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House Republicans To Vote On Cantor's Replacement Today

Republicans will vote by secret ballot today in the House of Representatives, as they choose a new majority leader and majority whip to lead them. Rep. Eric Cantor is stepping down from his No. 2 spot, after losing a primary contest earlier this month.

Today's vote, which begins at 2 p.m. ET, will decide who'll join House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, in a top leadership role. And while one of the slots seems decided, the other is up for grabs. We'll be following the vote on the Two-Way.

From Capitol Hill, NPR's Ailsa Chang filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"Kevin McCarthy — the current majority whip — is expected to easily sweep the majority leader election. The battle to replace McCarthy as the third-ranked Republican is now a three-way contest between Steve Scalise of Louisiana, Peter Roskam of Illinois and Marlin Stutzman of Indiana.

"They've been feverishly lobbying their colleagues this week. Southern Republicans — like Bill Cassidy from Louisiana — say the candidates have been courting their votes by promising to help get them more committee chairmanships."

"If you look at committee chairmanships, obviously those from the South are not as well-represented as those from elsewhere," Cassidy tells Chang. "As you might guess, that's a concern."

The race for majority whip "seems increasingly likely to require multiple votes," The Washington Post says — "a possibility that adds an element of unpredictability to a contest in which Scalise seems to have built a sizable advantage in recent days.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.
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