The Next House Leadership Race Is Already Starting

Rep. Luke Messer is running to be the House’s fifth-ranking Republican.

Rep. Luke Messer stands behind Speaker Bohener at a conference on Capitol Hill April 10, 2013 in Washington, DC.
National Journal
Billy House
July 10, 2014, 10:22 a.m.

Now that the House lead­er­ship elec­tions are over, it’s time for an­oth­er go-round.

At least, that’s how Rep. Luke Mess­er of In­di­ana sees it. On Thursday, he con­firmed he’s already run­ning to be­come the next chair­man of the House Re­pub­lic­an Policy Com­mit­tee — the fifth-rank­ing po­s­i­tion in party’s lead­er­ship lad­der.

Mess­er, who is cur­rently the House GOP fresh­man class pres­id­ent, says he’s telling Re­pub­lic­an col­leagues this week he wants their sup­port this fall when in­tern­al party elec­tions are again held — and has been en­cour­aged by the re­sponses.

Why so early? “Time flies. We’ve got less than 25 le­gis­lat­ive days this year,” ex­plains Mess­er, 45, “then there’s the elec­tion.”

And it’s dur­ing the lame-duck ses­sion after the Nov. 4 elec­tion that reelec­ted mem­bers and new mem­bers-elect from both parties will choose their new team of lead­ers for the next ses­sion that be­gins in Janu­ary.

The job of Re­pub­lic­an Policy Com­mit­tee chair is now held by Rep. James Lank­ford of Ok­lahoma. But Lank­ford won his GOP Sen­ate primary in that state, and will not be re­turn­ing to the lead­er­ship post.

The role of the com­mit­tee’s chair­man is to over­see its pre­par­a­tion of is­sue and policy pa­pers for the con­fer­ence, work with rank-and-file mem­bers to de­vel­op their own le­gis­la­tion, and put those ideas in bill and amend­ment form.

It’s the House lead­er­ship post — be­low speak­er, ma­jor­ity lead­er, ma­jor­ity whip, and con­fer­ence chair­man — for someone who can fo­cus on minor de­tails of polit­ic­al policy.

“It’s a job for a wonk. I con­sider my­self a wonk,” Mess­er said.

Does he at all feel sheep­ish about run­ning for a lead­er­ship post, while still serving in his first term of Con­gress?

Mess­er says cat­egor­ic­ally “no.” In fact, he says that at the end of the next elec­tion, “more than half of the U.S. Con­gress would be made up of people here less than five years.”

He said it will be im­port­ant for these new­er mem­bers to have someone on the lead­er­ship team.

Mess­er says he hasn’t heard yet about any oth­er as­pir­ants for the job. But then again, it’s early.

What We're Following See More »
PROCEDURES NOT FOLLOWED
Trump Not on Ballot in Minnesota
2 days ago
THE LATEST
MOB RULE?
Trump on Immigration: ‘I Don’t Know, You Tell Me’
2 days ago
THE LATEST

Perhaps Donald Trump can take a plebiscite to solve this whole messy immigration thing. At a Fox News town hall with Sean Hannity last night, Trump essentially admitted he's "stumped," turning to the audience and asking: “Can we go through a process or do you think they have to get out? Tell me, I mean, I don’t know, you tell me.”

Source:
BIG CHANGE FROM WHEN HE SELF-FINANCED
Trump Enriching His Businesses with Donor Money
3 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Donald Trump "nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign." A campaign spokesman "said the increased office space was needed to accommodate an anticipated increase in employees," but the campaign's paid staff has actually dipped by about 25 since March. The campaign has also paid his golf courses and restaurants about $260,000 since mid-May.

Source:
QUESTIONS OVER IMMIGRATION POLICY
Trump Cancels Rallies
4 days ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump probably isn't taking seriously John Oliver's suggestion that he quit the race. But he has canceled or rescheduled rallies amid questions over his stance on immigration. Trump rescheduled a speech on the topic that he was set to give later this week. Plus, he's also nixed planned rallies in Oregon and Las Vegas this month.

Source:
‘STRATEGY AND MESSAGING’
Sean Hannity Is Also Advising Trump
5 days ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump's Fox News brain trust keeps growing. After it was revealed that former Fox chief Roger Ailes is informally advising Trump on debate preparation, host Sean Hannity admitted over the weekend that he's also advising Trump on "strategy and messaging." He told the New York Times: “I’m not hiding the fact that I want Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States. I never claimed to be a journalist.”

Source:
×