House Speaker John Boehner beat back a challenge from the more conservative members of his party Tuesday to hold onto the speakership, but there will be plenty more difficult fights to come, according to The Wall Street Journal
Having won control of both the House and Senate, Republicans are much better positioned to push their agenda, but it may not be as easy as it might seem.
The tea party wing of the GOP has become increasingly unhappy with Boehner’s leadership, criticizing him and other party leaders for making deals behind closed doors and relying too much on Democrats to pass key legislation, including December’s cromnibus budget bill, Fox News reports
Twenty-four Republicans voted for someone other than Boehner and one voted “present.”
Boehner and the party leadership “has strayed from its own principles of free market, limited government, constitutional conservatism," Rep. Dave Brat of Virginia told Fox.
Brat unseated former Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the Republican primary last year.
Republicans control 246 of the 435 House seats. But according to the Journal, the more conservative faction of the party may be unwilling to make the necessary compromises to write legislation that is palatable to at least six Democrats in the Senate, where the Republican majority is six seats short of the 60 votes needed “for most bills to clear procedural hurdles.”
Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar is already talking hardball. He told the Journal that he’s worried party leadership rolls over too easily.
“You don’t throw your low ball out at the very beginning. You go with what you want,” he said.
Tuesday that the GOP leadership says they want to “bridge the ideological gap between the most conservative members of the GOP and a small group of centrist Democrats who might vote with them” by writing “compromise bills.”
Even if the House and Senate are able to agree, they then face a veto from President Barack Obama, something he has already vowed to do. On Tuesday the White House promised to veto legislation approving the Keystone XL Pipeline, the first issue taken up by the 114th Congress.
Obama has also said he would veto the GOP’s proposed change to the definition of a full-time under Obamacare. It’s currently defined as 30 hours a week and Republicans want to change it to 40 hours a week.
Boehner came out strong Tuesday following the White House’s statement that the president would veto Keystone XL Pipeline legislation.
“This is simply another sign that President Obama is hopelessly out of touch and has no plans to listen to the American people or champion their priorities,” Boehner said in a written statement.
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