Boehner Support Remains Weak Heading into Speaker Vote

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

When the House of Representatives votes to select new leadership on Tuesday, Speaker John Boehner is expected to retain his post. But his support seems weak.

A key Boehner ally, Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, tells Roll Call the Speaker can count on the vote of “higher than 130” Republican House members. There will be 246 Republicans in Congress, meaning Boehner can count on solid support from only about half of his members.

Insurrection is brewing on the right, with challenges from conservative members Ted Yoho of Florida and Louie Gohmert of Texas. Both have put themselves forward as alternatives to Boehner as Speaker of the House.

Rep. Cole is trying to tamp down dissent, telling the The Washington Post, “If you go against your own colleagues by opposing the Speaker on the floor, you will embarrass House Republicans and disrupt our team. It’d be unforgivable political behavior.”

Representative Justin Amash of Michigan says he will vote against Boehner on Tuesday because he’s been in charge too long. Amash adds that most House leadership positions are limited to six-year terms, and Boehner has been the Republican leader for eight.

Under House rules, a speaker must receive an absolute majority of votes cast for a person. Conservatives are aiming to pick up approximately 30 votes and force the election to a second ballot, when more opposition to Boehner might emerge.

It is not clear exactly how many members will be on hand on Tuesday; many Democratic representatives may be in New York for former Gov. Mario Cuomo’s funeral. That could reduce the number of votes Boehner requires to remain House Speaker.


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