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Rep. Jim Banks summer travels, fundraising, may boost his bid for House majority whip if GOP wins back chamber

FIRST ON FOX: Rep. Jim Banks raised nearly $1.5 million for House GOP incumbents and candidates running in November’s midterm elections and crisscrossed the country this summer on a major campaign swing, efforts that may help him in his push to become the number three Republican in leadership if his party win’s back the chamber’s majority.

The conservative lawmaker from Indiana raised $584,600 for House candidates and $851,000 for the National Republican Congressional Committee, according to metrics shared first with Fox News on Wednesday. Banks’ fundraising for the NRCC is triple his assessment by the House GOP re-election arm. It’s rare that members contribute triple the amount of fundraising they’re assessed by the NRCC.

The three-term lawmaker from Indiana endorsed over 20 non-incumbent candidates and spent 19 days on the road during the August congressional recess. Banks visited six states during the month — and more 13 so far this election cycle. According to his team, Banks met with dozens of candidates and served as the headliner or special guest at over 50 events, as he supported 12 candidates and 36 members during his time on the campaign trail. 

And Banks’ efforts didn’t end after August. According to aides, Banks held 25 candidate events and meetings in September.

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If Republicans in November’s elections win back the House majority they lost in the 2018 midterms, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is on track to replace Nancy Pelosi as House Speaker, and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., is all but certain to be selected majority leader.

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But Banks is one of three House Republicans vying for majority whip, which is the top floor vote counter in the conference. Also in contention are Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., who’s serving as NRCC chair for a second straight cycle, and Rep. Drew Ferguson, R-Ga., the chief deputy minority whip under Scalise.

File photo of Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., the chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

“Everywhere I went voters were fed up with the Biden presidency, nervous about making ends meet and desperate for solutions,” Banks told Fox News in a statement. “Last weekend, Leader McCarthy delivered a plan to reduce inflation, kickstart our economy, reduce crime and secure the border. I’m confident Republicans will win a governing majority next year if we keep working hard and stay focused on our winning agenda.” 

The 43-year-old Banks, a Navy reservist, is the current chair of the Republican Study Group, a longstanding caucus of conservatives that pushes House GOP leadership to the right. Among the previous Republican Study Group chairs that have risen to House GOP leadership are Scalise and former Vice President Mike Pence, who represented Indiana in the House before winning election as the state’s governor.

Rudy Yakym, the Indiana Republican who’s running for the now-vacant seat of the late Rep. Jackie Walorski, told Fox News that Banks has “been working hard to help win a historic majority and I look forward to serving with him next year in Washington to fight the Biden-Pelosi agenda and bring more Hoosier common sense to the table.”

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