Some new members of the House of Representatives have pledged not to vote for [mc_name name=’Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’B000589′ ]. Instead of casting their vote for someone, they claim they will vote “present.” They need to understand that doing so is a vote for [mc_name name=’Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’P000197′ ].
Under House rules, a Speaker is elected based on an absolute majority of votes cast for a person. There can be no plurality. The person elected Speaker must be elected based on an absolute majority of the votes cast.
But here is the catch.
If a member of the House of Representatives votes present, their vote is not considered. Consequently, each vote of present narrows the majority of Republicans and brings [mc_name name=’Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’P000197′ ] that much closer to being elected Speaker.
If thirty Republicans were to vote present, their votes would be negated and, as the GOP majority is 29, that would put the Democrats (assuming they all vote for Pelosi) in the majority.
I believe Republicans should vote against [mc_name name=’Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’B000589′ ]. Under the House rules, to do so requires that they vote for someone else. Again, of the votes cast, there must be an absolute majority, not a plurality.
Consequently, a vote for anyone other than Boehner prevents Pelosi from being Speaker and blocks Boehner.
Voting present brings us one step closer to Pelosi.