Race Begins for Two More GOP Leadership Posts

Monday, 23 Jun 2014 08:56 AM

By Melanie Batley

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The House Republican leadership realigned itself last week with the election of California Rep. Kevin McCarthy as House majority leader and Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise as majority whip, but there is still jockeying to fill two more positions at the top of the conference.

According to Politico, there is a vacancy for the top post at the Republican Study Committee following Scalise's accent, while chief deputy whip is also up for grabs.

The Republican Study Committee is in a predicament because its bylaws do not allow for elections in the middle of a congressional session.

There is a possibility that the 175-member caucus with be without a leader through the November elections, but the group's founders and former chairmen are meeting to discuss the situation and are considering appointing an interim chairman, Politico reported.

Nevertheless, a number of lawmakers are already positioning themselves for the permanent post, including Reps. Andy Harris of Maryland, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina, Stephen Fincher of Tennessee and Tom Graves of Georgia.

"The bottom line is generally we're conservatives, but we have different philosophies about how you bring that forward and blend that into the conference as a whole and what the underlying purpose of the RSC is," Harris told Politico.

Chief deputy whip, a key slot and the whip's closest ally, will be chosen by Scalise. The position has traditionally been a launching pad for future positions in the House leadership. Scalise has not yet made his choice, but several lawmakers are already at the top of the list, Politico reported.

North Carolina Rep. Patrick McHenry, who served on McCarthy's whip team and aided Scalise in his contest, could be a top pick. He is currently leading recruitment for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

GOP leadership aides also say a number of women are being considered including Missouri Rep. Anne Wagner, North Carolina Rep. Renee Ellmers, and Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn. Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock is another possibility, according to Politico.

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