Raul Labrador Thinking About a Run for No. 2 House GOP Job

The conservative considers challenging Kevin McCarthy for majority leader, a source says.

Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), speaks at the Conservative Political Action conference (CPAC), on February 10, 2011 in Washington, DC. The CPAC annual gathering is a project of the American Conservative Union. 
National Journal
Tim Alberta
Add to Briefcase
Tim Alberta
June 12, 2014, 3:49 p.m.

Raul Lab­rador is quietly con­sid­er­ing a cam­paign for House ma­jor­ity lead­er, ac­cord­ing to a source fa­mil­i­ar with the con­gress­man’s think­ing, po­ten­tially set­ting up a head-to-head con­test with Ma­jor­ity Whip Kev­in Mc­Carthy to re­place Eric Can­tor.

“He’s get­ting a lot of en­cour­age­ment from oth­er mem­bers,” the source said.

Lab­rador was ap­proached by sev­er­al in­flu­en­tial con­ser­vat­ive mem­bers Thursday morn­ing after Rep. Jeb Hensarling an­nounced he would not chal­lenge Mc­Carthy for the No. 2 spot in lead­er­ship.

While Lab­rador en­joys strong sup­port among the most con­ser­vat­ive mem­bers of the House GOP, it’s un­clear wheth­er he would have the abil­ity — with the spe­cial elec­tion less than a week away — to build a broad­er co­ali­tion cap­able of giv­ing Mc­Carthy a com­pet­it­ive race.

As Lab­rador con­tem­plated their en­cour­age­ment to enter the race, an­oth­er Re­pub­lic­an, Rep. Pete Ses­sions, dropped his bid.

Lab­rador is now care­fully con­sid­er­ing wheth­er he wants to enter the fray — and wheth­er he could pos­sibly win.

An out­spoken sopho­more law­maker from Idaho, he is one of the most pop­u­lar tea-party-al­lied mem­bers of the GOP’s right flank.

Lab­rador has oc­ca­sion­ally rubbed some Re­pub­lic­ans the wrong way with his vo­cal cri­ti­cism of the cur­rent lead­er­ship team. He has fre­quently at­tacked that team for be­ing too pass­ive and is one of 12 mem­bers who re­fused to sup­port Speak­er John Boehner’s reelec­tion. He has con­sist­ently said the lead­er­ship team is not rep­res­ent­at­ive of the con­fer­ence be­cause it does not in­clude a red-state Re­pub­lic­an.

Lab­rador’s name has oc­ca­sion­ally been men­tioned as a dark-horse can­did­ate for a lead­er­ship po­s­i­tion. In fact, earli­er this year, Lab­rador joked in an in­ter­view with Na­tion­al Journ­al that he might “do something crazy” like run for speak­er of the House.

It’s un­clear what his timetable is for mak­ing a de­cision. Many law­makers have already left Wash­ing­ton and will not re­turn un­til Monday.

This story was up­dated with the news that Rep. Ses­sions had dropped his bid for ma­jor­ity lead­er.

What We're Following See More »
CFPB Decision May Reverberate to Other Agencies
54 minutes ago

"A federal appeals court's decision that declared the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau an arm of the White House relies on a novel interpretation of the constitution's separation of powers clause that could have broader effects on how other regulators" like the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Morning Consult Poll: Clinton Decisively Won Debate
1 hours ago

"According to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, the first national post-debate survey, 43 percent of registered voters said the Democratic candidate won, compared with 26 percent who opted for the Republican Party’s standard bearer. Her 6-point lead over Trump among likely voters is unchanged from our previous survey: Clinton still leads Trump 42 percent to 36 percent in the race for the White House, with Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson taking 9 percent of the vote."

Twitter Bots Dominated First Debate
2 hours ago

Twitter bots, "automated social media accounts that interact with other users," accounted for a large part of the online discussion during the first presidential debate. Bots made up 22 percent of conversation about Hillary Clinton on the social media platform, and a whopping one third of Twitter conversation about Donald Trump.

Center for Public Integrity to Spin Off Journalism Arm
2 hours ago

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the nonprofit that published the Panama Papers earlier this year, is being spun off from its parent organization, the Center for Public Integrity. According to a statement, "CPI’s Board of Directors has decided that enabling the ICIJ to chart its own course will help both journalistic teams build on the massive impact they have had as one organization."

EPA Didn’t Warn Flint Residents Soon Enough
2 hours ago

According to a new report, the Environmental Protection Agency waited too long before informing the residents of Flint, Mich. that their water was contaminated with lead. Written by the EPA's inspector general, it places blame squarely at the foot of the agency itself, saying it had enough information by June 2015 to issue an emergency order. However, the order wasn't issued until the end of January 2016.


Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.