Given the reliable political and financial support Republicans receive from Texas, the state with the largest GOP delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives, how many top party leaders in the House might you expect to hail from the Lone Star State?
If you said zero, you may soon be right!
According to a report from Politico, U.S. House Speaker John Boehner will meet with U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Dallas, today about that circumstances that could keep Texans out of the top leadership slots in the next Congress.
Sessions is currently finishing up his second term as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, at which point the position typically rotates to someone else. He wants to chair the House's powerful Rules Committee, but Politico reports that Boehner appears to have someone else in mind.
At the same time, other Texas lawmakers -- U.S Rep. John Carter of Round Rock, U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Dallas, and U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith of San Antonio -- are also cycling out of key positions. There are a number of Texas representatives who are too junior for the top slots, and some of the state's more senior members either don't chair committees or -- like U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Surfside -- are retiring.
On Wednesday, Sessions seemed to express interest in taking matters into his own hands with a run for a third term at the helm the NRCC. Many observers speculated that the comments were primarily meant to put pressure on the Speaker, and a spokeswman for Sessions said they had been made "in jest."
The Dallas Morning Newsreported on Thursday that Sessions had, indeed, backed off of the third term idea and issued a statement expressing his support for his NRCC deputy, U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Oregon.
Where does that leave Texas Republicans?
Those that are concerned about this sort of thing can take comfort in the words of U.S. Rep. Carter, who believes Texans will maintain a presence in the upper echelons of the party.
"I'm not concerned about Sessions," he told Politico. "I think he's going to be fine. I think he's going to get what he wants."