With the full House of Representatives set to meet at 12:30 on Monday and take up as its first order of business the election of a speaker, Rep. Walter Jones (R.-N.C.) told Newsmax that votes from his fellow Republicans to deny John Boehner a third term as speaker “are growing.”
Ten-termer Jones, who voted for former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker over Boehner for speaker in 2013, noted that fellow Republican Reps. Randy Weber (Texas) and Jeff Duncan (South Carolina) announced early Monday morning that they would vote for a candidate other than Boehner to be speaker.
Jones himself revealed to us that he will vote for fellow Republican Rep. Dan Webster (Florida) for speaker in the vote Monday afternoon.
“Dan is a man of faith, a conservative who keeps his word, and was speaker of the House in Florida,” the North Carolinian said, recalling how Webster became the Sunshine State’s first Republican House speaker since Reconstruction in 1994.
Jones has long been a critic of Boehner and organized at least two meetings among fellow GOP dissidents in the House last year.
On Sunday evening, he told us: “I was on a conference call with [fellow GOP Reps. and announced candidates] Louie Gohmert (Texas) and Ted Yoho (Florida) and David Brat (the GOP Rep-elect from Virginia who unseated former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor) in part on his promise to oppose Boehner for speaker].
“We are not yet united behind one candidate and only looking for enough votes to deny [Boehner] re-election on the first ballot. If that happens, we go into conference and a candidate — perhaps Dan Webster — may emerge to bring together those of us wanting a new speaker.”
Two years ago, 12 Republicans backed candidates other than Boehner, but he won enough votes in the full House to be re-elected speaker. This year, assuming every Democrat votes for Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California for speaker, Boehner can afford to lose up to 29 his fellow Republicans and still secure re-election on the first ballot.
One member of the House Republican leadership team who requested anonymity told Newsmax Monday night that opponents to Boehner “will get maybe 15 votes” and that the speaker’s re-election was secure.
As he has in the past, Jones understated why he is opposed to Boehner’s re-election. Recalling how at the 2010 Conservative Political Action Conference Boehner promised that every bill “will be on line 72 hours before it comes to a vote” and that he promised after his last election every member of the House “will have three days to read a bill before it comes to a vote,” the Tarheel State lawmaker pointed out that the $1.1 trillion bill to fund the government “was 1,500 pages long and was passed [last year] in 72 hours. That’s why we need new leadership.”
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