Congressman: Last Minute Drop Outs Foiled Boehner Rebellion
House Speaker John Boehner (R – OH) managed to retain his Speakership for the new 113th Congress that was sworn in on Thursday afternoon. Nine Republicans voted for somebody other than Boehner. If 8 more GOP’ers had joined them, there would have been another round of voting.
Those who voted for someone other than Speaker Boehner were: Rep Justin Amash (R-MI), Rep Walter Jones (R-NC), Rep Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), Rep Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Rep Paul Broun (R-GA), Rep Tim Huelskamp, (R-KS), Rep Thomas Massie (R-KY), Rep Steve Pearce, (R-NM), and Rep Ted Yoho (R-FL).
What happened? According to Congressman Jones:
“[Amash] and I met yesterday morning [to talk about voting against Boehner]—just us. Nothing was firm. It was just the fact we were going to try to get 20 members who were committed to vote for somebody other than John Boehner and we came to the floor and I think we had 20 and few decided they did not want to continue. And then we were 17,” he said.
“And then a couple that you heard that abstained, they did that too, and they would have been with us if they had to be with us. I think we would have been around 14 or 15,” Jones added.
Had there been a second round of voting Jones said they were waiting to see what “opportunities” would be available to them.
Jones told reporters that the Senate fiscal cliff bill that the House passed on New Years night “was the catalyst” that set off members to vote for someone other than Boehner. The North Carolina Republican says that if a secret ballot was used to elect the Speaker, “it would have definitely gone to a second round.”
Jones is a member of the GOP conference who the Republican leadership removed from the House financial services committee a few weeks ago. He does not know if his vote today will cause any retribution from leadership, but he is irritated that when Boehner took him off committee, the Speaker never told him personally.
“I was taken off of committee with three other men before this session a few weeks ago. Nobody called me. We knew nothing about it. It was simply... we read it on the internet. All four of us read it on the internet,” he said. “Is that a leader of a House that tells his team member to get off the team that doesn’t even take the time to tell the team member why you’re getting off the team?”
When asked by a reporter if Jones called Boehner to tell him he would not vote for him, Jones replied, “No. I haven’t seen Boehner except in conference. I don’t need to tell him. He needs to call and ask for my vote. He didn’t call me.”
Jones does not believe Boehner is "publicly damaged" but he does say that conservatives are upset about the Senate fiscal cliff bill the House passed and the president just signed. "[Conservatives] have just gone wild (about it). What he’s got to do, is say to those who are Republican whether they be conservative, moderate, or liberal, ‘This is a big tent. Your voice does matter.’"