Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the majority whip who was elected on Thursday to be the next House majority leader, is viewed as the “go-to” guy for Silicon Valley who listens to the industry’s concerns “100 percent” of the time.
Of particular interest to Silicon Valley lobbyists is McCarthy’s support for increasing the number of high-tech visas, which companies like Facebook covet and have demanded in any immigration bill.
According to Politico, McCarthy “has reinforced a need for high-skilled foreign workers” even though numerousscholars studieshave shown that there is a surplus — not a shortage — of American high-tech workers. These scholars and studies have emphasized that importing more high-tech workers on guest-worker visas would lower wages more in an industry that has not seen wages increase since Bill Clinton’s presidency.
“Silicon Valley never looks for somebody who is going to agree with us 100 percent of the time,” a CEO of a Silicon Valley industry lobbying group told Politico. “But we want someone who is willing to listen to us 100 percent of the time. And Kevin McCarthy does this.”
Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) hammered Cantor during the final two weeks of the campaign — when 26 percent of Cantor voters switched to Brat — printing flyers of Cantor with Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg. Cantor, as Breitbart News reported, took the photo with Zuckerberg that would later haunt him during a 2011 visit to Silicon Valley with Reps. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and McCarthy, who will now replace him.