House Democrats have vowed to back Speaker John Boehner if tea party Republicans attempt to oust him from his leadership position.
The speaker angered right-wing Republicans this week by capitulating to Democratic demands to fund the Department of Homeland Security
without reversing President Barack Obama’s executive orders on immigration.
With Boehner voting for the measure even though two-thirds of GOP members voted against it, conservative Republicans are said to be openly considering a coup in a bid to get the gavel into the hands of one of their colleagues.
But, according to The Hill
, Democrats will block any such move.
"I'd probably vote for Boehner [because] who the hell is going to replace him? [Ted] Yoho?" said New Jersey Rep. Bill Pascrell, referring to the Florida tea party Republican who has crossed swords with Boehner on several bipartisan compromise bills.
"In terms of the institution, I would rather have John Boehner as the speaker than some of these characters who came here thinking that they're going to change the world."
Democratic Arizona Rep. Raúl Grijalva told The Hill that he believes that it would be bad news for Democrats if Boehner were replaced.
"Then we would get Scalise or somebody? Geez, come on," said Grijalva, referring to House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La. "We can be suicidal, but not stupid."
Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern said, "Personally, I don't want to waste two years. And I think that the crazy tea party-type would probably not be willing to work with us on anything.
"My hope is that what comes out of this is that Boehner realizes that there are some people in his caucus who are unreasonable, and you can never get them to say 'yes' to anything," he said. "Rather than spending so much time agonizing over how to please them, maybe he just ought to focus on how you build more bipartisan coalitions and actually get some things done."
And Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia says any attempt to replace Boehner would be quite a conundrum for his party.
"I think it would pose a real existential dilemma for us," said Connolly. "I mean, on the one hand, if you have a chance to take out a Republican speaker, why wouldn't you do that?
"On the other hand, if the obvious alternative is a tea party speaker, now you've got to worry not only about your own political situation, but frankly about the institution. I think that would give very serious pause to the Democrats."
As a sign of the growing discontent among Republicans, 167 GOP lawmakers
voted earlier this week against the "clean" bill funding Homeland Security in the short term despite Boehner calling for their support of the measure.
Arizona Republican Rep. Matt Salmon called Boehner's capitulation "a sad day for America" and added, "If we aren't going to fight now, when are we going to fight?"
But there is one person who is staying out of the GOP in-fighting — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, according to The Hill.
"I don't have any intention of getting involved in the politics of that caucus," she said.
"They have enough trouble getting along with each other. I don't think I should inject myself into that."
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