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Rising House Sophomores to Watch Next Congress


Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., with Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., left, speaks to reporters during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011, to call for Senate action on the jobs bills, known as the "Forgotten 15" passed by the Republican-led House of Representatives. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said that Tom Reed was a member of the so-called super committee. 

With 87 new Republicans, some are going to stand out more than others. Here's a list of freshmen poised to position themselves as rising sophomores to keep your eye on.

1) Tim Scott (R-S.C.) I wrote a profile on Scott noting that this freshman may already have designs on the Palmetto State's governor's mansion or Sen. Jim DeMint's seat. He's part of the elected leadership council, launched his own leadership PAC, and most recently had about 200 people come and attend a conference on entrepreneurship at the Capitol that include visits from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, and Dominoes Pizza CEO (arguably the most influential of the three) Patrick Doyle. While not necessarily the most groundbreaking conference, Scott made it clear he doesn't mind standing on a big stage.

2) Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) He's become something of a class leader. But what really makes him worth watching is his role on the Ways and Means Committee. One of just three freshmen on the committee, Reed is going to be a big part of tax reform negotiations when they kick off in earnest after the election.


3) Diane Black (R- Tenn). Like Reed, Black sits on the Ways and Means Committee, and will likely be a big part of tax reform next year. She's been something of a go-to freshman for the committee already, sponsoring eight bills. Part of her appeal is that as a former nurse she can be an authoritative figure when the committee deals with health care legislation.

4) Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) If there was any doubt about Kinzinger's standing with the Young Gun faction of leadership, that disappeared after Cantor endorsed him over Don Manzullo in that bloody member-on-member primary. This young former Air Force pilot is already on the whip team and is set to be a member of Cantor World for a long time to come.

AP Photo

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