Jockeying for RSC chairmanship begins

Greg Nash

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) has launched a bid to be chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee.

Gohmert would be running to replace current RSC Chairman Steve Scalise (R-La.), who is in the race for House majority whip.

ADVERTISEMENT
The RSC comprises the most conservative members of the House GOP conference.

"The purpose of the RSC has always been to hold the leadership accountable," Gohmert said on conservative radio host Laura Ingraham's show Friday.

Gohmert faces competition from another prominent conservative. Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), who was elected in the historic class of 2010, is also running for chairman of the RSC, a spokeswoman said.

The race for majority whip is currently between three contenders: Scalise, Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) and Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.). But some members have speculated that Stutzman's late candidacy is primarily meant to be positioning for RSC chairman.

Scalise's team claims that it is "very close" to securing a majority of the GOP conference to win the slot. 

But if House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) does not win the majority leader race against Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho), there will be no vote for a new whip. 

Gohmert ran for RSC chairman in 2010 but lost against Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). So far, he has at least one supporter in fellow RSC member Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas).

"The RSC is the conscience of conservatism in Congress," Stockman said in a statement. "Louie Gohmert is the no-compromise leader we need to do battle in a town of compromisers."

Gohmert is known for delivering lengthy speeches, which frequently last an hour, to an empty House chamber multiple times each week on a range of topics. In April, Gohmert took to the floor to assert that the GOP's investigations into the Obama administration were not racially motivated.

This story was updated at 4:09 p.m