Newly re-elected House Speaker John Boehner is taking off the gloves. Some of the 25 Republican insurgents who opposed his re-election on the grounds that he is insufficiently conservative will find themselves locked out of desirable committee appointments or face other retribution, Politico
Now that he is back for a third terms in the speaker's chair, Boehner and his team say they can count on a 220-member majority out of the 435-member House to follow the leadership's cue.
The reckoning came straight away for Florida Reps. Daniel Webster, who ran against Boehner, and Rich Nugent, who backed him. Both lost their slots on the powerful Rules Committee.
Webster was upbeat about the slap. "It's not like it's punishment being taken off the Rules Committee," Roll Call
quoted him as saying. "A lot of people would say it's actually a relief."
There are now seven Republicans and four Democrats on the committee, which is commonly known as the Speaker's committee because it sets the rules under which bills sent to the floor are debated.
Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kansas, and Rep. Steve King of Iowa, both steadfastly anti-Boehner, told Politico that those who tried to oust the speaker simply voted their conscience.
Ted Yoho, R-Florida, an outspoken Boehner critic, said the retaliation was the kind of thing "Vladimir Putin would do," adding, "Hey, welcome to the new USSR," Roll Call reported.
The Boehner camp took the view that "these fringe guys" are no longer key to a Republican majority. A GOP source told Politico, "We can let them walk on certain bills, and it just won't matter. That gives us breathing room."
Boehner is expected to take a comparatively harder line against Republican rebels than he did in the 113th Congress. That could spell trouble for, among others, Marlin Stutzman of Indiana, Virginia's Scott Rigell, and Mark Meadows of North Carolina. Payback against these and other lawmakers who tried to topple Boehner could yet come down the line, according to Politico.
Boehner supporters were taken aback by the number of votes against him, because they had initially expected only eight or nine no-votes, not 25. Opponents had sought to cobble together 28 votes for anybody-but-Boehner — a number they surmised would embarrass him into pulling out of the race.
The speaker lobbied hard to turn the tide, persuading some opponents like Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador to support him.
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