House Republican leaders don’t plan to eliminate any leadership positions in the next Congress as had been suggested by some in their Conference, Minority Leader John Boehner’s office confirmed on Thursday.
“Leader Boehner and Whip [Eric] Cantor have had discussions about the structure of the leadership table in the next Congress, and have agreed to recommend no changes to the structure be made as it relates to current members,” Michael Steel, a spokesman for the Ohio Republican, wrote in an e-mail.
But that doesn’t mean Republicans won’t make changes to the Members who occupy those leadership slots. If Republicans win the majority, Boehner is expected to become Speaker and Minority Whip Cantor (R-Va.) is expected to become Majority Leader. It is unclear whether Conference Chairman Mike Pence (Ind.) will seek his post again — he is rumored to be eyeing a presidential or gubernatorial bid — and if he steps aside, a contest could ensue for that job. The Majority Whip position is also expected to attract at least one new face to the elected leadership: Rep. Kevin McCarthy (Calif.).
Boehner and Cantor’s recommendation, which the full Conference could vote to overrule, puts to rest speculation that the policy chairmanship could be done away with. Policy Chairman Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) had recommended axing the slot earlier this year, saying that doing so would return $300,000 to the Treasury and help pay down the debt.
Boehner and Cantor’s recommendation also means the GOP is likely to keep the appointed slot of chairman of leadership, which is held by Rep. Greg Walden.
Boehner appointed the Oregon lawmaker to the post in February. The slot had been vacant since 2005, when then-Rep. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) held the job.
Republican leaders are weighing whether committees will be restructured or cut if they retake the majority, House GOP sources close to the decision said.