House Speaker John Boehner barely held onto his job atop Congress’ lower chamber on Thursday. Just how close a call Boehner had is now becoming clear.
Nine House conservatives voted for somebody other than Boehner, two abstained from voting and one voted “present.” That total of 12 Republicans who didn’t support Boehner was a stone’s throw from the required 17 to force a second ballot election – at which point several more Republican members were slated to back a competitor to Boehner’s, who would unite the party behind him or her.
Politico has reported the original list of members possibly considering defection from Boehner was longer and included Reps. Steve King of Iowa, Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Paul Gosar of Arizona, Scott Garrett of New Jersey and Steve Fincher and Scott DesJarlais, both of Tennessee.
Politico uncovered this list because Kansas Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp “sat on the House floor during the speaker vote brandishing an iPad” with a message “displayed on the screen ticking off members of the House Republican Conference he hoped would oppose the sitting speaker.”