Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) says he will vote against House Speaker John Boehner’s re-election. Further, Yoho is the first GOP member of the House of Representatives to announce he is willing to stand up as an alternative candidate to Boehner if no other alternatives emerge. Yoho joins Reps. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) and Thomas Massie (R-KY) in announcing he will not be voting for Boehner on Tuesday.
“I ran for Congress in 2012 because I had had enough,” Yoho said in announcing his public opposition to Boehner. “Enough of career politicians, enough of political gamesmanship, and enough of the lack of leadership in Washington. As we enter 2015, we are faced with overwhelming challenges. However, the dawn of 2015 also promises unlimited potential and the opportunity to begin rebuilding America.”
Yoho also said in his statement that he would be willing to stand up as a potential alternative candidate to Boehner, if members feel they need to vote for someone other than Boehner even though the Congressional Research Service report detailing speakership elections says there is no need for an alternative. Technically, Republicans need just 29 GOP votes for someone other than Boehner as Speaker on the first ballot—at which point the vote would be kicked off to a second or third or fourth ballot. If Boehner is not re-elected swiftly on the first ballot, it is likely that shortly thereafter an alternative would emerge.
In a news release, Rep. Bridenstine applauded Yoho’s actions. “Congressman Ted Yoho is a courageous leader. I applaud and respect him for standing up to offer an alternative to the status quo,” the Oklahoma Republican announced. “I could certainly vote for Ted Yoho as Speaker of the House. The idea that John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi are the only two alternatives is incorrect. Now we have a real choice. Members must decide if they are for the status quo or for a change in direction.”
In order to do this, strong leadership is required. The American people have spoken loud and clear by their choice to elect conservative Representatives to serve them in Washington. It’s our turn now, as Members of the People’s House, to echo their demands by electing a new Speaker. The American people have allowed us to choose who is best suited to lead the House by electing a deep bench of diverse and qualified members. Our Republic is built on choice, and if needed, I would stand up to give our members that option.
Yoho also encouraged members considering voting against Boehner, who may like the current speaker as a person, to not look at it as a vote against Boehner’s personality, but a vote against Washington’s unpopularity with the American people.
“Our vote for a new Speaker is not a personal vote against Representative Boehner – it is a vote against the status quo,” Yoho said. “Our vote is a signal to the American people that we too, have had enough of Washington politics, and that we will stand with the American people. This is a renewed commitment of our Oath of Office, the people we represent, and the Constitution. In 2015, we will take America back, we will restore opportunity for every American, and we will rebuild America.”
Yoho, a conservative from north central Florida, who was elected for his first term last Congress after defeating longtime incumbent now former Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL), voted against Boehner last time. But his forthcoming vote, and potential candidacy for Speaker, against Boehner is significant in that—as Breitbart News detailed before—Boehner used his bill attacking Obama’s executive amnesty as a tool to eventually pass the 1,774-page $1.1 trillion so-called “CRomnibus” spending bill by allowing conservatives to vent about Obama’s action using that bill. A whopping 216 House Republicans voted for Yoho’s bill aimed at Obama’s amnesty, meaning that Yoho can get support from other Republicans party-wide for his initiatives.
Again, however, with just three members coming out publicly against Boehner’s re-election, it’s still not enough momentum to knock Boehner out. They will need at least 29, probably more, to ensure it happens—and in matters like this, the establishment in Washington usually wins, though anything is possible.