Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) announced his bid for Chairman of the Republican Study Committee (RSC), a term that would begin at the start of next year. RSC is the largest and most influential GOP caucus on the Hill. Rep. Banks, an Afghanistan veteran, is an ally of President Trump within the House’s GOP minority. Republicans hope to take back the majority in the lower chamber in November. Rep. Banks would succeed current chairman Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA), when his tenure expires at the end of the year.
“With the Coronavirus pandemic bringing America to its knees, our work is going to be even tougher in the years to come to rein in wasteful spending and to address the national debt,” Banks wrote in a letter to GOP colleagues. “As our Democrat colleagues continue to drift further to the socialist left, it is critical that we do more and better to advance a true conservative agenda.”
Banks also said that there is a “real possibility” for a GOP majority in the House of Representatives in November, as Republicans seek to take power back from Speaker Pelosi.
The RSC was co-founded by retired Rep. Sam Johnson (TX), a Vietnam war veteran and POW, who passed away on Wednesday at the age of 89:
Sam Johnson was a giant among us. I only served with him for two years but his legacy will be felt for many years to come. RIP! pic.twitter.com/FMMdhGKwvK— Jim Banks (@RepJimBanks) May 28, 2020
The committee has been previously chaired by high-profile GOP leaders including Vice President Mike Pence, former Rep. Tom Price, who went on to serve as Health and Human Services Secretary, and Reps. Jim Jordan (OH) and Steve Scalise (LA). As a member of the RSC, Congressman Banks served as the chairman of the task force on budgets and spending. The Indiana Congressman and rising star in the House GOP received glowing endorsements from two fellow RSC members, Reps. Jeff Duncan (SC) and Mike Gallagher (WI), in his bid to lead the RSC.