A freshman congressman from North Carolina defeated Maryland’s Rep. Andy Harris Thursday to become the new chairman of the Republican Study Committee for the next session of Congress.
“There has never been a better time for a bold conservative vision for America,” said Rep. Mark Walker (R.-N.C.), an ordained Baptist minister, who gave up a 20-year ministry to enter Congress.
“Looking at the election results, it is clear the American people want to reclaim constitutional principles and reinvigorate our economy. It is unacceptable for us not to deliver on the faith the voters have invested in us,” he said.
“I am honored by the confidence of my colleagues and will work to lead the Republican Study Committee towards effective conservatism – in a manner reflective of its distinguished legacy,” he said.
The Republican Study Committee was founded in 1973 as a reaction by House conservatives to the leftward drift of the Republican Party under President Richard M. Nixon. Today, the RSC has more than 170 members and it formed the majority of the GOP’s House majority and the largest voting bloc on Capitol Hill.
Outgoing chairman Rep. Bill Flores of Texas said he is proud of what the RSC accomplished during his two-year term and he is confident Walker will excel.
“Congratulations to Chairman-elect Walker who will be a strong advocate for the RSC and for principled solutions to the challenges facing our great nation,” Flores said
“I have great confidence in Mark that he will serve as an effective leader, and I look forward to working with him as he leads our organization,” he said.
The Texas congressman said, “I am proud of what we have achieved during the 114th Congress. Through our member-driven and member-led initiatives, we have developed conservative consensus and promoted principled, solutions-oriented policies which have substantially influenced the House ‘A Better Way’ agenda.” A Better Way is the agenda developed by House Republicans to counter the policies of President Barack Obama and the Democrats.
“I leave my chairmanship confident that, as it has been since its inception, the RSC will remain a driving force for principled policy and the conservative compass in the House,” said Flores, who joins the official party leadership as the vice-chairman of the House Republican Conference in the next Congress.