Some disaffected conservative House Republicans are planning to rebel and vote against John Boehner for speaker of the House when the new Congress convenes next week.
The official speaker’s election is set for Jan. 6., when the House will convene for a public floor vote to open the new Congress.
While the vote is usually just a formality, these conservative lawmakers are planning to vote for someone other than the Ohio Republican who has been speaker since 2011.
“Right now, I’ve been meeting with a small group, and we — about 16, 18 — and we’re hoping to have a name of a sitting member of Congress that we can call out their name,” North Carolina Rep. Walter Jones said in a local radio interview before Christmas, which was first reported by BuzzFeed.
Though ousting Boehner is seen as a long shot endeavor, the hope of the anti-Boehner bloc is for enough Republicans to deny Boehner a majority of the vote, which would cause him to drop out of the race.
These potential defectors are mostly keeping quiet about it in public, but in a posting on Twitter over the weekend, Kentucky Rep. Tom Massie of Kentucky hinted he would oppose Boehner. He posted a photo of a sign that reads: “Next Speaker Please.”
A conservative House aide described the current thinking among those voting against Boehner, similar to the one employed two years ago: To win the speaker’s race, Boehner needs the support of a majority of people present. If everyone in the House votes, that would be 218. The new Republican majority in the House will be 247.
If 30 Republicans vote for someone other than Boehner, under that scenario, the Ohio Republican will not have a majority and the body will have to vote again until someone reaches that threshold.
If this would happen, these conservatives hope Boehner would drop out of the speaker’s race and another Republican candidate would run for speaker.
This is a meager effort at best but I wish them every success, otherwise the status quo remains the same and we just wasted an election. Can they muster 30 votes?