Rubio supports Sen. Johnson for vice chairman of GOP conference

Johnson’s decision follows the announcement by the current chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), that he is stepping down from the No. 3 leadership post. Alexander’s exit, combined with the planned retirement of Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) in 2013, reshuffles the GOP leadership in the Senate. Sen. John Barrasso (Wyo.), the current vice chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, is in line to take the position of conference chairman.

“The position of vice chair of the Republican Conference would be an important opportunity to address our fiscal crisis. As vice chair, I would seek to communicate how urgent the problem is and work with the Republican Conference to develop real solutions,” Johnson said in a statement released Tuesday. “I came to Washington because I believe that business as usual is bankrupting America, and it has to stop. Every day I ask myself, ‘What can I do to be effective — to have an impact?’ ”

Rubio and Johnson both swept into the Senate on a wave of Tea Party support in the 2010 elections.

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