On Tuesday, January 6, 2015, members of the 114th Congress will open the session by voting on their choice for Speaker of the House. The current Speaker of the House, Representative John Boehner, will be running for his third term as Speaker. However, Boehner faces what could be his most significant challenge yet, as frustrated Conservatives have launched a challenge now spearheaded by Texas Republican Louie Gohmert and Florida Republican Ted Yoho. Representatives Gohmert and Yoho have both been outspoken critics of Speaker Boehner have quite some time, but are now officially running against him for the position.
With Democrats expected to vote for Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as Speaker(which is very unlikely to happen as they are in the minority), Conservatives need 29 votes to keep Boehner from becoming Speaker. This means at least 29 Republican representatives will have to vote against Boehner and hope all Democrat representatives vote for Pelosi or someone other than Boehner. This prevents Boehner from getting the necessary majority of votes to become Speaker. If they can pull this off successfully, they will keep voting until someone gets the majority necessary to become Speaker.
Conservative opposition to Boehner comes after what they feel is two previous terms full of unbroken promises, specifically the most recent CRomnibus bill. With the Senate and the White House being controlled by Democrats in the two terms before, many realized why there was some hesitation in the House to pass certain bills. However, this changed after the 2014 midterm elections where Republicans added to their majority in the House and took a majority in the Senate for the first time since Barack Obama has been President. Many were hoping the House would now stand up to the President, and that including cutting spending, defunding Obamacare and the President’s amnesty plan. However, that did not happen as Boehner and the leadership pushed through the CRomnibus bill, despite heavy Conservative opposition. Some Republican members also felt Boehner had lied to them about what was in the bill just to get it passed. This has caused a significant rift between House Republicans and the leadership.
The American people have seen this rift as well. A poll conducted by EMC during the holiday break stated that 60% of 600 Republican voters surveyed would like to see someone else as Speaker of the House, with another 15% undecided. Another poll conducted by TheBlaze shows this same sentiment, as of January 4, 15,600 people had answered the poll which asked who they felt should be the next Speaker of the House, and only 144 voted for Speaker Boehner. Trey Gowdy came back with the most votes with 10,766, followed by Louie Gohmert with 2,811. Darrel Issa, Steve King, Marsha Blackburn and Justin Amash also got votes. This shows that many Conservative and Republican voters want to see a change in leadership, starting with the Speaker.
Although Gowdy is the most popular choice, he has said a few times he is simply not interested in the position. However, Representative Gohmert’s announcement Sunday morning gives Republicans the alternative to Boehner they were looking for. Gohmert has stood for Conservative principles in Congress for years, even under Speaker Boehner’s term. Representative Gohmert has not been afraid to speak out on the big issues, and has consistently voted in line with what his constituents and the American people want, not what would be the easiest route or the one that would make him the most popular. I was glad to see Representative Gohmert stand up in November to vote against the Defense authorization bill because they were not given enough time to vote on it and stand up again in December to vote against the CRomnibus bill because it didn’t represent what the people truly want.
Representative Gohmert has also been a strong critic of President Obama’s overreach of executive powers, including the President’s plan for amnesty. The Texas Congressman has shown he is not afraid to stand up and speak out, even if his voice is not in the majority. This is the kind of leadership we need in the House of Representatives today. Americans are always encouraged to stand up and speak out against something they don’t like, so we shouldn’t expect anything less from our elected officials. I applaud Representative Gohmert’s effort to stand up against Speaker Boehner, he is standing up for what Republican voters seem to support, a change in House leadership, and I hope that others will see this as well.
Though time is limited, there is still a good chance of this opposition being successful. Back in December of 2014, 67 Republicans voted against the CRomnibus bill, and each and every one of those Republicans is against both President Obama’s executive amnesty and Obamacare. Many of the incoming freshman representatives have also campaigned on voting against Boehner for Speaker, promising change. Tuesday is the day for those representatives to make good on that promise and start off the New Year fulfilling their promises.
Voters can also do their part to impact the vote by contacting their Congressman and asking them to vote for Representatie Gohmert or Representative Yoho on Tuesday. Many Americans want to see a change in leadership, as evident in the 2014 midterm elections, I hope that our elected officials will listen to their constituents and give them the change that they want in the New Year.