Re-elect Boehner For Speaker?

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?

23 comments

  1. Jon Richards says:

    I’m going to play contrarian here, and argue the Speaker Boehner (and presumably Leader McConnell) are doing the right thing in the way they are running their respective chambers.

    While Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid were in control of their respective chambers, legislation was passed using a top-down approach. In the House, committee chairs wrote bills, and rank and file representatives had no ability to make amendments. In the Senate, Reid “filled the tree,” making it impossible for Senators to influence the direction of the laws they were being asked to consider.

    Republicans rightly called foul at this, noting, for example, that GOP input was not considered during the formulation of the Affordable Care Act. Bills important to Republicans never got a hearing, much less a vote, in the tightly controlled Senate.

    The situation got this way because the two bodies stopped using what is called “regular order,” in which bills are brought up, considered, and debated by both sides. Republicans applauded loudly during campaign season when GOP representatives noted Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee had more votes in the House on her proposed amendments than the entire Republican conference in the Senate had.

    Now that the GOP is set to take control of both the House and Senate, some are proposing that Speaker Boehner should be replaced because he allows the house to be run under regular order, as opposed to top-down control of the legislative process.

    “But,” they argue, “that’s what the Democrats did to us when they ran the legislature.” Well, true, but that doesn’t make it right. It was open debate between the two parties that brought us the Reagan tax cuts when Democrat Tip O’Neill was speaker.

    There’s a strong populist streak in our politics today. But populism isn’t the same thing as being conservative, and in the long run I would argue that it highly damages the political climate.

  2. John Konop says:

    In reality the president has veto power….because of that without a super majority nothing will get done with the my way or highway mentality….if you think your job is to try to fix things vote for Boehner, or if you want to play the read meat game in your safe district while not ever accomplishing anything get rid of him.

  3. Kent Kingsley says:

    I will disagree with both of you. I haven’t heard, read or in any other forum where conservatives are opposing Boehner because he wants to institute regular order. We who oppose Boehner do so because he a big government republican that continues to allow huge deficits, which increases our national debt. In addition anyone please tell me Boehner’s plan to reduce the size and scope of the federal government. To me the major difference between Boehner and his ilk are different priorities from democrats, not different levels of spending or reduction in the power of Washington.

    I think this is a crystal clear moment for our republican representatives. Do you stand with big government and Boehner or do you stand with smaller government, less power in Washington and Rep. Gohmert (my personal choice) or Rep. Yoho.

    • John Konop says:

      I will follow your logic……You win and the below happens….

      a) government shout down

      b) veto from president

      c) nothing gets done

      d) all of the above

      How does this help Americans and or the GOP?

      • Kent Kingsley says:

        a) I believe you mean shut down. That is speculation on your part. My point is funding government less and reducing/eliminating un-necessary parts of government. The purpose of which is to reduce the deficit to zero over a few years and at some point begin reducing our national debt.
        b) So we continue to bankrupt America because of the threat of a veto?
        c) Is Obamacare better than “nothing” Are radical EPA directives better than “nothing”. Some times nothing is excellent.
        d) How has the present system been working? 18 trillion in debt, millions have left the job market, flat wages, and embarrassment in our foreign policy. I would say change is over due.

        • John Konop says:

          ………. reduce the deficit to zero over a few years and at some point begin reducing our national debt…….

          1) With gas prices dropping you will see it improve relative to GDP

          2) No real long term fix unless we deal with entitlements and military spending….everything else is just show talk….

          ….So we continue to bankrupt America because of the threat of a veto?…..

          1) see above

          2) issues beyond the budget….

          …..Is Obamacare better than “nothing” Are radical EPA directives better than “nothing”. Some times nothing is excellent….

          1) If you have a preexisting condition you would say Obamacare is better than “nothing”. Also at least some people are paying something over using their neighbors as emergency healthcare insurance and it has decreased the increase of healthcare cost. Obviously not enough….But with real plan we could reduce healthcare cost to a point it would not BK the country….cannot do it right if politicians promise everything to everyone….

          ……How has the present system been working? 18 trillion in debt, millions have left the job market, flat wages, and embarrassment in our foreign policy…….

          1) Job market participation is down via baby boomers retiring, flat real wages have been going since 70’s when we negotiated bad trade deals and I would hope your not arguing for more of Bush 2 foreign policy? His dad was excellent at foreign policy, the son got us into this quagmire…

          • Kent Kingsley says:

            1. Improvement in the GNP, great, but that doesn’t pay the government bills. You are thinking better GNP equals increased revenue to the government, I agree. But when was the last time increase in revenue was put towards deficit and debt reduction? Absolutely we need entitlement reform. Boehner has been Speaker for four years and in Congress over 20 years, what is his plan? Military spending, absolutely there is waste fraud and abuse in military spending, same question, what has Boehner done or proposed to do about it?

            2. Obamacare is going to be a major contributor to the bankruptcy of our country. I agree about pre-existing conditions but other than that I see a massive federal program that was sold on lies and deceptions.

            3. If you think the only reason job participation is down is because of baby boomers retiring then we have little to debate. The facts just don’t support that position (don’t forget all the part timers due in large part to Obamacare). Flat wages are only because of trade deals? Not hardly. Least we forget minor things like tax laws, federal regulation strangulation, Obamacare (again) to name several other contributors.

            3.5 Not a fan of the Bush nation building policy. I’m a retired career soldier and nation building is not a military task, nor could we financially afford such nonsense. No I have no interest in going back to Bush II policy. The only policy I have seen that is worse is the Obama policy.

            • John Konop says:

              On a macro we agree on a lot….

              Few minor points….

              ……….I see a massive federal program that was sold on lies and deceptions…..

              1) blame the people and politicians…nobody wants to hear the truth….the moment you start talking about what we can afford….both sides scream about killing grandma, death panels….blah, blah…..

              ….Flat wages are only because of trade deals? Not hardly. Least we forget minor things like tax laws, federal regulation strangulation, …..

              1) I agree other factors at work, but pitting US workers against lees than 2 dollar day slave like labor conditions has been major driver of wage drop in working class jobs.

              ….. No I have no interest in going back to Bush II policy. ….

              1) I lean toward not getting involved as a last option, and if we do get the hell out ASAP…..As a military person you know you never win an occupation. I give Bush 1 credit he read and understood the Art of War….while I do not agree with much of the Obama strategy, Bush 2 was the worse foreign policy president in my lifetime.

              • Kent Kingsley says:

                The people fought like heck to stop Obamacare, they did their part, the politicians you refer to are only democrats because not a single republican voted for this bill. To my knowledge never has such a fundamental change like Obamacare been enacted on such a party line vote.

                “getting involved” is a matter of national interests. I believe military should be involved only if it is in the vital national interest of this country. Then when the military is committed it is with overwhelming strength and remains for a relatively short period of time. No nation building. I don’t foresee circumstances like WWII, but we did win the occupation of Japan and Germany.

                We must be very aware and very cautious about China. They are rapidly developing the last component of “super power status” with the development of military force projection capability. They are our greatest threat in the 21st century.

                • John Konop says:

                  …… not a single republican voted for this bill…….

                  1) You cannot debate it did bend the cost curve and gave people preexisting condition coverage .

                  2) Obama care or not the real cuts needed were avoided on both sides. Once we talk any real reforms both sides start throwing out red meat…..

                  ……..We must be very aware and very cautious about China. ……

                  1) I agree, but they are very intertwined into our economy making radical moves tough for them. Also they have a real-estate banking crisis….hard to sell 200k condos to 2 dollar a day workers. They have cities built entirely empty held on the books of their banks….real toxic….

                  • Kent Kingsley says:

                    1) preexisting, yes. Bent the medical cost curve, the jury is still out. It is not out on the higher cost of health insurance though.
                    2) What do countries do when internal problems become sever? Many turn the question outward and blame “foreign forces” for their domestic ills. It is concerning.
                    3) Time to feed cows. It has been an interesting give and take. Have a great rest of the day John.

  4. FranInAtlanta says:

    My Congressman is Price. Prediction – he starts with Boehner and switches if it becomes obvious (and I hope it doesn’t) that Boehner won’t make it, but he won’t switch to either of the challengers. Personally, if it becomes obvious that Boehner won’t make it, I see him as a possibility of the one who does.

  5. cody0919 says:

    I’m registered in Athens so I think Congressman-elect Hice will vote no on Speaker Boehner’s reelection. However, he has not announced anything official and Jamie Dupree reported earlier today on Twitter that when asked, Dr. Hice responded, “Now that’s an interesting question, isn’t it?”

    Now, as to whether Boehner should be fired, I disagree with many people – including my Congressman who I worked for since January of 2014 to get elected.

    1. I’m not sure that anyone that would receive 218 votes would be as conservative as many people want
    2. Boehner would not run again if he didn’t already know he would have the necessary votes to get to 218
    3. I think the large majority of the initiatives Boehner has championed have been conservative. He has not brought up the immigration reform package for a vote, the House has voted so many times to defund Obamacare that I’ve lost count, they’ve voted yes on Keystone, they’ve put forward multiple budgets, they’ve opened hearings on Benghazi and the IRS, they’ve held up Harry Reid/Nancy Pelosi’s agenda in the House. If you’re THAT upset over the CRomnibus vote then honestly consider abandoning politics altogether because you will never like anything, and I mean ANYTHING, that comes out of Congress. It cuts funding for the IRS, EPA, increases defense spending…I mean come on people.
    4. I don’t know what everyone wants from the man. I mean, really. He’s trying to make 246 Republicans happy. Hell, I couldn’t get 10 Republicans to agree on anything – much less 218.

    I would also like to say that I respect Congressmen who feel like they have to vote no. Unlike last time around, there are actually people formally running against Boehner so there is an actual race – however long-shot it may be.

    Congressman Hice promised multiple times during his campaign that he would vote against Boehner, and already has in conference late last year. He’s representing his constituents – it’s just something I disagree with him on.

  6. cody0919 says:

    Sorry, in his quote to Jamie Dupree, Congressman-elect Hice stated, “That’s an interesting question.”

  7. Bobloblaw says:

    How can I contact Loudermilk and tell him to vote NO on Boehner? Loudermilk doesnt have a congressional website up yet.

  8. Three Jack says:

    Another misguided Tea Party initiative with little to no chance of succeeding (but they will raise some serious cash). And when it fails, they will have pissed off leadership yet again kind of like a persistent house fly; annoying as hell but not really all that serious.

    Tomorrow Boehner will be re-elected speaker. Fiscal conservatives will stand in the back looking through the egg on their faces as they sink further into irrelevancy. And the Tea Party types will count their winnings then move onto the next red herring to keep the funds flowing.

    Ain’t you glad you elected Republicans?

      • Three Jack says:

        Price, Westmoreland and Woodall too. Boehner takes a majority. The opposition did manage to get around 28 votes, probably a bit higher than most would have guessed.

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