A Minnesotan will be the third most powerful Republican in the U.S. House come January.
U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer was elected by his caucus Tuesday for the House majority whip position, defeating Reps. Jim Banks and Drew Ferguson. He will be outranked by just the speaker and majority leader.
The vote caps off a bitter intraparty contest in which Emmer found himself on the wrong side of the most-watched cable news host in the country and the former president’s son.
National Review argued Emmer’s record on social issues was disqualifying, pointing to votes in favor of codifying a right to same-sex marriage and against a ban on transgender soldiers in the military. He also supported efforts to mandate gender-identity protections for employees of government contractors and was employed as a spokesperson for a group seeking to abolish the Electoral College, according to the article.
“These divisive social issues shouldn’t be brought to the House floor,” Emmer reportedly said during a closed-door candidates’ forum Monday when asked about the gay marriage issue.
Adding to arguments against Emmer, who runs the House GOP’s campaign arm, was his party’s underwhelming performance in last week’s midterm elections. Republicans are on track to regain only a slim majority in the House, but a majority nonetheless.
“For any of the naysayers, we’re happy to point out this is now the second straight cycle that House Republicans have picked up seats,” Emmer said during a post-midterm briefing, according to The Hill.
“No one ever said this thing was going to be easy. I always said that all I could guarantee was that we’re going to win the majority,” he added. “How wide and how deep the majority was going to be was totally up to the voters.”
Republicans also elected Rep. Steve Scalise, the current whip, to the majority leader position. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was elected speaker-designate, the Hill reported. The speakership is ultimately determined by a vote on the House floor at the beginning of the new Congress.
— House Republicans (@HouseGOP) November 15, 2022
“It is an honor to be entrusted by my colleagues with the role of Majority Whip. Now the hard work begins,” Emmer said in a statement. “It’s time to unite our conference and deliver on our promises to the American people.”