GOP Leadership Fight Is Over Before It Began

Only days after Rep. John Shadegg (R.-Ariz.) made clear he would run for chairman of the House GOP Policy Committee if incumbent Christopher Cox (R.-Cal.) ends up chairing a permanent committee in the House, the lone GOP colleague mentioned as a rival for the Policy slot said he is not running after all.

Ohio Rep. Rob Portman will not run for the chairmanship of the Policy Committee. According to Portman press secretary Rob Lehman, “The congressman already has a seat at the table as chairman of the Leadership Committee and has no desire to oppose Congressman Shadegg.” The exit of Portman, once a White House staffer under the elder Bush, raises the odds considerably on stalwart conservative Shadegg taking the Policy portfolio when the GOP Conference meets in January.

Cox, a favorite of conservatives, would have to give up his long-standing chairmanship of the Policy Committee if the Homeland Security Committee that he also chairs is transformed from a select to a permanent committee. Under House rules, one cannot hold a leadership position such as the Policy chairmanship while simultaneously chairing a permanent committee.


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