The anger at Republican leadership in Congress is starting to boil over. North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows is trying to get House Speaker John Boehner out for a variety of issues. POLITICO has a portion of Meadows’ motion.
Speaker has, through inaction, caused the power of Congress to atrophy, thereby making Congress subservient to the Executive and Judicial branches, diminishing the voice of the American People. Whereas the Speaker uses the power of the office to punish Members who vote according to their conscience instead of the will of the Speaker.
It’s pretty personal for Meadows because he was temporarily kicked off chairing a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee. It also shows Boehner’s tendency to dole out punishments to people who don’t fall in line could be starting to backfire. Remember, Boehner had four Republicans kicked off committees in 2012 because of “rebellion.” One aide told NBC News Congressmen Justin Amash, Tim Huelskamp, David Schweikert, and Walter Jones weren’t interested in falling in line.
These guys are clearly not team players. This isn’t about ideology; this is about how you treat the people on your team. Paul Ryan is one of the most conservative-principled members of our conference, and he kept his committee assignment.
Boehner still has his allies who think like he does. Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson told Washington Examiner last month, Boehner did the right thing by bringing down the hammer.
I think it just got to the point where an awful lot of people were saying, geez, they go out and they openly vote against the leadership and the rest of the Republicans, and nothing ever happens to them. I think it was a lot of us pounding on leadership, saying you have to put some discipline back in our conference.
This really shows the disconnect between the establishment GOP and the more conservative and libertarian members of Congress. It’s one of the greatest (and sometimes frustrating) things about the right, in that they’re willing to fight over issues. It’s obvious there are plenty of GOP congressmen who want to see the federal government reigned in. It’s also obvious there are plenty of GOP congressmen who don’t and aren’t fans of the insurgency. This revolt isn’t necessarily the same as the 1997 revolt against Newt Gingrich. That coup attempt was orchestrated by several House leaders, along with 20 other Republicans. Among those leaders was John Boehner. From Time’s write-up of what happened.
On July 9 Armey, DeLay, Boehner and Paxon gathered for the first of several secret meetings to discuss the brewing rebellion. The next night, DeLay met with 20 rebels in the offices of Oklahoma’s Steve Largent. At first, DeLay was coy. Then he warned that if the rebels were going to act, they had better do so quickly, because their plot was about to leak. “Is everybody prepared to go ahead with this?” he asked. At that point, Indiana’s Mark Souder turned the question around. “Are you with us?” According to several participants, DeLay was clearly speaking for the others when he answered yes. The leaders seemed on board.
The question is what happens next? Congress is going into its summer recess, although Meadows’ motion has to be considered. It may have been smarter for him to wait until the recess is over so he could spend more time gathering support. The GOP rank-and-file has to get at least one or two leaders to go with them on the move to kick Boehner out. If that doesn’t happen, then Meadows’ resolution isn’t going to get anywhere. The rank-and-file also need to coalesce around an actual candidate to replace Boehner. If they remain split, like they were in January, then Boehner will survive this challenge with possibly a bit of heartburn. Indiana Congressman Luke Messer certainly appears to be a great “freedom and liberty” advocate, but he may not want the position. There’s always South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy, but he may prefer running the Benghazi investigation. Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz isn’t a bad idea either, even if he was the one who kicked Meadows off the subcommittee. Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador could also challenge, but he already lost to Kevin McCarthy for the Majority Leader role. McCarthy is also a option, but is he actually better than Boehner?
The move against Boehner is great, but this rebellion may not be the one which actually kicks him out. It’s still political popcorn and pretty entertaining. It just depends on where it goes from here.
Update (Ed): As a couple of commenters have already noted, it’s Mike Simpson, not Mark Simpson. I’ve corrected it above.
Update (Taylor): Boehner has already said he won’t even hear the resolution.
Frankly, it isn’t even deserving of a vote..Look this is one member.I’ve got broad support among my colleagues.
It’s not surprising to see Boehner do this because there really didn’t appear to be a concerted effort to pull him out. This is why Meadows probably should have waited until after the summer recess to get more support before filing the resolution. Or perhaps after the 2016 election, depending on how it goes for the GOP. Boehner needs to be replaced as Speaker, but that isn’t going to happen as long as leadership is happy with him and the rebels aren’t organized.