Challenge to Boehner Falls Just a Few Votes Short

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

An attempt to oust current Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) from his position fell just a few votes short today, frustrating conservative activists who have lost confidence in Boehner’s ability to lead the fight against President Obama’s agenda.

The House of Representatives convened for its first legislative session of the 114th Congress, its first order of business shortly after noon  was to elect a Speaker. As expected, Boehner, former Speaker and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California), Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Florida), Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), and Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Florida) were all nominated.

In nominating Gohmert, Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Oklahoma), said, “This is not about Judge Gohmert, this is about establishing a strong check on the executive branch,” echoing Gohmert’s own comments in his interview with Breitbart Texas, that “this isn’t about a person, it’s about keeping the status quo or changing.” Bridenstine also quoted Mark Twain: “In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.”

The nomination of Webster by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) drew scattered applause. Webster’s resume includes a term as the Speaker of the Florida House.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Jim Cooper (R-Tennessee), Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-South Carolina) and former Secretary of State Colin Powell also received nominations.

The first vote tally was as follows: 216 for Boehner, 164 for Pelosi, 28 for all other candidates, and 1 vote present. The vote would have preceded to a second ballot if Boehner had failed to get a majority of the votes.

Among the Texas Congressional delegation, Gohmert voted for himself and also got a vote from Rep. Randy Weber, who had tweeted earlier Tuesday morning that he would be voting for Gohmert. Rep. John Carter was absent. Rep. Brian Babin voted present. The remaining twenty-one Representatives from Texas voted for Boehner.

Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter @rumpfshaker. Matthew Boyle contributed to this report. Follow him on Twitter at @mboyle1.


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