Kevin_McCarthy_113th_Congress - Public Domain

House Republicans will shuffle their leadership lineup Thursday, most likely promoting Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy to become the second-highest ranking Republican in a rare midsession party election necessitated by Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s stunning defeat in a June 10 Virginia primary.

The California Republican, 49, has built a reputation as a gregarious and politically savvy pol despite some failings in the more confrontational whip role, which is tasked with counting and securing votes in a divided GOP conference to pass legislation. The majority leader is responsibility for coordinating the legislative agenda with committee chairmen and managing the U.S. House schedule.

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