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.
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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..."
"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."
"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. "
"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.