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Kevin McCarthy’s chief of staff Dan Meyer to retire in June

Meyer previously served as chief of staff to Newt Gingrich

Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced several changes to his staff on Friday.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced several changes to his staff on Friday. (CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced Friday that his chief of staff, Dan Meyer, is soon retiring and will be replaced in the role by Machalagh Carr, his current general counsel.

Meyer, who has been participating in debt limit negotiations with the White House and other congressional leadership staff, will continue working for McCarthy through early June, which coincides with the deadline for Congress to raise the statutory borrowing limit without risking a breach. 

Meyer served as McCarthy’s chief of staff for the past four years, before the California Republican ascended to the speakership in January after a 15-ballot election process on the floor, and previously served in the role under former Speaker Newt Gingrich. He is the first person in modern history to serve as chief of staff to two separate speakers, according to a release from McCarthy’s office announcing his retirement and other staff moves. 

Between his stints working in Congress, Meyer served as a legislative affairs assistant to former President George W. Bush and spent some time in the private sector. 

“It has been a testament to Dan’s management and leadership skills that he has helmed the offices of two different Speakers of the House, and just like my good friend Speaker Gingrich, I am personally grateful for all of Dan’s work for me, our staff, this institution, and for our great nation,” McCarthy said in a statement. “I am glad that we will continue to benefit from his wise guidance in the weeks to come, and I wish him the best when he gets to begin the next chapter of his life.”

Carr, who is replacing Meyer as chief of staff, has been McCarthy’s general counsel for more than four years, part of a decade-plus tenure in the House that also included stints in senior roles on three committees. 

Kim Hamm, McCarthy’s deputy general counsel, will be promoted to fill Carr’s role. Hamm has conducted oversight and litigation work in both chambers of Congress and at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

McCarthy also announced that longtime floor director John Leganski, who was frequently spotted negotiating on McCarthy’s behalf during the contentious speaker election, will be promoted to deputy chief of staff. 

Natalie Joyce, his current membership services director, will also be promoted to deputy chief of staff and appointed head of the House’s Office of Interparliamentary Affairs. In her new role, Joyce will continue to lead the House Republican Steering Committee, a panel of elected GOP leaders, committee chairs and regional representatives that controls committee assignments.

McCarthy also announced two promotions on his communications team after Matt Sparks, who led that team for more than six years, departed last month. 

Mark Bednar and Caleb Smith have replaced Sparks as heads of the communications team. Bednar handles media relations and the speaker’s communications strategy, while Smith oversees digital content and strategies and is often McCarthy’s man behind the camera. 

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