GOP Leadership Fight To Come

When the House Republican Conference holds their organizational meeting next month, Capitol Hill sources say that the Homeland Security Committee will be upgraded from a select to a permanent committee. The lawmaker most impacted by this change would be Homeland Security’s chairman, Christopher Cox (R.-Cal.). Under House rules, Cox cannot continue in his current leadership position as chairman of the House Policy Committee should he assume chairmanship of a full committee.

Accordingly, the stage is set for a battle royal among House Republicans over Cox’s successor as head of the Policy Committee. Even with Congress out of session, Rep. John Shadegg (R.-Ariz.) was busily lining up support for the Policy chair. The son of Barry Goldwater’s longtime political right-hand man Steve Shadegg, the congressman is a past chairman of GOPAC and the Republican Study Committee. Stalwart conservative Shadegg (lifetime American Conservative Union rating: 98%) is considered the early favorite over the only other likely contender, Rep. Rob Portman ( ACU rating: 88%), a former aide in the elder Bush’s White House.