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.
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.