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IN Congressman: New Speaker Has To Unite House Republicans

House GOP

Sixth District Congressman Luke Messer says John Boehner's successor as House speaker needs to find a way to unite Republicans.

Messer acknowledges the present GOP is a “divided party.”  He says House Republicans need to focus on balancing the budget, boosting the economy and opposing what he calls "overreach" by President Obama.

But Messer says rank-and-file congressmen need more leeway to have their voices heard. He says some of the frustration among the caucus's most conservative members stems from the tight control the speaker and committee chairmen have historically exerted over what gets voted on.

Messer says House Republicans need to find common ground.

“This soap opera doesn’t inspire anybody, so we’ve got to acknowledge why the problem occurred and that’s that the American people are frustrated and their members reflect that,” Messer says. “And then, we’ve got to figure out a path forward that, I think, brings our coalition together.”

As House Republicans' Policy Committee chairman, Messer is No. 5 in House leadership. He says Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Washington) has the only new position he'd be interested in taking. Rodgers has been named as a possible replacement for Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California), who is expected to take Boehner’s old job.

Messer notes the conference chairmanship was previously held by his predecessor in Congress, Gov. Mike Pence.

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