By Greg Campbell
With regards to the attempted coup against Speaker of the House John Boehner, many in America are wondering, “What happened?”
As Republican leaders voted for the Speaker position, several key votes defected at the last moment, seemingly, out of fear from the coup being unsuccessful and having their voting against Boehner as a matter of record.
In all, nine Republican Congressmen voted for someone other than Boehner. In order for there to be a second round of voting, 17 Republicans needed to vote for someone other than Boehner. The nine who voted for others were: Rep Justin Amash (R-MI), Rep Walter Jones (R-NC), Rep Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), Rep Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Rep Paul Broun (R-GA), Rep Tim Huelskamp, (R-KS), Rep Thomas Massie (R-KY), Rep Steve Pearce, (R-NM), and Rep Ted Yoho (R-FL).
Congressman Jones explained what happened to the failed plan to oust Boehner:
“[Rep. Amash] and I met yesterday morning [to talk about voting against Boehner]—just us. Nothing was firm. It was just the fact we were going to try to get 20 members who were committed to vote for somebody other than John Boehner and we came to the floor and I think we had 20 and few decided they did not want to continue. And then we were 17. And then a couple that you heard that abstained, they did that too, and they would have been with us if they had to be with us. I think we would have been around 14 or 15.”
Jones went on to explain that the fiscal cliff deal was the last straw for several conservatives. He also cited the conservative purge that occurred as Boehner negotiated with Democrats and members of his own party to secure a deal.
After Boehner removed conservative voices from financial committees, Jones claimed, Boehner never even told the purged GOP members that they had been removed. Jones claimed that he and the others read it on the internet. Jones questioned, “Is that a leader of a House that tells his team member to get off the team that doesn’t even take the time to tell the team member why you’re getting off the team?”
Boehner was, for a moment, missing enough votes to send the House into a second round of voting. However, after not answering their names being called the first time, Reps. Michelle Bachmann, Marsha Blackburn and Scott Garrett came back to the floor to vote for Boehner, thus saving his Speakership.
As reporters rushed conservative leaders who voted for Boehner, each has defended their vote as a function of political reality. Regardless, many conservatives nationwide have voiced disapproval over the lack of support the failed coup received.
As a humbled Boehner pledged to get serious about handling the business of Congress, many remained skeptical of his ability to adequately defend Party interests. With the looming debt ceiling fight just a month away, we will shortly see if Boehner intends to deliver on his promise of results.