Maryland Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), the counterweight from the left to House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), said he thinks House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) is delaying on fiscal cliff negotiations so as he can get re-elected as Speaker on Jan. 3.
“The biggest impediment right now is the speaker’s ability to get a decent number of Republican votes for an agreement,” Van Hollen said. “I’m getting increasingly concerned that one of the reasons the speaker is deciding to, I think, string out these discussions is that he wants to wait until Jan. 3, when the election for speaker takes place.”
Boehner’s spokesman Michael Steel told the New York Times that Van Hollen’s concern was “nutty.” Steel has not returned Breitbart News’ request for interview with either him or Speaker Boehner on the controversy over his speakership.
The Times characterized the movement against Boehner as representing just “a small portion of the House Republican Conference” but said those conservatives’ “public anger is striking.”
Without naming any specific outlets, the Times also said Boehner is facing “a storm of criticism… on conservative talk radio and Internet outlets, in part for moving toward the president on taxes, in part for embracing a purge that removed four Republicans who consistently dissented from leadership positions of committees.”