Steve Scalise Will Run for House Majority Whip

The dominoes are beginning to fall after Eric Cantor’s primary loss.

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) holds up a photo of a pelican covered in oil as he questions BP CEO Tony Hayward during a House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing on 'The Role Of BP In The Deepwater Horizon Explosion And Oil Spill', in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, June 17, 2010. Hayward is appearing before members of Congress as the historical and deadly oil spill disaster is nearing two months. 
National Journal
Tim Alberta
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Tim Alberta
June 11, 2014, 6:09 a.m.

Rep. Steve Scal­ise, the Louisi­ana Re­pub­lic­an who chairs the power­ful Re­pub­lic­an Study Com­mit­tee, will run for the po­s­i­tion of House ma­jor­ity whip, ac­cord­ing to two sources with know­ledge of his plans.

Scal­ise, who has spent months mulling a cam­paign for the No. 3 spot in lead­er­ship, fi­nal­ized his plans last night after Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Eric Can­tor’s stun­ning de­feat in Vir­gin­ia’s 7th Dis­trict primary. Ac­cord­ing to a seni­or GOP aide, Scal­ise will likely an­nounce his plans pub­licly some­time in the next two weeks.

Can­tor’s loss triggered an im­me­di­ate dom­ino ef­fect in­side the House Re­pub­lic­an Con­fer­ence, prompt­ing mem­bers who were already con­sid­er­ing lead­er­ship bids to ac­cel­er­ate their plan­ning. For­tu­nately for Scal­ise, who has made little secret of his de­sire to win the whip’s of­fice, there were no frantic late-night phone calls to be made last night. The plans have already been laid; Scal­ise was pre­pared to seek the po­s­i­tion wheth­er cur­rent Ma­jor­ity Whip Kev­in Mc­Carthy sought reelec­tion or not.

Now, with Mc­Carthy likely to run for the ma­jor­ity lead­er’s post, it will be a free-for-all to re­place him. In ad­di­tion to Scal­ise, Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam, an­oth­er law­maker who has been lay­ing the ground­work for a lead­er­ship cam­paign, also plans to run for whip, ac­cord­ing to two GOP sources. Seni­or Re­pub­lic­ans also ex­pect Rules Com­mit­tee Chair­man Pete Ses­sions to con­sider the race — po­ten­tially set­ting up what could be an ex­tremely com­pet­it­ive three-way con­test between well-liked and well-con­nec­ted mem­bers.

Scal­ise may start the race with a math­em­at­ic­al ad­vant­age, giv­en that he chairs the largest mem­ber caucus in all of Con­gress. (The RSC today has more than 170 act­ive mem­bers.) That said, some of the RSC’s hard-core con­ser­vat­ives have ex­pressed dis­ap­point­ment with Scal­ise, ar­guing that the tra­di­tion­ally ag­gress­ive group has ad­op­ted a more pass­ive ap­proach un­der his lead­er­ship.

Rep. Mick Mul­vaney, the South Car­o­lina sopho­more who is run­ning to suc­ceed Scal­ise as RSC chair­man, said earli­er this year that the group has de­volved in­to a “con­ser­vat­ive de­bate club.” And Rep. Raul Lab­rador, an­oth­er in­flu­en­tial con­ser­vat­ive, con­cluded sep­ar­ately of the RSC: “It’s a de­bate so­ci­ety.”

Still, Scal­ise en­joys wide­spread sup­port among the RSC rank and file, and is re­spec­ted throughout the con­fer­ence. His cam­paign for whip, ac­cord­ing to one source, will be cham­pioned by sev­er­al in­flu­en­tial and well-liked law­makers, in­clud­ing Reps. Kev­in Brady of Texas and Phil Roe of Ten­ness­ee. 

Scal­ise is also highly re­garded by the cur­rent lead­er­ship team. Many top Re­pub­lic­an staffers earli­er this year be­lieved that Can­tor, if he as­cen­ded to the speak­er­ship in the next Con­gress, would at­tempt to bring aboard Scal­ise as his whip. While there are many lead­er­ship scen­ari­os that could yet play out, that cer­tainly won’t be one of them.

What We're Following See More »
THE PLAN ALL ALONG?
Manchin Drops Objections, Clearing Way for Spending Deal
1 days ago
THE LATEST

"The Senate standstill over a stopgap spending bill appeared headed toward a resolution on Friday night. Senators who were holding up the measure said votes are expected later in the evening. West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin had raised objections to the continuing resolution because it did not include a full year's extension of retired coal miners' health benefits," but Manchin "said he and other coal state Democrats agreed with Senate Democratic leaders during a caucus meeting Thursday that they would not block the continuing resolution, but rather use the shutdown threat as a way to highlight the health care and pension needs of the miners."

Source:
UNCLEAR WHAT CAUSED CHANGE OF HEART
Giuliani Out of Running For State
1 days ago
BREAKING

Donald Trump transition team announced Friday afternoon that top supporter Rudy Giuliani has taken himself out of the running to be in Trump's cabinet, though CNN previously reported that it was Trump who informed the former New York City mayor that he would not be receiving a slot. While the field had seemingly been narrowed last week, it appears to be wide open once again, with ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson the current favorite.

Source:
ALSO VICE-CHAIR OF TRUMP’S TRANSITION TEAM
Trump Taps Rep. McMorris Rodgers for Interior Secretary
1 days ago
BREAKING
SHUTDOWN LOOMING
House Approves Spending Bill
2 days ago
BREAKING

The House has completed it's business for 2016 by passing a spending bill which will keep the government funded through April 28. The final vote tally was 326-96. The bill's standing in the Senate is a bit tenuous at the moment, as a trio of Democratic Senators have pledged to block the bill unless coal miners get a permanent extension on retirement and health benefits. The government runs out of money on Friday night.

HEADS TO OBAMA
Senate Approves Defense Bill
2 days ago
THE LATEST

The Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act today, sending the $618 billion measure to President Obama. The president vetoed the defense authorization bill a year ago, but both houses could override his disapproval this time around.

Source:
×
×

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.

Login