House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) today announced he has appointed Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) to join the House Republican leadership team as Chairman of the Republican Leadership, a leadership position previously held by former GOP Reps. Bob Walker (R-PA), Bill Paxon (R-NY), and Rob Portman (R-OH). Rep. Walden will immediately assume the post.
Boehner made the announcement at his weekly press briefing.
"Greg Walden is a proven leader and a champion for smaller, more accountable government. We need him at the leadership table as we enter this critical year for our country, and I deeply appreciate his willingness to serve as our leadership chairman," Boehner said.
As Republican Leadership Chairman, Walden will participate in regular GOP leadership strategy meetings and direct key projects such as the House GOP Congressional Transparency Initiative, a reform project aimed at making the House more open and accountable to the American people. Walden will also continue to serve as a deputy whip and deputy chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).
"I am humbled by Leader Boehner's trust to serve in this leadership capacity," Rep. Walden said. "Having been a small business owner through both good times and bad, I look forward to using that experience at the leadership table to help continue to push the Republican case for common sense policies that create more jobs, not bigger government and more reckless spending. The American people expect Republicans to develop sound policy alternatives, and I am eager to help contribute to the good work already being done in that area."
Rep. Walden and his wife owned and operated radio stations in the Columbia River Gorge region in Oregon for more than 21 years. Now in his sixth term in Congress, Walden will go on temporary leave from his seat on the House Energy & Commerce Committee, but will retain his full seniority on the panel.
Rep. Bob Walker (R-PA) served as Republican leadership chairman during the 104th Congress under Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA). After Rep. Walker's retirement at the end of 1996, Rep. Bill Paxon (R-NY) was tapped by Speaker Gingrich to serve in the post. In 2001, Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-GA) appointed Rep. Rob Portman (R-OH) to serve as leadership chairman. Rep. Portman served in the post until 2005, when he was appointed U.S. Trade Representative under President George W. Bush.