Portman and Cruz to serve as NRSC vice chairs

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Sen.-elect Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) will serve as vice chairmen of the National Republican Senatorial Committee for the 2014 cycle, GOP aides confirmed to The Fix.

The news was first reported by Roll Call's Shira Toeplitz.

On Tuesday night, aides said Portman would not go after the committee's chairmanship, which is set to go to Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.).

Instead, Portman will take on a lesser role that allows him to devote more time to legislating, but he will also use his high profile to raise money for the committee. Congress is headed for some contentious budget and debt debates, and those are Portman's areas of expertise.

Cruz, meanwhile, gives the committee a well-regarded Hispanic and tea party-friendly vice chairman who could help it deal with contentious primaries during the 2014 cycle. The party has nominated several weaker conservative candidates in recent years who went on to defeat.

In 2010, the party fomented the opposition by taking sides on behalf of more establishment-friendly candidates. In 2012, it took a more hands-off approach. Neither seemed to work.

Last cycle, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and 2010 California Senate candidate Carly Fiorina served as vice chairs.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.



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