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Capito will run for Senate GOP policy chair

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) announced Monday she will run to serve as the next chair of the Senate Republican Policy Committee (RPC), a post that will be vacated by Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), who is running to become Senate GOP conference chair.

“The Republican Policy Committee plays a critical role as the policy and legislative ideas factory for our conference. I am going to ask for the support of my colleagues to chair the RPC in the next Congress,” she announced on social media.

“It is critical that our conference advance conservative principles that Senate Republicans, hopefully in the majority, can implement next year,” she said.

Capito currently serves as vice chair of the Senate Republican Conference, and is the ranking member of the Committee on Environment and Public Works.

Her negotiations with the White House laid out much of the foundation of the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package, which Congress passed and President Biden signed into law in 2021.

Capito is a member of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell’s (Ky.) leadership team and is known as a pragmatic and politically astute policymaker.

The West Virginia lawmaker likes to inject a little humor in the weekly Senate Republican leadership press conferences and last week publicly thanked McConnell for his 17 years of service as GOP leader.

As of now, Capito is running unopposed for the policy committee, which traditionally has served as a stepping stone to the upper ranks of leadership.

Senate Republican Conference Chair John Barrasso (Wyo.), who is running to become the next whip, served as Senate Republican policy chair from 2012 to 2018.

Senate Republican Whip John Thune (S.D.), who is running against Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) to become the next Senate GOP leader, served as policy chair from 2009 to 2012.

Ernst is squaring off against Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) to become the next Senate GOP conference chair.

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