Fallout From Challenge to House Leadership

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Air Date: January 7, 2015

Host: Vic Eliason

Guest: Genevieve Wood

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Genevieve Wood is the senior contributor to the Daily Signal and the leading voice and senior contributor to The Foundry of the Heritage Foundation looking at key policy solutions for the most critical issues of America.

Yesterday, the new Congress reappointed John Boehner as the Speaker of the House. He obtained 216 votes. If you’re thinking that when you divide 435 House members by 2 you don’t get 216. That’s a good observation but as Genevieve noted, he only needed a majority of the votes that were cast. So of the 408 votes that were cast, he received 216.

Interestingly, 24 members of his own party voted for someone else and ‘present’ was voted by one other member. About 29 would have been needed to force the vote to a second ballot. Forcing a second ballot could have caused Republican leadership to say that they’d agree to the demands of some congressional conservatives in return for the necessary votes to reappoint Boehner.

This particular vote should not be overlooked because as Genevieve pointed out, Boehner had more people from his own party choosing not to vote for him than any current speaker running for reelection in over 100 years.

Could it be that conservatives in Congress know or at least sense that John Boehner (and Mitch McConnell in the Senate) aren’t ready or willing to fight hard for the issues that swept Republicans in during the last election? After all, it doesn’t appear that Republicans made the gains they did because the public wants Boehner to simply tinker with Obamacare or drag his feet on the issue of executive amnesty.

In response, Boehner is said to be retaliating against conservatives by removing some who didn’t vote for him from key committees. Vic had Genevieve comment on that issue along with getting her perspective on Representative Steve King (who said he couldn’t honor his oath to support the Constitution and vote for Mr. Boehner), the power of the House to shut down Obamacare, the initiatives she feels the House and the Senate will be taking up early in this term and more.

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