Ohio Politics

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Boehner re-elected speaker

Here's the latest on House Speaker John Boehner's re-election from Jessica Wehrman in the Washington Bureau:


House Speaker John Boehner Tuesday won a third term as speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, despite the opposition of about 25 members of his own caucus who supported other candidates.

The West Chester Republican received 216 out of 408 votes cast, giving him 11 more votes than he needed to receive a third term as Speaker.

Still, the fact that 24 members voted for other GOP candidates – a 25th, Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, voted “present” indicates that the Tea Party opposition that has made it tough for Boehner to pass legislation through his caucus remains feisty.

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In 2013, 12 Republicans either voted for another candidate or voted “present.” But the GOP majority has grown since then, in part because of Boehner’s own campaigning during the midterm elections.

All Ohio Republicans backed Boehner for speaker, though one member – Rep. Jim Jordan, a Tea Party favorite from Urbana – received two votes for speaker. Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla, came in second among Republicans, receiving 12 votes. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., received 164 votes, including support from all four Ohio congressional Democrats.

Minutes after the vote, Boehner, flanked by Republican and Democratic members of the Ohio House delegation, entered the floor to applause and cheers.

“Let’s make this a time of harvest,” he said, urging the House to do good work and “disagree without being disagreeable.”

Boehner’s path to a third term as speaker initially looked clear, with no Republicans stepping up to oppose him in November, when the GOP caucus met to decide on House leadership. But a handful of House conservatives were outraged when Boehner, in December, did not use a $1.1 trillion spending bill to rebel against President Barack Obama’s executive order that would allow some 5 million undocumented immigrants to escape risk of deportation.

Last weekend, two conservative Republicans – Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., and Louie Gohmert, R-Texas – announced they would run against Boehner for speaker. Gohmert received three votes and Yoho received two. Among others receiving votes from House Republicans: Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., who do not serve in the House.

Democrats, too, did not universally vote for Pelosi: Four Democrats voted against her, including one vote for retired four-star Gen. Colin Powell.

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