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FLASH: House Leadership Elections Update

Conservative Reps Dennis Ross, Daniel Webster and Tom Price

After the forced resignation of establishment Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner the House Republican Conference has scheduled a closed door meeting for this afternoon (Tuesday, September 29) to discuss the timing and process for electing the next Speaker of the House.

The presumptive date for the election is Wednesday, October 7, but there is nothing to prevent the current House leadership from setting another date. The conventional wisdom says that the sooner the election occurs, the better it is for the current establishment leadership team – all of whom have indicated a desire to move up the ladder.

However, in a surprise move, influential conservative Jeb Hensarling of Texas took himself out of the running for a leadership position and endorsed conservative House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price of Georgia for Majority Leader – the position currently occupied by California establishment Republican Kevin McCarthy, who has now announced he is running for Speaker.

Hensarling’s endorsement of Price was quickly followed by the endorsement of Price by House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan, the 2012 Republican vice presidential candidate.

The Hensarling and Ryan endorsements of Tom Price for Majority Leader quickly drove establishment Republican Cathy McMorris Rogers, the current House Republican Conference Chair, out of the Majority Leader contest.

McMorris Rogers’ exit leaves the #2 spot a race between conservative Price, who is not a part the Boehner inner circle, and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise – the third leg of Boehner’s leadership team in the current House Republican hierarchy.

The Majority Leader is key to moving – or stalling – the conservative agenda in the House because the Majority Leader schedules the floor and can move or block bills from coming to the Floor for a vote. While no one seriously believes a Majority Leader would defy the Speaker if he or she wanted a bill moved to the Floor, the Majority Leader’s role offers an important reality check before important legislation is considered.

Scalise is perceived by many conservatives to have been Boehner’s enforcer, who orchestrated the political attacks on conservatives who chose to vote their conscience and defy Boehner on spending, Obama’s Iran nuclear weapons treaty, amnesty for illegal aliens and his other cave-ins to Obama.

Scalise’s credibility was also seriously undermined when it was revealed that he spoke before, and had a long association with, leaders of a racist group (the European-American Unity and Rights Organization) founded by former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke. Influential conservatives such as CHQ Chairman Richard Viguerie, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin called for Scalise’s ouster from the House Republican leadership, but he survived with Boehner’s 100% support.

Scalise’s bid to move up the chairs to Majority Leader has set-off a scramble to fill his position with at least four House Members currently announced or exploring a run for the #3 position in the House Republican leadership.

As of this writing the four known to be seeking the Majority Whip position are:

Patrick McHenry (NC-10)

Dennis Ross (FL-15)

Markwayne Mullin (OK-2)

Pete Sessions (TX-32)

As Chairman of the House Rules Committee Texas Representative Pete Sessions has been one of the primary instruments in John Boehner’s betrayal of conservative principles. Rep. Sessions is considered by most conservatives we know to be Boehner’s #1 do-boy and Sessions as Republican Whip would all but guarantee a continuation of the Boehner agenda of Big Government in the service of Big Business, and Boehner’s policy of accommodation with Obama and the Democrats.

North Carolina Representative Patrick McHenry has likewise been a key inside player in the Boehner operation and as Chief Deputy Whip has been an integral part of the enforcement operation that attempted to marginalize conservatives who voted their conscience and did not support the Big Business, Big Government, Big Spending agenda of the Boehner leadership team.

Oklahoma Representative Markwayne Mullin represents a conservative district in Oklahoma, but has been a reliable Boehner vote for his short time in Congress. Mullin was an especially outspoken supporter of the “CRomnibus” spending plan that funded Obama’s executive amnesty and a host of other anti-conservative actions, which prompted CHQ to run an article titled “Dupe, Dope or Liar? Oklahoma GOP Rep. Markwayne Mullin Explains CRomnibus Support.” Our take is we do not need a dupe, a liar or a dope as House Republican Whip.

The fourth name in the mix for House Republican Whip at the point is Florida Representative Dennis Ross.  Representative Ross was an outspoken opponent of Obama’s open borders program of bringing Ebola-infected patients to America. Ross was not bashful about saying Obama and his highly-politicized health department officials were just plain lying. We also liked the way Ross argued the case from the perspective of American sovereignty when he wrote to Obama saying, “The WHO is an organization of unelected bureaucrats and political appointees of foreign countries. It has no duty to protect the lives and well-being of Americans, as you do. “

Ross has also been good on constitutional issues, such as the Fourth Amendment, and was an original co-sponsor of the “Preserving Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act of 2012,” a bill to protect Americans from unwarranted domestic drone surveillance.

The final piece of the post-Boehner leadership puzzle is of course the Speaker’s job. The establishment media has all but anointed Boehner’s Majority Leader, California establishment Republican Kevin McCarthy, as the next Speaker.

When Eric Cantor was defeated in the primary and resigned from Congress opening up the Majority Leader position CHQ Chairman Richard Viguerie asked “Could Kevin McCarthy Be A Great Majority Leader?” and suggested that McCarthy could be, but “You can't say you're a conservative and then vote for crony deals for Big Business, like the Ex-Im Bank. Nor can you say you are a conservative and then vote to break the caps in the sequester by voting for the Ryan-Murray budget deal.  And you certainly can't say you are for the Constitution and the rule of law and then support amnesty for illegal aliens.”

Except for the Ex-Im Bank, McCarthy has pretty well failed Mr. Viguerie’s “you can’t say you are conservative and then…” test. 

But McCarthy’s election as Speaker is no sure thing.

Principled limited government constitutional conservative Daniel Webster (FL-10) has also put his name forward and was quickly endorsed by conservative House leader Louie Gohmert of Texas.

Rep. Webster served as Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives and was credited by many as the force that solidified Republican control of that body – yet he was respected by members of both political parties for his integrity, fairness and scrupulous adherence to the Constitution and the Rules.

Webster also oversaw a complete overhaul of the way the Florida House operated and, as he told Breitbart’s Matthew Boyle in an exclusive interview, “I changed that system in Florida when I was the Speaker of the House—I was the Minority Leader, I saw for 16 years the way a power system works.”

Webster said, “We’d wait until the last day or two and then we’d put forward the only option there is and then everybody has to stomach it—and you’ve got to run these created exponential train wrecks. And they’re done purposefully to create the outcome you want it to be. A principle system says, ‘no, you know what we ought to do? We ought to do the most important issues first rather than wait until the end so there is more time to vet the issues.’ And in the end what happens? You have a much better policy with less unintended consequences because there’s more eyes, more opportunities, more discussion, more amendments, more debate—all of those things lead to a more principled approach to every issue. That’s it. That’s what I’d like to do. That’s totally different from where we are right now.”

While Daniel Webster has committed himself to creating a system that avoids “exponential train wrecks” Kevin McCarthy has yet to explain how electing him Speaker will be anything other than a continuation of the Boehner-style of business as usual spending, cave-in and failure that has left Congress with the lowest public approval rating in history.

As CHQ Chairman Richard A. Viguerie wrote yesterday, “The resignation of John Boehner is a good start, but until a whole new generation of conservative leaders takes the reins on Capitol Hill, stands for conservative principles, and fights to defend the prerogatives of the House on issues like defunding Planned Parenthood, stopping executive amnesty, securing the border and bringing the endless spending, deficit and debt to a close the Republican Party will remain a house divided and I predict the wandering will not end.”

The House switchboard is 1-866-220-0044 we urge you to call your Republican Representative and demand that he or she vote for a thorough house cleaning in the House Republican leadership team.

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