Capitol Update: GOP Conservatives Openly Planning For Boehner To Step Down As Speaker
by Ulsterman on April 11, 2014 with 1 Comments in News
Some readers may recall how R.I. indicated last year of a developing plan within the House Republicans of pushing out John Boehner as Speaker, and possibly doing the same to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor as well. This week, further details of that plan are now circulating among other media sources, confirming what was detailed by R.I. several months ago.
House Conservatives Plot to Oust Boehner, Put Scare Into Cantor
One plan: Force the speaker to step aside before the new year.
Several dozen frustrated House conservatives are scheming to infiltrate the GOP leadership next year—possibly by forcing Speaker John Boehner to step aside immediately after November’s midterm elections.
The conservatives’ exasperation with leadership is well known. And now, in discreet dinners at the Capitol Hill Club and in winding, hypothetical-laced email chains, they’re trying to figure out what to do about it. Some say it’s enough to coalesce behind—and start whipping votes for—a single conservative leadership candidate. Others want to cut a deal with Majority Leader Eric Cantor: We’ll back you for speaker if you promise to bring aboard a conservative lieutenant.
But there’s a more audacious option on the table, according to conservatives involved in the deliberations. They say between 40 and 50 members have already committed verbally to electing a new speaker. If those numbers hold, organizers say, they could force Boehner to step aside as speaker in late November, when the incoming GOP conference meets for the first time, by showing him that he won’t have the votes to be reelected in January.
The masterminds of this mutiny are trying to stay in the shadows for as long as possible to avoid putting a target on their backs. But one Republican said the “nucleus” of the rebellion can be found inside the House Liberty Caucus, of which he and his comrades are members. This is not surprising, considering that some of the key players in that group—Justin Amash of Michigan, Raul Labrador of Idaho, and Thomas Massie of Kentucky—were among the 12 Republicans who refused to back Boehner’s reelection in January 2013.
…Boehner isn’t the only target. The conservatives find fault with the entire leadership team. Privately, they define success as vaulting one of their own into any one of the top three leadership spots. But they think they’re less likely to accomplish even that limited goal with a narrow effort focused on knocking out one person or winning a single slot. That’s why this time around, unlike the ham-fisted mutiny of 2013, rebels are broadening their offensive beyond Boehner’s gavel.
Cantor, next in line for speaker and once considered a shoo-in to succeed Boehner, has found himself in conservatives’ crosshairs in recent weeks.
With Boehner out of town in late March, Cantor was charged with pushing a “doc fix” bill across the finish line. When it became apparent the measure might not clear the House floor, Cantor authorized a voice vote, allowing the bill to pass without registered resistance. This maneuver infuriated conservatives, who felt that leadership—Cantor in particular—had cheated them. Rep. Mick Mulvaney of South Caroline yelled “Bullshit!” outside the House chamber.
Some conservatives are still seething.
“I’m getting used to being deceived by the Obama administration, but when my own leadership does it, it’s just not acceptable,” Rep. Matt Salmon of Arizona said last week, after Cantor met with a group of angry Republican Study Committee members.
This is YOUR influence within the GOP readers. I know some of you demand changes in leadership to happen more quickly, but in D.C., it rarely happens that way. What does happen, are the tens of thousands of emails and phone messages that do reach the eyes and ears of politicians in D.C. It is a process of many weeks, and even months, for that to happen, but it has, and IS, happening. Your voice is being heard. Your demands, at least by a now growing and more emboldened number within the GOP, are being pushed onto the actual agenda table.
If the 2014 election shows an indisputable shift once again toward true conservative values, your voice will command the day, and the immediate future of Congress as we cage the final two years of the Obama administration into the Lame Duck cage it so deserves. -UM