GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Two of the most influential members of the Republican delegation in Washington D.C. paid a special visit to the Gerald R. Ford Museum on Saturday.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California has risen to majority leader. He accomplished that in just four terms, faster than any leader before him.
Fred Upton has represented southwestern Michigan for decades and serves as the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, one of the most powerful in Washington.
Both men visited the museum dedicated to President Gerald R. Ford, but before he was addressed as “Mr. President,” he had a single minded goal of being speaker of his beloved House.
A House that looks considerably different today than when he served there.
24 Hour News 8 asked the majority leader how the former minority leader would feel about the House today.
“Well this one is much different. Back then everybody kind of stayed in D.C. but Gerald Ford, he really brought a lot of people together,” said McCarthy.
Upton, who as a young staffer actually visited the White House on President Ford’s final day in office, noted the unusual circumstances of the visit saying, “you know when Kevin and I were driving up here from Kalamazoo I said ‘this is probably the first time that a majority leader has every gone to a minority leader’s, former minority leader’s, grave site.”
McCarthy and Upton were in Michigan for a Lincoln Day dinner after what had been a busy week on Capitol Hill. McCarthy says this Congress is making what he sees as a lot of progress.
“If you just look at what the Congress accomplished this week, Waters for the U.S., NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act), USA Freedom,” said McCarthy. “These are all very big bills but all done this week. Some of those House bills may still face an uphill battle in the Senate.