According to reports, House representative Tom Emmer has won a key House leadership post giving the crypto-proponent a high-ranking seat in Congress.
House Republicans elected Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), the chief of their campaign team, to be House majority whip in a closed-door conference vote on Tuesday, ending a run-off race with Reps. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) and Drew Ferguson (R-Ga.). Sources close to the matter said,
“The Minnesota Republican leaned into his “honest and direct engagement with members.”
The three-way race was decided on the second ballot in a 115-106 vote between Emmer and Banks after Ferguson was knocked out during the first voting round with 71 votes against Emmer’s 72 and Banks’ 82.
The Majority whip is the third-ranking post in a GOP majority. With this win, the Minnesota congressional representative must keep Republicans in line on key votes when the new Congress begins in January.
Banks and Fergusson Run for Majority Whip Post
In his bid for the job, Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), the current chair of the most prominent conservative caucus in the House, the Republican Study Committee, declared commitment to maintaining “relationships with the coalitions that have helped the voters who elected us and us.”
Banks, who disclosed that he is a veteran of the U.S. forces, was running on endorsement from Concerned Women for America, a right-wing Christian group, and pointed out that he is a veteran. Similarly, Fergusson, the current chief deputy whip of the GOP conference, based his campaign on his experience on the whip team.
Following the tight competition in this year’s midterm elections, neither party has secured a majority. This outcome makes sense, given that it was considered the most competitive race in the conference. However, with Emmer’s win, Republicans may reclaim the House of Representatives by a narrow margin, which renders Emmer the new House majority whip.
The conference separately voted to elect Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) as the majority leader. Scalise had been serving as minority whip. Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was elected Speaker-designate. A vote on the House floor will eventually determine the Speakership.
Emmer’s Win Brings New Attention to Crypto
With the win and his role as party whip, Emmer brings new attention to the crypto sector. However, he will have to wrestle what appears to be one of the narrowest House majorities in the history of the U.S.
In January 2022, Emmer filed a bill to ban the Federal Reserve from issuing a central bank digital currency directly to individuals, as mandated by his current role as a member of the House of the Financial Services Committee. More recently, the new majority whip attacked the Securities and Exchange Commission following the collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire, FTX.
Emmer has been the National Republican Campaign Committee chair for the last two election cycles, leading the House Republicans through November’s midterm elections and the 2020 cycle. According to materials allocated to members during the first week of November, the Republicans leveraged the unexpected gains in 2020 to set the groundwork for securing a GOP majority in 2022. This was despite smaller-than-expected improvements this year.
In this role, Emmer pushed for the election of several of his House members, a move that certainly played a massive role in the leadership race. Nevertheless, Republicans could not deliver the expected “wave” of seats as had been speculated before the midterms.
The new Congress could make notable moves on crypto bills in 2023, especially following the decision by crypto exchange FTX to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Lawmakers with seats in the House Financial Services Committee had spent several months preparing a bipartisan bill for the stablecoin regulation in the United States. Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, who was strongly advocating for a bill to give new regulatory authority to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, bolstered the efforts before the toppling of his crypto empire.