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
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
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 »
INDICTMENTS NOT PROOF OF COLLUSION
Rosenstein Holds Presser On Russian Indictments
1 days ago
THE DETAILS
Source:
CONTRADICTS TRUMP’S DENIALS
U.S. Indicts 13 Russian Nationals For Election Interference
1 days ago
THE LATEST

The indictment, filed in the District of Columbia, alleges that the interference began "in or around 2014," when the defendants began tracking and studying U.S. social media sites. They "created and controlled numerous Twitter accounts" and "purchased computer servers located inside the United States" to mask their identities, some of which were stolen. The interference was coordinated by election interference "specialists," and focused on the Black Lives Matter movement, immigration, and other divisive issues. "By early to mid-2016" the groups began supporting the campaign of "then-candidate Donald Trump," including by communicating with "unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign..."

Source:
“QUEEN FOR A DAY”
Gates Said to Be Finalizing a Plea Deal
1 days ago
THE LATEST

"Former Trump campaign adviser Rick Gates is finalizing a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller's office, indicating he's poised to cooperate in the investigation, according to sources familiar with the case. Gates has already spoken to Mueller's team about his case and has been in plea negotiations for about a month. He's had what criminal lawyers call a 'Queen for a Day' interview, in which a defendant answers any questions from the prosecutors' team, including about his own case and other potential criminal activity he witnessed."

Source:
ZERO-FOR-TWO
Another Defeat for Immigration Legislation in the Senate
2 days ago
THE LATEST

"The Senate on Thursday rejected immigration legislation crafted by centrists in both parties after President Trump threatened to veto the bill if it made it to his desk. In a 54-45 vote, the Senate failed to advance the legislation from eight Republican, seven Democratic and one Independent senators. It needed 60 votes to overcome a procedural hurdle. "

Source:
DISPUTE ASSERTION OF EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE
House Intel Panel Could Charge Bannon with Contempt
2 days ago
THE LATEST

"The House Intelligence Committee has scheduled a Thursday meeting to hear testimony from Steve Bannon—but it's an open question whether President Donald Trump's former chief strategist will even show up. The White House sent a letter to Capitol Hill late Wednesday laying out its explanation for why Trump's transition period falls under its authority to assert executive privilege, a move intended to shield Bannon from answering questions about that time period." Both Republicans and Democrats on the committee dispute the White House's theory, and have floated charging Bannon with contempt should he refuse to appear.

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