Pressure Mounts on Blunt to Quit Whip Job

Acting Majority Leader Roy Blunt (R.-Mo.) is facing pressure from his two opponents in the race for House majority leader to surrender his job as majority whip.

Rep. John Boehner (R.-Ohio) wants Blunt to follow Rep. John Shadegg’s (R.-Ariz.) example by quitting his job as the No. 3 Republican in the House. Yesterday Shadegg resigned his chairmanship of the Republican Policy Committee.

"I personally believe it is not appropriate to try to retain one position in our elected leadership while running for another," Shadegg said in a letter to Republican colleagues announcing his candidacy.

Following Blunt’s claim today that he had secured enough votes to be elected majority leader, Boehner took a swipe at Blunt for his refusal to give up his job as whip.

"This will be a long campaign, leading up to a secret ballot election," Boehner said. "If the claims by Roy’s campaign are true, then it is in the best interest of the Republican Conference for him to follow Congressman Shadegg’s example and step aside from his post to allow a full and open race for the whip’s position.  

"Members of our Conference are also entitled to know where and how their next majority leader intends to lead," Boehner added. "As of tonight, I remain the only candidate for the office who has offered a detailed leadership plan and vision for the future of our majority and the reforms we must unite to enact."