Saturday, January 14, 2006

Blunt Claims To Have Votes Needed For GOP Majority Leader is reporting that House Republican Whip Rep. Roy Blunt (MO) put out a press release today announcing "that he has the support of more than the 117 Members of the House Republican Conference required to win the post of House Majority Leader." According to a daily tally being reported on at the Hill, Blunt currently has 85 votes to Boehner's 41 votes and Shadegg's 3 votes. That is 32 votes shy of 117 votes. flat out challenged Blunt's claim of having the support of more than 117 members. It asks of Blunt:

Show us your names Congressman. Show us your names. For what it is worth, there are five people listed [by the Hill] as supporting you who are not. Voting is by secret ballot, which is not helpful to Congressman Blunt.

The Hill reports that Rep. Chris Chocola has thrown his support to Boehner. As we reported earlier, Rep. Dan Burton is supporting Blunt, while Rep. Steve Buyer is supporting Boehner. Rep. Mike Pence, Rep. Mark Souder, and Rep. Mike Sodrel remain undecided.

Rep. Pence is the chairman of the House Republican Study Committee, which claims a membership of over 100 conservative members. It has been thought that his group would control the outcome, and many in this group remain undecided. After Rep. John Shadegg entered the race late in the week, it was expected that he would pick up support from Pence as well as many other members of the HRSC. is reporting that Pence issued a letter to the three candidates for House Majority Leader which suggested questions the leadership candidates should answer if they wanted the support of HRSC members. His group is planning a member retreat in Baltimore a few days before the scheduled leadership vote on February 2 at which all the candidates are expected to appear to address HRSC members.

Advance Indiana agrees with many of the economic issues Pence lays out in his letter, but must take exception to his social agenda. Issues with which we agree with Pence include:

  • Entitlement reform, which now consume 54% of the federal budget.
  • Earmark reform, which relates to the member add-ons costing $27.3 billion in the most recent budget.
  • Comprehensive budget reform.
  • Rules changes consistent with the original Contract With America.
  • Sunset provisions in legislation.

We do take issue with Pence's social agenda, which includes a vote on the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages, attaching pro-life riders to House appropriations, blocking federal support of embryonic stem cell research and further attempts to advance government supported Christianity under the guise of promoting religious freedom.

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