The conservative North Carolina lawmaker whose procedural move last month aimed to remove House Speaker John Boehner says he's got no regrets, may try it again – and would even consider the leadership post for himself.
"It’s very easy to say you are willing to pay any cost," Republican Rep. Mark Meadows tells the Daily Signal.
"It’s a very different thing to actually be willing to go through and lay it all on the line.
"I for one — if it’s just me and me alone — I am willing to stand up and say this is what the people back home want, this is what they’re asking for, even if it makes it difficult on me in Washington D.C."
Meadows' July 28 motion to vacate the chair was an extraordinary measure of no-confidence in the speaker of the House that hadn’t been used in a century – though it didn't actually force a vote on Boehner's removal, The Hill notes.
Offering a privileged motion would, however, force such a House vote – and Meadows tells the Daily Signal if leadership's tactics don’t change to his liking, that's exactly what he, or another supportive lawmaker, will do.
Meadows insists the Ohio lawmaker would need to depend on Democrats to keep his leadership post – and that there are "many more" than 29 Republicans who'd vote to strip the speaker of his gavel.
And if the vote is successful, Meadows admits he'd "certainly entertain" the speakership for himself, according to the Daily Signal.
The trigger for the long-shot move came in June
when Meadows was briefly removed from his chairmanship as retaliation for opposing a procedural trade vote.
An "uproar" from fellow conservatives resulted in Meadows' reinstatement
– and resentment.
"I didn’t know I had the intestinal fortitude to do it," Meadows tells the Daily Signal. "You look at the consequences and it’s not an easy thing to do, especially for a guy who likes people. I do love people, so it makes it very difficult for me to really be the guy that is potentially not liked. I like to be liked. But I have no regrets. The person who stares back at me in the mirror is the same person as four years ago."
But Meadows tells the Daily Signal his motion was a warning for the House leadership to not overlook its rank and file.
"It is a critical time for our leadership to listen to the American people," Meadows tells the Daily Signal. "There was no more important message to me than that. Really, it is not as important for me to get a new speaker, as it is to get the speaker to respond to those he is elected to serve — that is, members of Congress."
"If we have a leadership that becomes responsive, then nothing happens with the resolution. If they are not responsive, the only thing we can change at this particular point is the speaker of the House, and then that certainly is on the table."
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