Roll Call –
Candidates for House majority whip are pushing their cases hard in the last hours of the race, each promising to heal a party scarred by infighting and at the same time, wrangle the conference into a united voting bloc.
In the run-up to Thursday’s pivotal vote, Rep. Peter Roskam, the chief deputy whip, is touting himself as the most experienced candidate — and the only one who will be a disciplinarian toward rambunctious members who vote out of step with leadership.
The Illinois Republican said he would punish members who vote against leaders’ priorities, according to a member familiar with his pitch. Although that is much more difficult in a post-earmark world, Roskam laid out a slate of ideas, including refusing to take up unruly members’ bills, withholding plum committee assignments and even banishing rebels from the weekly conference breakfast, denying them a free meal if they do not play with the rest of the team.“There is a heroic majority here. There is a majority in our conference that wants to move forward and do great things, and I want to be a part of trying to bring that out and enable that,” he told reporters Tuesday.
Roskam’s pitch contrasts with the case made by Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, who chairs the conservative Republican Study Committee. Scalise has shot to the top of the field by promising to be a conservative and Southern voice at the leadership table. He is pointing to a successful vote on splitting the nutrition and agriculture titles of the farm bill as an instance in which he helped pass conservative ideas on the House floor.