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Blackburn Endorses Scalise for Majority Leader

Familiar cable dereg proponent House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) could well be the next House majority leader.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who Scalise replaced as whip last spring, is the front-runner to succeed John Boehner (R-Ill.) as House Speaker, and Scalise is in line to move up. He has the support of Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), vice chair of the Energy & Commerce Committee.

“Over the last year serving as Majority Whip, Steve has made every effort to unite our conference and make certain every member’s voice is heard,” said Blackburn. “Throughout his career in Congress, he has been a champion for common sense conservative policies. Steve is exactly the kind of workhorse we need as our next Majority Leader.”

Scalise has long proposed getting rid of the must-buy tier and scrapping the retransmission consent regime, both of which cable operators would like to see gone, as well as taking a legislative chainsaw to other regs.

Scalise was elected last June to replace McCarthy, who was elected Majority Leader on the first ballot, as was Scalise, to replace Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who suffered a stunning loss in his primary--no majority leader had ever lost a primary.

Scalise's leadership post survived a scare earlier this year after it was revealed he had spoken to a white supremacist group back in 2002 when Scalise was still a state legislator. Scalise apologized (, repudiated the group, and said he did not remember speaking to them.   

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.