Rep. Raul Labrador’s bid to deliver the House’s No. 2 leadership spot to the Tea Party is a long shot. Even his supporters say so.
Yet the Idaho Republican could do a lot worse than having Rep. Thomas Massie spreading the gospel for him.
Massie, a Kentucky Republican, is backing Labrador over California’s Kevin McCarthy, arguing that lawmakers should give less consideration to fundraising and more to the process of legislating.
The leader’s job is to control the cadence of the House floor, setting the schedule for votes on legislation. It’s a powerful position that can help open doors — and wallets — when it comes to raising the money needed to campaign and win enough seats to hold the majority.
Outgoing Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who resigned the position after his stunning loss of a primary election to the Tea Party’s David Brat in Virginia this week, used the position to raise millions for the party and its lawmakers. McCarthy, who holds the No. 3 position, is a tireless donation collector.
“Ostensibly the job is to run the floor,” Massie said in an interview. “We need some reforms in the process in Congress and whether you are conservative or moderate, you have to recognize that the process is broken.”
Massie noted that Labrador has a “David Brat’s chance of winning.”
“If the Republican Party ignores the message that was sent in Tuesday’s election, they do so at their own peril,” Massie said. “People want the process reformed in Washington D.C.”