01/30/07 — McIntyre tapped to serve as senior whip

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McIntyre tapped to serve as senior whip

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on January 30, 2007 1:48 PM

U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-District 7, has been selected by House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-South Carolina, to serve as a senior whip for the first session of the 110th Congress.

McIntyre, who is starting his fourth year on the whip team, said he is looking forward to the opportunity to continue to serve with the House leadership.

"I am honored and excited about my role in the new majority to help bring change to Washington and advance legislation that meets the needs of working families," he said.

McIntyre explained that he was selected for the senior whip position mostly because of his experience -- two years as assistant whip and one as senior -- but also because of the close working relationship and friendship he has developed with both Clyburn and House Majority Leader and former majority whip Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, during his 10 years in Congress.

"Congressman McIntyre is an experienced member of our team and his values, knowledge and commitment to helping working families will be an asset in this Congress," Clyburn said.

McIntyre, a Lumberton native, is headed into his sixth term representing Duplin County and much of the rest of southeastern North Carolina.

"Senior whips are members who are asked to serve primarily in the role of a sounding board for upcoming legislation," McIntyre continued. "They work to advance legislation that will be positively received by the other members so it can be moved to the floor and voted on in a more expeditious fashion.

"Senior whips are looking ahead to legislation two to three weeks and two to three months out and talking about ways to move that legislation to the floor."

The positions differs from that of Wilson native, U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-District 1, who was appointed earlier this year to deputy chief whip.

Those positions, McIntyre explained, are more administrative and organizational in nature. The senior whips serve as sounding boards to help coordinate the creation of legislation that the most number of Democrats can agree on.

But, he acknowledged, having two congressmen from eastern North Carolina on the House leadership team could mean good things for the region.

"I'm very excited," McIntyre said. "We're here at the beginning of a new session and when you have the opportunity to work closely with members of the leadership you can advocate for those issues benefiting your home districts, home states and the nation as a whole.

"It's always exciting when you can begin seeing the sometimes slow wheels of government start to turn and we have an opportunity to turn them a little faster now."