Conservative Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) — founder of the Tea Party Caucus — will make a bid to be part of House leadership next Congress, likely touching off a tough intra-GOP battle for influence over the new majority.
In a message to her supporters on Facebook, Bachmann writes, “I am pleased to announce that I am running for Chairman of the House Republican Conference! Constitutional Conservatives deserve a loud and clear voice in leadership!”That’s a recipe for a leadership fight. Earlier today, current conference chair Mike Pence informed his colleagues he will not seek re-election to that position in January. Wasting no time, Whip Eric Cantor — who will run for Majority Leader in the 112th Congress — nominated the early favorite, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) to fill that slot.
Hensarling is no moderate. But between the more than four dozen members already in Bachmann’s caucus and the giant incoming class — which is chock full of tea party-backed candidates — we could have a real race here.