Majority Whip-elect Steve Scalise has named Patrick T. McHenry as the Republican chief deputy whip, the highest appointed position in the GOP conference.
McHenry, a 5th-term Republican from North Carolina, is an experienced member of the whip team with a reputation as one of the smartest tacticians in Congress. In naming McHenry, Scalise gains an operative intimately familiar with the whip operation.
Who Scalise would name as his chief deputy whip was the source of wide speculation in the Capitol. McHenry was on just about every congressional aide's shortlist for the position. Scalise refused to say who he would pick for the position before he was elected, with Scalise telling members he thought the position was one that should be decided on merit, not political calculation.
On Thursday, Scalise said it was "an honor" to name McHenry to the position.
“I look forward to working with him on behalf of the Republican Conference to advance the conservative values and principles that unite us and move America forward," Scalise said. "As Chairman of the House Financial Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, McHenry has helped lead the charge in holding the Administration accountable. His previous role as Deputy Republican Whip gives him the invaluable experience, insight and judgment to help me lead the Whip Team and bring the conference together to grow the vote."
During the whip race, McHenry served as a key part of Scalise's whip team, and McHenry himself told CQ Roll Call that who Scalise would pick for the chief deputy whip was where the "big parlor game" was.
When CQ Roll Call asked McHenry about his interest in the position, McHenry, perhaps coyly, said he thought there were "far better people in the conference."
When pressed McHenry to name names, he pointed to the recorder and asked, "How long do you have?"