Tags: | John Boehner | House Speaker | re-election

Rules Change Could Force Boehner Dissenters Off Committees

Image: Rules Change Could Force Boehner Dissenters Off Committees
(Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 02 Oct 2014 11:36 AM

Capitol Hill sources say a proposed rule could cause conservatives who oppose House Speaker John Boehner's re-election could lose their committee assignments if they refuse to support him, but the Ohio Republican denies that will happen.

After the Nov. 4 midterm elections, the Republican conference will hold a vote for majority leader, whip, and conference chair, reports The Daily Signal, positions now held by Reps. Kevin McCarthy of California; Steve Scalise of Louisiana; and Cathy McMorris, of Washington. In addition, they will choose a nominee for House speaker, and after Congress convenes in January, all 435 House members will vote.

Meanwhile, House Republicans are discussing a rules change that could alter how future House speakers are chosen, reports The National Journal, in hopes of avoiding a repeat of Boehner's 2013 re-election vote, when a dozen Republicans voted against him. He kept his seat, but his allies complained no dissention had occurred during the conference elections.

With the proposed plan, any Republican who votes against a House speaker nominee who is chosen by most GOP members during the closed-door elections in November would be stripped of their committee assignments for that session of Congress.

A former House aide told The Daily Signal that the threat could keep conservatives from mounting a campaign against Boehner when the House speaker vote is held, and will also reduce the influence of Republicans who do not side with the party leader.

But Boehner this week denied to USA Today that Republicans who vote against him in January will face repercussions.

"I just don't think it's necessary," Boehner said of the rules change, as he does not believe many Republicans will vote against him in January.

However, such retributions may have already happened in the past, reports The Daily Signal. After a wave of Tea Party Republicans took office in 2010, conservatives such as Reps. Justin Amash, Michigan, and Tim Huelskamp of Kansas maintained strict voting records and opposed Boehner.

And in late 2012, the two lawmakers and Rep. David Schweikert of Arizona were removed from key committees, in a move critics said came because of their votes.

There are some GOP hopefuls who have refused to endorse Boehner during their campaigns, including Tea Party favorite David Brat, who defeated former Majority Leader Eric Cantor for the state's Republican nomination.

Others, though, don't see much of a fight this time around for the speaker's seat.

“I don’t see much of a challenge mounting, and I suspect that there won’t be a challenge,” Rep. Raúl Labrador of Idaho said in September. “However, if we don’t take the Senate, I think there might be rumblings as to maybe we need a new direction as a Republican Party.”

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Capitol Hill sources say a proposed rule could cause conservatives who oppose House Speaker John Boehner's re-election could lose their committee assignments if they refuse to support him, but the Ohio Republican denies that will happen.
John Boehner, House Speaker, re-election
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2014-36-02
Thursday, 02 Oct 2014 11:36 AM
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