The House GOP leaders have strengthened their positions and are no longer constantly looking over their shoulders to see who wants to stick a knife in their backs and take their jobs, Politico
House Speaker John Boehner, in particular, appears safe ahead of the next leadership race following the midterm elections, despite months of speculation that he might face a challenge from a more conservative congressman.
The Ohio representative, in fact, recently “rolled his eyes” during a lunch meeting in his office with his closest friends when a colleague mentioned that Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling was planning to mount a campaign for his post, sources told Politico.
But the speaker, who admits he enjoys a good glass of wine and an even better game of golf, refused to be drawn during another “Team Boehner” meeting on whether he’s keen to remain in charge for another term.
For the first time in years, the House Republican Conference is virtually drama free, to the point where there was no infighting over the passage Wednesday of the “continuing resolution” to fund the government until December, even though it also approved funding to aid Syrian moderates
to repel Islamic State fighters.
The waters appear calm with no controversial legislation likely to rock the boat before the next leadership vote, multiple GOP sources told the political news website.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California also appears to be sitting comfortably with no challenger on the horizon, allowing him time to concentrate on his policy plans for the next Congress.
And Rep. Steve Scalise, the freshman whip from Louisiana, has made it clear that he’s here to stay, having his sprawling new office painted in bright colors, including green.
He’s also decorated an accompanying lounge called the Lincoln Room with artifacts relating to the 16th president, including a portrait of Abraham Lincoln, which hangs over the same fireplace as the one he sat around more than 150 years ago, according to Politico.
And possibly to remind House Republicans of his new position, Scalise has spent campaign cash to order hard plastic cups with his name and title — “House majority whip” — printed on them.
There had been speculation that Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon might face a challenge from Texas Rep. Roger Williams for the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
But the buzz quickly died down after Walden’s allies went into action early and started asking Republicans for their vote when the leadership election comes around, Politico said.
Although Boehner, McCarthy and Scalise each face an internal vote for re-election, only the speaker will endure a vote on the House floor. Due in January, Boehner will need at least 218 votes to return as the GOP leader — if he wants the job.
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