by Matthew Boyle 5 Dec 2012
The president and CEO of conservative group American Majority Action (AMA) is demanding Republicans band together to fire House Speaker John Boehner. “Speaker Boehner has been an abysmal failure as speaker, and his latest purge is the nail in the coffin for conservatives,” AMA’s Ned Ryun said in a statement.
“Boehner has never won a negation battle with the White House or Senate—and he’s been nothing short of an embarrassing spokesman for the Conservative Movement. It’s time for him to go.”
Ryun pointed out, too, that if conservatives want to unseat Boehner, they’d only need 16 members to abstain from supporting him in January. That’s because Boehner needs 218 votes to become Speaker again. Seeing as there are 233 House Republicans next Congress, and assuming no Democrats would vote for Boehner as Speaker, if 16 conservative Republicans abstain from voting, Boehner wouldn’t regain the Speakership.
“The Conservative Movement doesn’t realize we only need 16 House votes to block Boehner from becoming Speaker,” Ryun said. “House rules demand nominees for speaker to receive a majority—at least 218 votes—to win election. If 16 members abstain, Boehner only has 217 votes.”
The Republican caucus already locked the votes for leadership slots up in conference shortly after the election, but it has to be made official at the beginning of the next Congress in January. That means conservatives upset with Boehner’s leadership technically could band together to ouster him.
After this week’s Boehner purge of conservatives from influential committee roles, enough Republicans might be perturbed enough to do something about it – especially with Boehner threatening retaliation against more than just the four conservatives he’s already yanked from their committee spots if anyone else doesn’t toe the leadership line.