The Congressional Leadership Fund, a Kevin McCarthy-aligned leadership PAC, has struck a deal with the influential conservative group Club for Growth to refrain from spending in contested GOP primary races amid the California Republican’s struggle to win the speaker’s gavel.
The move is a sizable concession for McCarthy, with the demand for leadership not to play in primaries being one of his defectors’ top priorities.
“Kevin McCarthy has effectively led House Republicans from the Minority to the Majority and we want to see him continue to lead the party so we can pick up seats for the third cycle in a row,” CLF President Dan Conston said in a statement.
“CLF will not spend in any open-seat primaries in safe Republican districts and CLF will not grant resources to other super PAC’s to do so. CLF has never spent a dollar against a Republican incumbent before and obviously will continue that policy in the future,” he added.
The PAC will continue to spend in general elections.
Club for Growth President David McIntosh applauded the move, stating that it addressed “a major concern.”
“This agreement on super PAC’s fulfills a major concern we have pressed for. We understand that Leader McCarthy and Members are working on a rules agreement that will meet the principles we have set out previously,” he said. “Assuming these principles are met, Club for Growth will support Kevin McCarthy for Speaker.”
Club for Growth had previously called for members to refrain from backing McCarthy unless he met their demands for rules changes.