The New Year has ushered in new political battles in the United States Congress and with it, renewed infighting within the House Republican Caucus. Congressman Ted Yoho (R-Florida) was the first to announce his opposition to incumbent Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and offer himself as an alternative via a facebook announcement. He was soon followed by Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) who announced his candidacy on Fox News.
Yoho and Gohmert are both active members of the Tea Party and Liberty caucuses in the U.S. House of Representatives. Congressman Yoho is no stranger to challenging prominent figures in the Republican fold. After all, it was only in 2012 that Yoho defeated a 24 year incumbent, Republican Congressman Cliff Stearns, after a hard fought primary. Congressman Gohmert on the other hand was elected in 2004. Apart from photo-bombing his colleagues, Louie Gohmert is also known in conservative circles for a recent unsuccessful bid for the chairmanship of the Republican Study Committee.
While the chances of Boehner being unseated are a long shot at best, the candidacies of Yoho and Gohmert could factor into the vote going into a second round. Boehner will need a simple majority of House votes to be successfully re-elected for a third term as Speaker. In numeric terms, with every Democrat being expected to vote for Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Boehner will need to secure 218 votes from his 246 Republican caucus members. Hence, Boehner can afford to lose no more than 29 of these 246 Republican votes when the 114th Congress votes for it’s new House Speaker on Tuesday. In case Boehner is not able to secure these 218 votes, the ballot goes into a subsequent round until a clear victor emerges.
As far as the Georgia delegation is concerned, one can only speculate about how each member would vote. Republican Congressmen Jody Hice (GA-10) and Barry Loudermilk (GA-11) could find themselves inclined to vote against Boehner after voting against the Speaker in a party leadership voice vote in November. Peach Pundit commenter, BuddyFreeze asserts that Congressman Rick Allen (GA-12) could be expected to vote for Speaker Boehner. One could almost certainly expect the entire Georgia Democratic delegation to vote for Nancy Pelosi.
The jury could still be out on the rest of the Georgia delegation. Does anyone want to hedge their bets on how their Congressman votes on this?