Republicans Line Up for Leadership Spots in 111th Congress

By Susan Jones | November 7, 2008 | 6:36 AM EST

( – Conservative House Republicans are lining up for leadership positions in the next Congress.
House Republican Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.) has decided not to seek re-election to his leadership post in the 111th Congress. Blunt has endorsed his deputy, Eric Cantor of Virginia, to replace him. 
And in two other possible personnel changes, Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) has announced he wants to replace Rep. Adam Putnam as House Republican Conference Chairman. Press reports said Jeb Hensarling of Texas also wants the job.
And Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas says he’s running for chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee in the next Congress, a position now held by Rep. Tom Cole.
“I am running for chairman of the NRCC to help rebuild the Republican Party and win back our Majority in the House of Representatives,” Sessions said.
House Republican Leader John Boehner backs both Pence and Sessions.
“Mike Pence is a gifted communicator and a principled conservative who played a key role in helping House Republicans win the energy issue this year – an effort I believe must serve as a model for our Conference as we build a majority coalition issue by issue,” Boehner said. 
 “I’ve encouraged Mike to run for the job of Conference Chairman because there is no one in our ranks who does a better job of articulating the GOP message of freedom and smaller government, and he’s also proven himself to be a team player with the ability to bring our members together.”
Boehner also praised outgoing Conference Chairman Adam Putnam for his two years of service as the third-ranking Republican in the House, saying he did an “outstanding job.”
Likewise, Boehner praised Roy Blunt as “one of the most effective whips ever to serve our House Republican team.”
Boehner credited Blunt with sustaining presidential vetoes of harmful Democrat-led legislation.
“During this Congress, House Republicans have helped end the outdated ban on offshore energy production, block tens of billions in wasteful Washington spending proposed by the Democratic Majority, and give our troops and intelligence officials all the tools they need to defend America.  As whip, Roy has been on the frontlines in each and every one of those legislative battles.
“With the Obama Administration and Democratic leaders in Congress considering a troubling slate of tax hikes, runaway spending, and anti-American energy legislation next year, (Blunt’s) insight and skill will be more important to our Republican team than ever before,” Boehner added.
Boehner, who wants to serve as Republican leader in the next Congress, is urging Republicans to “renew the fight for smaller, more accountable government.” 
He has identified 12 areas where Republicans will have no choice but to oppose President-elect Obama and offer superior alternatives that address the concerns of the American people.
Boehner says Republicans may have to fight Obama-led Democrats on issues including tax hikes, defense spending, secret ballot union elections, domestic energy production, pork-barrel spending, state and federal abortion restrictions, free speech, health insurance, Social security and Medicare, and trade.