New RSC chairman sees ‘Trumpism’ as future
Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), the incoming chairman of the Republican Study Committee (RSC), wants the conservative group to drive the conversation on what the future of the party looks like in the post-Trump era.
Banks, who was unanimously elected to succeed RSC Chairman Mike Johnson (R-La.) on Thursday, praised President Trump for attracting working-class voters to the GOP and feels Republicans need to continue to build on broadening the party’s base.
He sees the conservative caucus as the perfect place to discuss how the GOP can merge a populist message and agenda with the traditional conservative platform moving forward.
“The last couple of years, Chairman Johnson was able to work with the White House and with the Republican Senate. Really, I think the role of focus Republican Study Committee in the next couple of years is going to be foundational toward determining what the Republican Party stands for, what the conservative movement looks like moving forward in what is likely the post-Trump era,” he told The Hill in an interview.
“And I want to lead that conversation, I want RSC to lead a collaborative effort and conversation with where the conservative movement goes from here and draw from the many lessons that we’ve learned for President Trump.”
Banks said he’s looking for the RSC — the largest conservative caucus in Congress — to address policy areas that helped broaden Trump’s base that the group hasn’t traditionally placed a focus on in the past.
“If we’re learning the lessons that President Trump taught us, to appeal to the populace base and bring new voters in the Republican Party, we need to tackle a new subset of issues to the conservative movement,” he said.
“And that is this broader theme of appealing to working-class voters. It’s related to drawing from the lessons of the last four years: how you rebuild manufacturing jobs in America, putting American workers first in trade deals and immigration policy. Those are areas where the Republican Study Committee has not been as involved in before. And I want to lead us to take an active role and articulating where the conservative movement stands and where we go now after the 2020 election.”
Banks said he sees Trumpism as something the party should continue to embrace, expressing confidence it will help Republicans flip the House during the next election cycle.
“If we’re going to win the majority in 2022 and win the White House in 2024, our party has to look a lot more like Donald Trump than some of the Republican candidates in the past,” he said.
“Trump taught us how to fight and win with an agenda that appeals to a popular base. House conservatives must follow his example and carry the Trump message the next two years.”
The RSC chairmanship has served as a springboard for a number of members including Vice President Pence, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), House Judiciary ranking member Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Johnson, who was recently elected as vice chairman of the House Republican Conference.