RINO revolt: Boehner allies plot to block his ouster as Speaker

posted at 3:21 pm on May 29, 2014 by Allahpundit

Alternate headline: “He’s not retiring.”

Thus dies the last hope of scaring Boehner into staying away from amnesty this year.

A group of his closest allies — including fellow Ohio Republicans like Pat Tiberi — are discussing tactics such as trying to change GOP Conference rules to punish members who do not support the party’s nominee during a floor vote. A lawmaker who bucks the Republicans’ choice for speaker could lose committee assignments — or worse. Boehner’s allies have already stripped some Republicans of their committee assignments for straying too far from the team.

In a sign of force, some of Boehner’s friends are considering releasing a letter with the names of several dozen GOP lawmakers pledging to vote for no one else besides the speaker — making the election of a more conservative rival logistically impossible…

In the upper chamber, Republicans have a fighting chance to take back the majority for the first time since 2006. People close to Boehner doubt he would leave if Congress is controlled by Republicans

[Tim] Huelskamp, one of the driving forces to unseat Boehner, has already lost his seat on the Agriculture Committee. There are murmurs among Boehner’s friends about supporting a Republican against Huelskamp in 2016, though they haven’t backed an opponent for him during the current cycle.

Naturally, the pro-Boehner coalition is waiting until after the primaries are over to release their “nobody but John” cri de coeur. Everyone understand how the math works here, by the way? You need a clear majority of the House, i.e. 218 votes, to be elected Speaker at the opening session in January. If no one gets that on the first ballot, they hold a second, and then a third if necessary, and then a fourth, etc. The GOP should have somewhere in the ballpark of 240 seats, which means that a bloc of 23 Republicans — if they’re willing to stand firm and stick together — can effectively stop anyone from becoming Speaker by leaving him stuck at 217 votes. At last check, there were something like 40 or 50 tea partiers weighing whether to vote against Boehner. If they resolve to vote together on each ballot, Boehner will continue to fall short of 218 until, eventually, the House Republican majority will abandon him altogether and nominate an alternative candidate whom both the establishment and the conservatives can agree on. But that strategy cuts both ways. If tea partiers block Boehner on the first ballot, a group of 23 or more Boehner allies could band together and resolve to vote for no one except Boehner, no matter how many ballots follow. In that case, there’d be a stalemate, with neither Boehner nor his opponent able to get to 218. What happens then?

Given how embarrassing it’d be for the GOP to open the House next year with a hugely nasty floor fight, presumably either Boehner or his challenger would withdraw from consideration after two or three ballots. But there’d have to be concessions to the losing side. If, as expected, it’s Boehner’s challenger who relents, he could make a deal with the leadership to guarantee that no tea partier will lose his committee assignments as punishment for voting against Boehner. Or maybe the ask will be even higher: If House conservatives really are fed up with Cantor’s amnesty nonsense, maybe they’ll demand that he be replaced as majority leader with someone they trust more, like Jeb Hensarling or Jim Jordan. In fact, I think it’s Hensarling’s appearance at Heritage last week, in which he refused to rule out running for Speaker, that spurred this new pushback from Boehner’s allies. (This story at CNN from a few days ago about conservatives plotting to get rid of him probably lit some fires too.) But even if the prospects of a rebellion against Boehner are overblown, it’s still useful to him and the rest of the leadership to flex their muscles this way ahead of the big amnesty push this summer. The weaker Boehner seems, the more likely fencesitters are to defy him on immigration. The message of today’s leak is “I’ll still be in charge next year and I’ll remember who crossed me.” That might win him a few extra votes for DREAM or ENLIST or whatever Cantor and his pal Luis Gutierrez have cooking these days. The bit above about primarying Huelskamp in 2016 if he keeps causing trouble for the leadership is a warning shot suggesting consequences to come if/when the business lobby finally goes all-in against the tea party.

Exit question: Do the conservative Boehner-haters in the House have the numbers and the nerve to hold out and block him from the Speakership, no matter how many ballots it takes? I’m trying to decide between “no” and “not a prayer.”

Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air



Trackback URL


The RINOs better work together to find somebody as Speaker that the whole party can be happy with (and that’s NOT Boehner), or there is going to be great trouble in the GOP in the coming years.

anotherJoe on May 29, 2014 at 6:59 PM

This problem with the Rinos and boner is easily fixable with a little piano wire.

bbinfl on May 29, 2014 at 7:08 PM

Tell me again why I should vote for these guys? In what way are they not Democrats? How are Republican Democrats better than Democrat Democrats?

Dan_Yul on May 29, 2014 at 7:17 PM

APACHEWHOKNOWS on May 29, 2014 at 6:25 PM

AMEN. I agree with your optimism.

8 weight on May 29, 2014 at 7:45 PM

Before I was a commie I was a republican, then I realized the republicans are commies, they just wesr a slightly different shade of red…so why not support the real thing

redyoshii on May 29, 2014 at 7:48 PM


ultracon on May 29, 2014 at 9:23 PM

As APACHEWHOKNOWS wrote, take a look at Texas Speaker Straus. The dems in the Texas House voted with some rinos in order to get a rino speaker.
I wonder if the dems would toss Boehner a few votes to keep him speaker if it got close, even before compromises started to be made with the conservatives. He would then owe the dems favors. He’s relied on the dems several times this year, violating the Hasart Rule. Plus they get the enjoyment of “the republican party civil war” floating in the news for a month.

ritewhit on May 29, 2014 at 10:18 PM

It’s too late for Boehner. He lost the GOP over the shutdown, when he was doing back-door deals with Harry Reid and got found out. The number of Conservatives/Tea Party types who want the speaker out has already gone over 50 plus. Critical mass has been reached. Now it come down to how many new members the GOP will pick up in the House. If this is a “wave” election, then Boehner is done as speaker regardless of what he wants. The RINOs will not be in a position to support him. They will not have the numbers in the new Congress. As for the House Democrats, staffers told me that they expect the worse. A very senior staffer, on the national security side said he looking for a total blood bath of Democratic House members. In any case, take this comment with a grain of salt. Conditions can, and do change. But at this moment, things are very grim for John Boehner.

flackcatcher on May 30, 2014 at 12:48 AM

As much as I’d like to see the House (and Senate) LOSERship be back benched, it’s unlikely to happen. Unless one does something to severe the power of the Mudfarming leadership to fund their power thru backroom deals to help their crony donors out of the muck, they are going to retain control.

It might be better to focus energy upon some new caucus rules that state when the party loses it’s majority, it must elect a new leadership group — clear the top slate (ditto for the Senate). If the GOP are in the minority, and lose more seats, same thing.
The GOP need a system that promotes articulate visionaries into leadership positions. This would at least give the clowns in charge a last chance to prove they can do better, or else. If they screw it up, their time in the spot light is done. Mitch would have been retired how many years ago?

In other words, make GOP leadership an overall performance based job, not a Mudfarming Crony based job that is largely based upon how much how successfully they can wheel and deal to pull their crony donors out of the BurrOcratic muck created by the Ocrat WH and it’s liberal tainted bureaucracies. Meanwhile, the rest of us suckers can just expect to be stuck wading thru the endless muck…

None of the current GOP LOSERship have any significant credentials when it comes to being able to push a vision of what they or the GOP stand for. They can’t articulate a clear concise marketable message on anything — and they face no consequences for their inadequacy. It’s like a football team with a quarterback whose primary skill is incomplete passes under pressure, and this should be good enough for the team… But if you don’t change the rules for who leads, expect more of the status-quo.

Reality check, the reason the GOP is in control of the house is mostly about the articulate talk radio hosts and the Tea Party that generally share the same conservative, Constitutionally based vision.

drfredc on May 30, 2014 at 1:11 AM

Amnesty is Armageddon for the GOP and for the nation.If the GOP pushes it they become an irrelevant third party.And ultimately, the United States becomes a socialist third world country.

redware on May 30, 2014 at 6:07 AM

So the Son is guilty for the sins of his father and grandfather?

That’s a mass of 2 year old baloney from the back of the broken refrigerator. That is neither a Conservative nor a Libertarian principle.


herself on May 30, 2014 at 6:52 AM

Same tactics as Pelosi/Reid.

What exactly is the difference between Rs and Ds again?

Carnac on May 30, 2014 at 9:55 AM

That poltics . Nazi peolis did the same thing when she was in charge.

gwhh on May 30, 2014 at 9:59 AM

Just keep taking state offices/legislatures. You aren’t going to fix DC with most of the current national GOP folks – they think DC is still the answer. We know it isn’t, it is the problem.

If the GOP does immigration they are toast – and so will be the democrats long term. Watch what is happening in Europe. Unfettered immigration is destroying the traditional party power structure. It is on the fringes at the moment, but it is coming. Watch UKIP in the UK, if they can begin to make inroads in the national elections you will see the template for here. Blue Collar democrats have begin to realize that they have no friends in their party, and while the black population votes 90%+ for democrats what happens when they invite a bunch more hispanics in to take more jobs away from black youth. At some point they have to realize they aren’t being helped.

Zomcon JEM on May 30, 2014 at 10:15 AM