FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Louis Gohmert challenges John Boehner for Speaker
Via The Hill:
Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-Texas) said Sunday that he will challenge John Boehner (R-Ohio) as Speaker in the new Congress.
“I’m putting my name out there today to be another candidate for Speaker,” Gohmert said on “Fox and Friends.”
Gohmert said that after “years of broken promises, it’s time for a change.
Good for Mr. Gohmert. I don’t know what his chances are of success but I am glad to see someone had the huevos to do something besides bitch about Speaker Boehner on deep background. It is no secret that many in the GOP caucus are tired of Boehner’s inept brand of go-along-get-along leadership. What is more significant is that this feeling runs deep in the GOP electorate.
Republican voters nationwide overwhelmingly want their House representative to elect somebody other than Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. John BoehnerHouse Republican AverageN/A (R-OH) as Speaker of the House, a new poll from Pat Caddell’s organization Caddell Associates shows.
A whopping 60 percent of voters who voted for Republicans in the last election either definitely or probably want their member of Congress to elect someone other than Boehner on Jan. 6, when Congress convenes, according to the poll. The voters were asked: “As you may know the new Congress will select its leaders in January. If it were up to you, would you elect John Boehner to continue as Speaker of the House or would you elect someone new?”
In response to that question, 34 percent of the GOP voters surveyed said they definitely want someone other than Boehner and 26 percent said they probably want someone other than Boehner. Only 11 percent said they definitely want to keep Boehner and an additional 15 percent said they probably want Boehner to stay. So the poll says some 60 percent of GOP voters want Boehner gone, while just 25 percent want him to stay. Fifteen percent in the poll either don’t know, or are undecided on Boehner’s future.
In addition to that condemnation of Boehner, 64 percent of the GOP voters surveyed either strongly or somewhat agree that Boehner, as Speaker of the House, has been “ineffective in opposing President Obama’s agenda.” Only 24 percent either somewhat or strongly disagree. Twelve percent didn’t know.
It is hard to argue with Mr. Gohmert’s bill on indictment:
Gohmert said, if elected, he would ”fight amnesty tooth and nail. We’ll use the powers of the purse. We’ll have better oversight. We’ll fight to defund ObamaCare.”
“In 2010, Boehner and other leaders said if you put us in the majority, we will have time to read the bills,” Gohmert said. “That hasn’t happened. We saw that with the cromnibus, again.”
“We’ll get back to appropriating and we will go through regular committee process, so every representative from both parties will have a chance to participate in the process and not have a dictator running things,” he added.
Under the rules of the House, the Speaker must be elected by the majority of those voting, not the candidate with the most votes. Only 30 GOP votes are needed to prevent Boehner’s re-election. The odds are that if Boehner can’t win on the first ballot he will step aside in favor of someone else. Gohmert seems to acknowledge that while he may not become speaker his opposition could lead to someone else winning the election:
“Eventually, the goal is second, third, fourth round, we have enough people that say ‘you know what, it really is time for a change,’ ” Gohmert said Sunday.
One has to be something of a pollyanna to bet against the Speaker. But this is a shot across the bow that even if he wins this leadership election he is operating from a position of extreme weakness within his own caucus. It may embolden him to actually do his job and fight the Obama administration.