Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) issued a statement on Saturday detailing why he’s going to vote against House Speaker John Boehner’s re-election on Tuesday.
Massie, who’s entering his second term as a member from Kentucky, now becomes the second Republican House member announcing the coming rebellion against Boehner.
Massie joins Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) in the fight for fresh leadership, and in his statement he detailed how Boehner and his leadership actually have misled members of the House GOP conference.
“For years I watched Washington from afar and suspected that something was broken. Why is it that so many people approve of their congressman, yet they consistently disapprove of Congress? During my first two years as a congressman I discovered a significant source of the dysfunction,” Massie said, before detailing several bad things that he “watched the House Leadership” do.
The list Massie reported focused mostly on Boehner’s work on the so-called “CRomnibus” $1.1 trillion spending bill.
Massie said that Boehner “schedule[d] a fiscal crisis in a lame duck session on the last legislative day before Christmas to get maximum leverage over rank and file members” and then worked to “mislead members into thinking that a vote on an unpopular bill was postponed, only to then conduct a rushed voice vote on the $10 billion unfunded spending measure with fewer than a dozen members present.”
Boehner also made sure to “give members less than 72 hours to read bills over 1,000 pages long, and,” Massie said, has proven he will “remove members from committees simply because they voted for the principles upon which they campaigned.”
“With a process this broken, is it any wonder that Washington no longer works for the people?” Massie said. “My constituents expect better, and America deserves better. On January 6th, 2015, I will vote for a new Speaker who will consistently articulate a constitutional vision for America and facilitate an inclusive and orderly legislative process that allows Congress to truly reflect the will of the people.”
Polling data emerged on Friday morning showing that 60 percent of Republican voters nationwide want someone other than Boehner as Speaker, and that 64 percent of those Republican voters believe Boehner has been “ineffective” in stopping President Obama’s liberal agenda.
There definitely is a rebellion brewing against Boehner at this time, but the question is whether it will be successful. Obviously, Massie’s statement joining Bridenstine helps further their cause, and others are expected to join soon. The question is whether they get to the 29 members needed to take Boehner down on the first ballot.
Dave Weigel at Bloomberg argues that conservatives will fall about five votes short in their effort to unseat Boehner, reaching that conclusion by adding all the members who voted against Boehner last time to the incoming members of Congress who campaigned on voting against Boehner. But there’s one critical thing Weigel left out of his analysis: returning members who have since been turned off by leadership or feel increasingly frustrated by Boehner’s style.
But, again, in Washington, the establishment usually wins in matters like this. If members roll the dice, however, they may just force a change—whether it be a concession from leadership or a new Speaker.