WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican members of the House of Representatives have less than a week to decide who will replace outgoing Congressman Eric Cantor as the caucus’ majority leader.
The party now faces a contentious battle for control of the House’s legislative priorities. The process is designed to keep votes secret, making false promises of endorsement rampant.
“The only people that are going to tell you the truth are the ones that look you straight in the eye and tell you, ‘I’m not voting for you,’” said Representative Lynn Westmoreland to reporters on Thursday.
Here’s a look at the process that prospective successors to Cantor will have to follow:
WHEN: Thursday, June 19
WHERE: In a room in the Capitol large enough to hold all 233 House Republicans.
WHO: Unlike the Speaker of the House, the positions of leader and whip are decided only by members of the party. All 233 members are invited to vote. WHAT TO EXPECT: Crowds of reporters and congressional aides are likely to pack the halls outside the room, much like they did during House Speaker John Boehner’s re-election in 2013. The ballots will be cast in secret and then destroyed. Should current majority whip Kevin McCarthy win the job of majority leader, another vote will be held the same day for his replacement.
WHAT COMES NEXT: Whomever is elected will only serve until the end of the year. But members of Congress and outside conservative groups say the election is important because the majority leader may take over as House Speaker should Boehner step down in the next Congress.
Reporting By Julia Edwards; Editing by Cynthia Osterman