Boehner re-elected as Speaker; Nine Republicans defect in vote
Boehner re-elected as Speaker; Nine Republicans defect in vote01/03/13 01:27 PM ET-Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) was re-elected Speaker of the House on Thursday after a week of rumors of a possible GOP revolt.Boehner won a bare majority in a vote that saw nine Republicans vote for other GOP members, and several others who abstained from voting or voted "present." Two years ago, Boehner won all available 241 GOP votes.
In a vote that opened the 113th Congress, Boehner received 220 votes compared to 192 for Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), the minority leader. Fourteen members voted for other candidates or present.Defectors from Boehner included Justin Amash (R-Mich.), who voted for Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho). Freshman Reps. Jim Bridenstein (R-Okla.) and Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) and Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) all voted for Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), but Cantor himself voted for Boehner.Reps. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) voted for outgoing member Allen West (R-Fla.). Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) voted for former Comptroller General David Walker. Speakers of the House do not have to be members of the House, although they all have been.Rep. Tom Massie (R-Ky.) voted for Amash, and Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) voted for Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).Pelosi, who had already been elected minority leader, won all but a handful of Democratic votes on the floor. Two years ago, 19 Democrats vote for other Democrats.
Boehner was re-elected just days after facing one his toughest tests as Speaker of the House, the negotiations over the fiscal cliff. After talks with the White House stalled, Boehner pushed his "plan B," which would have increased taxes on income above $1 million and ended up including GOP-favored spending cuts.While legislation cutting spending passed, his tax plan was pulled from the House, after which Boehner then demanded that the Senate pass a deal that the House could consider.
When the Senate bill delayed planned sequester cuts and raised taxes on the wealthy, several Republicans initially demanded that the House amend the bill and send it to the Senate. Boehner said he would not bring up an amendment unless it could pass, and ultimately, no amendment was considered and Boehner voted for the Senate deal.
Just minutes later, Boehner faced a barrage of criticism from Republicans and Democrats in the Northeast, who said Boehner should be ashamed for delaying a vote on a Hurricane Sandy relief bill.
That fight led Reps. Peter King (R-N.Y.) and Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) to say they may not vote for Boehner as Speaker. But by Wednesday afternoon, Boehner said the House would vote on a $9 billion aid package, which seemed to defuse that issue. Both King and Grimm voted for Boehner as Speaker on Thursday.