Tags: speaker | rules | republicans | john boehner

Report: Change in Speaker Rules Could Harm GOP Dissenters

By    |   Friday, 19 September 2014 11:27 PM

House Republicans are considering a plan on selecting future speakers in an effort to avoid the embarrassing vote surrounding John Boehner's re-election last year.

"There's a real concern that there's between 30 and 40 people that would vote against the speaker on the House floor, so they're trying to change the conference rules to make sure that doesn't happen," a GOP member familiar with the proposal told The National Journal on Friday.

Under the plan, any Republican who votes on the House floor against the nominee for House speaker that is chosen by most of the GOP members during their private leadership elections would be stripped of their committee assignments for that Congress.

The floor vote for House speaker takes place in January, the National Journal reports, and the leadership elections occur in November.

At the start of the current House session in January 2013, a dozen Republicans voted against Boehner's re-election. He wasn't ousted, but it infuriated the Ohio GOPer's allies — saying that no dissention had occurred during the conference elections.

The objections also were seen as an affront to the traditional process of keeping internal disputes within the conference private, the Journal reports.

"There are members frustrated with other members about what happened last time," a senior Republican said.

The embarrassment on the House floor followed another squabble among Republicans in December 2012, when Boehner and other top leaders kicked four outspoken conservatives off key committees for failing to toe the party line.

And earlier this week, Boehner characterized the Republicans in the House as unreliable.

"On any given day, 16 of my members decide they're going to go this way, and all the sudden I have nothing," he said on Tuesday at the International Franchise Association's conference in Washington. "You might notice I have a few knuckleheads in my conference."

It is not clear whether current House leaders support the plan, however, the Journal reports. It was not authored by or circulated within Boehner's team, GOP members said.

But conservative House Republicans are discussing their own proposal — one that would push the November leadership elections back until after the "lame-duck" congressional section ends in December, the Journal reports.

One House conservative described that plan as a possible pre-emptive strike to warn leadership not to consider any critical legislation during that 15-day period between the midterm elections in November and the start of the new Congress.

Regardless of which plan moves forward, it is clear that Boehner will most likely be nominated for a second term as speaker, the Journal reports. No one is expected to compete with Boehner for the post in the next Congress, let alone defeat him.

Boehner, 64, who has been in the House since 1991, essentially solidified his position at the top with the realignment of the House leadership after Eric Cantor stepped down as majority leader in July. He lost the Virginia primary to Dave Brat in June.

Rep. Jeb Hensarling,
chairman of the Financial Services Committee, has considered challenging Boehner, but it most likely will not happen because of the shake-up.

"I don't think you'll see that kind of drama," Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, a close friend of Hensarling who was the 2012 vice presidential nominee, told the Journal. "I think Jeb would look at it if there were an open seat. But I don't think an open seat is going to occur."

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House Republicans are considering a plan on selecting future speakers in an effort to avoid the embarrassing vote surrounding John Boehner's re-election last year.
speaker, rules, republicans, john boehner
Friday, 19 September 2014 11:27 PM
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