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Stutzman Pledges Support for New Whip Scalise, Hopes to See Changes in Operations

3rd District congressman says better communication needed, more advance warning when members expected to toe the line

Third District Congressman Marlin Stutzman says he's confident the new majority whip will address issues that pulled Stutzman into the whip race himself.

Stutzman acknowledges he was surprised at Louisiana Republican Steve Scalise's first-ballot victory in a three-way race -- his own dark-horse bid hinged in part on making it to a second ballot. Stutzman says his run for the job gave him a chance to meet more of his fellow congressmen, and to talk about improvements in how the whip's office operates. He says members need more notice of bills where leadership wants members to fall in line.

Stutzman says he's had "good conversations" with Scalise about those concerns since Thursday's vote. He describes Scalise as a consistently hard worker, and pledges to support him in any way he can.

Stutzman had positioned himself as the most reliable conservative choice in the whip race, but says he's satisfied the conservative wing will have a voice in leadership. He maintains the Republican caucus is united after frequent rifts the last three years.

The House GOP leadership appears set for at least the next two years, with Speaker John Boehner declaring he plans to keep the gavel. But Stutzman says he's definitely interested in another try at a leadership post.

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