Reps. Randy Weber (R-TX) and Justin Amash (R-MI) say they’ll vote for a Republican alternative to Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) for Speaker of the House later on Tuesday.
“Let’s all get behind Judge Louie Gohmert for Speaker! He has my vote! He’s not afraid to take the fight to the president & his veto pen!” Weber said via Twitter, urging his colleagues to vote for the Texas Republican. Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) is also running for Speaker.
Amash announced his plans in a lengthy Facebook post on Tuesday morning:
Republicans have a historic opportunity in this Congress. We can pass significant legislation and push President Obama to the bargaining table for the first time in his presidency. We can uphold the Constitution and the Rule of Law. We can expand liberty and economic freedom for all Americans. Our success is not assured. To accomplish our goals, we need sound strategy, crisp messaging, and a commitment to running the House as a deliberative body in which all its diverse voices are heard. Committees must be given enough time to do their work. Rank-and-file members must have sufficient time to read and debate legislation that can profoundly affect the lives of our constituents.
Amash pointed out that, under Boehner’s leadership, regular order and normal process has been violated many times, a point several of the other detractors made:
We have been told much over the last few years about opening up the House’s legislative process and returning to regular order. Yet time and again, it seems that Congress governs by crisis and raw partisanship. Our party and our country are different than they were a generation ago. Americans at home have learned from the policy mistakes our Congress has made over the last few decades. It’s not clear that the men and women in congressional leadership have done the same. To appeal to more Americans and better reflect today’s Republicans, we need modern leaders who respect the diversity of ideas within the House of Representatives.
Amash writes that Boehner has been leader of the House GOP for eight years, longer than members are allowed to chair committees. So he argues it’s time for fresh Republican leadership.
“The speaker of the House has one of the most challenging jobs in government. Speaker Boehner has given his best to our conference, and I thank him for his service. But it’s time for Republicans to change our leadership. This afternoon, I will vote for a new speaker,” he concludes.
Under House rules, the speaker must receive an absolute majority of votes cast for a person. Conservatives are aiming to pick up 30 or so votes and force the election to a second ballot, when more opposition to Boehner might emerge.
It’s not clear exactly how many members will be on hand on Tuesday; many Democratic representatives may be in New York for the funeral of former Gov. Mario Cuomo. That could reduce the number of votes Boehner needs to retain his job.