Boehner Wins Re-Election With Less Than Majority Of House

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Only 216 Republicans voted to re-elect a humbled Ohio Republican Rep. John Boehner as Speaker of the U.S. House on Tuesday, as many Republicans voted for alternative candidates in the second organized attempt to unseat Boehner in as many speakership elections.

He wins re-election as Speaker with less than a majority of the House, something that has happened only four times since 1917. A total of 25 Republicans in the chamber did not vote for Boehner, with 24 voting for alternative candidates and others who were not nominated and one voting present.

Reps. Justin Amash (R-MI), Rod Blum (R-IA), Dave Brat (R-VA), Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), Curt Clawson (R-FL), Scott DesJarlais (R-TN), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Scott Garrett (R-NJ), Chris Gibson (R-NY), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), Walter Jones (R-NC), Steve King (R-IA), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Mark Meadows (R-NC), Richard Nugent (R-FL), Gary Palmer (R-AL), Bill Posey (R-FL), Scott Rigell (R-VA), Marlin Stutzman (R-IN), Randy Weber (R-TX), Daniel Webster (R-FL) and Ted Yoho (R-FL) all voted for alternatives to Boehner.

Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX) voted present.

Rep. Webster threw himself in as a candidate to challenge Boehner at the last moment, and Gohmert and Yoho had previously announced as candidates. All three were officially nominated as candidates at the beginning of the vote, and each received votes—but others received votes as well. Those receiving votes included Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and Duncan.

Gowdy was not present as bad weather delayed his flight back to Washington, but he issued a statement beforehand saying he would vote for Boehner. Boehner also didn’t vote, so he could potentially have received a majority–218–of the House of Representatives.

The 25 member-revolt against Boehner fell short, but was more than double the 12-member revolt against Boehner at the beginning of last Congress. It was also the biggest rebellion against a sitting speaker by his own party since 1923.

“The courage shown by Jim Bridenstine, Louie Gohmert and Ted Yoho in their fight for Constitutional government is an inspiration,” Rick Manning from Americans for Limited Government told Breitbart News. “Every American should give them a big thank you. The 24 Republican votes against Speaker Boehner is the largest in-party repudiation of a sitting. Speaker since 1923, hopefully he will return to his original conservative roots.”

Conservative leader Ginni Thomas said Boehner should take the right lesson from this–and work with Republicans rather than with Democrats and President Barack Obama to get things done.

“With citizens more engaged than expected in this leadership battle, Republican leaders should now be fully awake that they have ignored the base too long at increasing peril to their power,” Thomas said in an email. “Refusing to adequately battle the transformation of this nation, as voters expected when they voted in November, has real and unexpected consequences. Republicans outside the beltway expect a more vigorous defense of first principles. Republican leaders, if smart, would now build bridges on the inside and outside of the Congress, while getting much more effective in protecting self-government.”

Jenny Beth Martin, the co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, noted that the Republicans who voted against Boehner will one day lead the Republican Party after the party sheds the control special interests have over it.

“Republicans should study the names of those who were brave enough to stand up and cast their vote today against the status quo of the Boehner establishment,” Martin said. “One day, they will lead that party, and the party and our nation will be far better for it. Tea Party Patriots everywhere salute them.”

George Rasley of Richard Viguerie’s ConservativeHQ told Breitbart News that while Boehner may have won reelection on Tuesday, his power is waning.

“The conservative base of the Republican Party spoke loudly and clearly that they wanted a change in the Party’s Capitol Hill leadership,” Rasley said. “This is merely the beginning of the next battle in the war for the soul of the Republican Party, and the first casualties in that battle will be the Freshmen who broke their promise to vote for new leadership and gave John Boehner the votes he needed to stay in power.”

FreedomWorks’ Matt Kibbe said the close vote indicates change is coming in Congress.

“We knew going into this fight that it would be a David versus Goliath effort, but each year the tally grows of fiscal conservatives in the House willing to change the status quo,” Kibbe said. “Renewing the Export-Import Bank used to be automatic, it isn’t today. Raising the debt ceiling used to be automatic, it isn’t today. Re-electing the Speaker of the House used to be automatic, it isn’t today. This is the beginning of a paradigm shift in Congress, where inside baseball is now the people’s business.”


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