Boehner is offering one of the 80 incoming Freshmen a seat at the Republican leadership table. It’s a good idea and he shouldn’t be lauded as a genius–he simply isn’t in a coma and realizes 80 new people, swept in by an angry electorate, had better get some voice in leadership. This could also be an end-run around Michele Bachmann’s run for Republican Conference Chair. This should not stop her. There is not some ‘quota’ for Tea Party voices. At least Boehner better not think so. No is the Tea Party an idea that can be co-opted with little presents and committee assignments. Our Newbie Congressmen and women had better keep their wits about them.
My choice for the Freshman on the House leadership team? Allen West, of course, and independent conservative who cannot be bought. West will not be ‘led,’ he’ll do the leading.
In a nod to the strength of their newest constituency, House Republican leaders will grant incoming freshmen more say in the party’s direction than most first-term lawmakers receive.
House Republican Leader John Boehner and his No. 2, party Whip Eric Cantor, will notify newly elected Republicans Tuesday that one member of their class will get a seat at the leadership table and another two will be given spots on the Steering Committee, which decides committee assignments and chairmanships in the new Congress.
“The incoming GOP freshman class will have a larger voice at the leadership table and on the Steering Committee than previous GOP freshman classes in previous Congresses,” according to an advanced copy of the letter.
Members of the class will run for these positions, along with those of class president and freshman representative to the policy committee, on Nov. 17 after the entire Republican caucus selects its leaders for the next two years, according to the letter.
With 80-plus new members, the freshmen class will be an influential group. Many claim strong ties to Tea Party activists who bickered frequently with the party establishment in the run-up to last week’s midterm election. Messrs Boehner and Cantor and others have promised to make sure these newly elected lawmakers play a prominent role in deciding the party’s path forward.