House GOP elects freshmen Reps. Noem, Scott to leadership

Republicans elected on Wednesday freshman Reps. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.) to their leadership team.

GOP lawmakers chose the two first-term congressmen as their representatives to the House leadership.

The two lawmakers were seen as the most likely candidates for the newly-created positions, which are meant in part as a liaison between established Republican leaders and the many new members of Congress who were elected on Nov. 2. It's also a bond between the establishment and the Tea Party movement, to which many GOP freshmen have ties.

The election of Noem and Scott to the Republican leadership also adds diversity to the GOP team, which came under assault from the liberal group Emily's List on Wednesday. Emily's List sought to cast the Republican leadership as a boys' club led by incoming Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

Noem will be the second woman in the Republican leadership, joining Conference Vice Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), the fifth-ranking Republican. The other freshman member of leadership, Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), is the first African-American member of the GOP leadership since the retirement of Rep. J.C. Watts (R-Okla.).