast majority of its political spending in support of congressional Republicans in recent years — while the National Federation of Independent Business has given almost exclusively to the GOP.

It does not appear working families share McCarthy's view that his party is the party of workers. Exit polling from the 2020 election found that union households voted for President Joe Biden over Donald Trump by a 56% to 40% margin. Non-union households also favored the Democrat Biden, 50% to 49%.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.