Kinzinger says he doesn’t think McCarthy will ‘last very long’ if he becomes House speaker
(CNN) – After years of frustration, Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock finally had his wish fulfilled earlier this month when he was named the chamber’s acting minority leader, a post he’s held for the past year.
It came about as a result of the death of another Illinois lawmaker, John Shimkus, who had been serving as the minority’s leader since 2010. A special election was set for May 8 to replace Shimkus who died from a heart attack in March. His longtime staff said the loss of his strong leadership helped heal the breach between the congressional majority and the minority.
Schock made his first public appearance at the start of a packed press conference introducing McCarthy. “I look forward to working with Tom,” Schock said to reporters after the presser.
The freshman Republican from Chicago was sworn in earlier this month to become the new, third most powerful Republican in the House. He’ll take over duties left behind by Shimkus, who stepped down as House minority leader in July.
But just a few days after the victory, Schock says he won’t last much longer as a politician. He’s not expecting a leadership post on the Hill this year, and he won’t be asking McCarthy or any other GOP lawmakers to switch parties. Instead, Schock says he’s going to put his own stamp on the Illinois Republicans and help them win back the seat in Washington.
“The most important thing is this is new leadership, and that’s what it is,” Schock said. “That’s what Tom is talking about. What I will try to do is help, not only win the seat and help the state but also take back that seat of the United States Congress in what has become a very dangerous House if they don’t change.”
In a brief interview with CNN, Schock said he didn’t have any expectations that he would be named speaker when Illinois voters go to the polls next week. His hope was to be named Majority Whip.
“I’m very happy because I was