While on the campaign trail in the 10th District, Jody Hice maintained he would not vote for Speaker Boehner when the 114th Congress convened. In a July debate in Watkinsville between Hice and runoff opponent Mike Collins Hice opposed Boehner, according to the Athens Banner Herald::
Collins said he would rather wait and see who would oppose House Speaker John Boehner, who plans to run for reelection in January, before deciding whether to support him.
Hice said he would support “new leadership, and new leadership with a backbone,” over Boehner.
Of course, Hice ended up joining the rest of the Georgia GOP delegation in voting for another term for the Speaker.
Hice issued this statement explaining his vote:
“I am an unabashed and unapologetic conservative who believes that our Leadership in the House of Representatives should be principled and conservative. And during my campaign, I emphasized the need for strong conservative leadership in the House of Representatives.
That is precisely why when the Republican Conference met in November to elect our Leadership for the 114th Congress, I voted against nominating John Boehner to be the Republican nominee for Speaker. I was one of three out of 247 members of the Republican Conference to do so. I felt extremely disappointed that many of my conservative colleagues did not join with me in what was our only opportunity to nominate a conservative to represent us on the Floor in January — who could then marshal 218 votes against Nancy Pelosi.
Instead, a challenge did not occur until 2 days before the election of the next Speaker of the House when gaining 218 votes was not possible. I truly regret that a proper campaign was not waged, with the issues fully debated, that would have allowed a conservative to prevail in November, yet I huddled with fellow conservatives up until 10 minutes before the House was called to order.
Without a pathway to victory, I used what leverage I had to convey my principles directly to the Speaker while receiving his assurance that he would use the strength of our Majority to advance conservative solutions. I also received assurances from other conservative Members I was engaging with that if the Speaker does not fight with us, that they would join me in replacing him this Congress.
Indeed, today is not the final verdict on the Speaker’s leadership or even a vote of confidence. If he does not deliver on his pledge to lead as a conservative, we will displace him.
Now, I look forward to introducing legislation to address our illegal immigration problem, protect our 2nd amendment rights, and eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse in federal agencies. I also look forward later this week to voting to put our nation’s veterans back to work, taking real steps toward real American energy independence, and striking a blow to the heart of Obamacare.”