Conservatives say Boehner's job is safe
By Russell Berman - 10/16/13 01:33 PM ET
House conservatives said Wednesday that Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is in no danger of losing his post, despite presiding over a Republican defeat in the fight over government funding and the debt ceiling.
“I don’t think Speaker Boehner has anything to worry about right now,” said Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho), a conservative who refused to vote for Boehner in January.
Speaking at an event with fellow conservatives, Labrador said he was “really proud” of Boehner’s handling of the fiscal crisis and that, over the last 2 1/2 weeks, “he has been the kind of Speaker I’ve been looking for for the last 2 1/2 years.”
Boehner acceded to conservative demands that the House Republicans press a shutdown fight over the 2010 healthcare law, but those same members repeatedly opposed his proposals to raise the debt ceiling in the last month. The battle culminated Wednesday night when the Speaker scrapped a final plan to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling because he didn’t have sufficient Republican support.
The representative leading the ObamaCare defunding fight in the House said Wednesday that nobody "questions (Boehner's) leadership."
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) told The Hill, "Conservatives feel like he's fought the good fight. ... You can quote me on that."
The House is now expected to accept a Senate agreement, but the bill could pass without the support of a majority of Republicans.
Other conservatives confirmed that they expected no attempt to oust Boehner.
“There is absolutely no talk of anything along those lines. No talk,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), a former chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee who frequently opposes leadership proposals.
Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) said Boehner had enhanced his standing in the last month and predicted that conservative clout would not diminish in the fallout from the shutdown fight.
“I have been so pleased and proud of John Boehner during the course of the last month that I have renewed confidence that conservatives will have an opportunity to influence what happens in our conference,” Lummis said.
Labrador placed the blame elsewhere in the GOP.
“I don’t think he should be ashamed of anything he has done,” he said. “I’m more upset at my Republican conference colleagues. There are Republicans here who apparently always want to fight but they always want to fight the next fight, which has given Speaker Boehner the inability to be successful in this fight. So if anybody should be kicked out, it’s all those Republicans and not Speaker Boehner.”
Boehner’s struggle to unite his conference has worried his allies in the Senate, who shook their heads at the latest defeat of a House leadership proposal.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said Wednesday he “deplores” the way Boehner has been treated by his conference.
"I just bitterly resent some of the things that have been done," Hatch said.