Opposing John Boehner Could Come With Repercussi​ons


Melissa Quinn

Conservatives planning to buck the status quo and oppose the reelection of John Boehner as House speaker have received a warning shot. Sources on Capitol Hill say dissenters could be stripped of their committee assignments should they fail to support the two-term speaker.

There haven’t been any public challenges to Boehner, though reports have surfaced that Republicans who vote against him on the floor would be punished.

The process will play out after the Nov. 4 midterm elections when the Republican conference holds a closed-door vote for majority leader, majority whip and conference chair. Those roles are currently held by Kevin McCarthy of California, Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, respectively.

Republicans will also select a nominee for House speaker.

When the 114th Congress convenes in January, all 435 House members will gather to vote publicly for speaker.

House Republicans have issued a warning shot to conservatives, who could face consequences for voting against John Boehner.

To dissuade conservatives from opposing Boehner, congressional Republicans are reportedly discussing a rules change. As first reported by National Journal, Republicans are threatening to “punish” lawmakers who buck the conference’s nominee before the whole chamber.

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The Republican conference votes on the rules every two years, and any proposed changes would have to be approved by a majority of the caucus.

One former conservative House aide with knowledge of the dealings cited two reasons for lawmakers to issue such a warning to potential dissenters.

First, the former aide told The Daily Signal, threatening conservatives who may not support Boehner could reduce the chances they mount a campaign against him when it comes time to vote for speaker on the House floor.

Second, House Republicans may be using this as an opportunity to reduce the influence of members not viewed as siding with leadership.

One GOP insider told National Journal there could be between 30 and 40 Republican lawmakers who would vote against Boehner.

In an interview with USA Today, Boehner rejected any suggestion Republicans voting against him in January would face repercussions, and confirmed this in a statement to The Daily Signal.

“I don’t support any such effort,” Boehner said. “It’s not a good idea, and isn’t necessary.”

Requests for comment from McCarthy and Scalise went unanswered.

Conservative Dissenters

In 2010, a wave of tea party Republicans were elected to the House, which led to what many Republicans said was a rift between conservatives and the establishment.

Conservative lawmakers such as Reps. Justin Amash of Michigan and Tim Huelskamp of Kansas pushed back against leadership—including Boehner—and maintained strict conservative voting records, sometimes stymying and other times opposing leadership.

Their actions had consequences.

In late 2012, Amash, Huelskamp and Rep. David Schweikert of Arizona were all removed from key committees for what many said was retribution for their votes. At an event at The Heritage Foundation in December 2012, Amash and Huelskamp said they were blindsided by the news.

“I had to read it in the newspapers,” Amash said at the time.

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Their removals stood in contrast to a deal leadership made with incoming freshman in 2010, when the tea party wave was elected to the 112th Congress. Then, Huelskamp said members were encouraged to “vote their conscience and their district” as long as they made leadership aware of their votes before casting them.

But Huelskamp said leadership reneged on that deal and instead ranked members based on their votes. Those who “didn’t get a high enough score,” he said in 2012, were “punished.”

Huelskamp himself was removed from the Budget and Agriculture committees, despite his extensive knowledge of the agriculture industry as a former farmer. Similarly, Schweikert was stripped of his spot on the Financial Services Committee despite his business background.

House Republicans are floating a rules change that could strip conservatives opposing Boehner of their committee assignments.

Electing the Speaker

Boehner was up for re-election as speaker at the start of the 113th Congress, but he was met with pushback from conservatives in the conference.

When the entire chamber gathered to vote, several lawmakers bucked the status quo and failed to back the Ohio Republican.

Six Republicans voted for other GOP members, and others either abstained or simply said “present.” Reps. Paul Broun of Georgia and Louie Gohmert of Texas cast votes for outgoing Republican Allen West of Florida. North Carolina’s Walter Jones supported former Comptroller General David Walker, who served from 1998 to 2008.

The speaker of the House does not have to be a sitting member of Congress.

Mixed Messages

In the 2014 elections, Republicans are working to pick up 11 seats, bringing the total number of GOP members to 245—the largest Republican majority since Harry Truman’s presidency. The campaign to achieve such a goal has been dubbed the “Drive to 245.”

Political strategists such as Nathan Gonzales of the Rothenberg Political Report say it’s possible.

Support for Boehner as speaker, though, is not inevitable. Several GOP congressional hopefuls have refrained from announcing support for the top Republican while campaigning.

Dave Brat, the Virginia Republican who ousted former then-Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the state’s June Republican primary, refused to endorse Boehner in interviews with both The Washington Post and The Washington Times. Instead, he vowed to continue running on principles, not personalities.

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Boehner has hit the campaign trail with GOP candidates, including state Rep. Marilinda Garcia, who is running against U.S. Rep. Ann Kuster, the incumbent Democrat in New Hampshire’s 2nd District. The speaker was on hand to help Garcia raise money.

Within his own conference, some conservative firebrands have committed to supporting Boehner should he remain the only viable candidate for speaker.

“I don’t see much of a challenge mounting, and I suspect that there won’t be a challenge,” Rep. Raúl Labrador of Idaho said during Conversations with Conservatives last month. “However, if we don’t take the Senate, I think there might be rumblings as to maybe we need a new direction as a Republican Party.”

Labrador mounted a campaign for majority leader following Cantor’s loss, but McCarthy defeated him in June.



In politics, it’s important not to look too far ahead. Things change quickly on the Hill, and what’s here today could be gone tomorrow.

But with that in mind, Barack Obama’s dream of amnesty and citizenship for the millions of people living here illegally is dead. The rule of law has triumphed, if only for a short while.

What makes me so confident? Well, I spoke with members of Congress who attended John Boehner’s Republican conference retreat and the ensuing discussion about immigration policy. They told me that, despite Boehner’s attempt to sway his fellow Republicans into voting for immigration reform, the Speaker of the House failed miserably.

Boehner has been working feverishly to keep the issue alive after facing constant pressure from the hotel, tech, construction, and restaurant industries. They all want to keep their low-wage workers and continue to fatten profits. You see, legalizing millions of illegal immigrants is a much cheaper prospect than raising wages to draw more workers.

And Boehner, ever the compliant politician, would like to keep the dollars that these industries contribute to Republican campaign funds.

But at the party conference, where Boehner planned to surrender to corporate interests, the Speaker instead faced an insurrection. The rank-and-file members of the GOP caucus were, by most accounts, against even the concept of immigration reform – by a ratio of more than three to one!

Eventually, as the discussion between members droned on, Boehner and his allies saw the writing on the wall. If they did bring an immigration vote to the floor, they’d split their party so deeply that Boehner would be in jeopardy of losing his job as House Speaker. And for Boehner, maintaining power has always been more important than any individual issue.

All told, it’s now extremely unlikely that Boehner will continue pushing for immigration reform this year.

Like Freddy Krueger, It Keeps Coming Back

However, this doesn’t mean that the issue is put to rest.

The potential savings are too great for the corporate titans to forget forever. They want the low-wage workers, and they’ll keep pushing.

Just look at Facebook’s (FB) FWD.us campaign. Billionaire Mark Zuckerberg is so desperate for low-wage workers that he’s taken the rhetoric to unhealthy levels, charging that opponents of immigration reform are tied to white supremacy groups and supporters of eugenics.

I guess when you can’t win the argument, it pays to spend millions disparaging your opponents.

At the same time, business interests are charging hard for increased immigration. Just think: Homes to house immigrants must be built. Autos, furniture, and food must be produced for the newcomers. There’s almost no end to the products that could be sold to America’s newest consumers.

Finally, because of the agreement between big business and liberal special interest groups, immigration reform is never far from passage. Between the desire to please the masters in big business and the political impact of giving millions of noncitizens the right to vote, the immigration issue is pretty much impossible to kill.

Read more at http://www.westernjournalism.com/insurrection-sends-house-speaker-reeling/#fiaygP3Uv3FgsbGr.99



Because their corporate masters want millions of legal workers they can pay slave wages to, House Republicans are about to ignore the will of about two-thirds of their base and grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens.

It was a sickening display during Tuesday’s State of the Union speech when House Republicans jumped to their feet en masse to applaud Obama’s call for an amnesty bill. There are now at least 84 Republicans who support an amnesty bill for illegals, meaning that with Democrat support, an amnesty bill is very likely to pass. You can read the rogues gallery here.

Conservative commentator Pat Buchanan warns that an immigration push will create a “Balkan war” in the Republican Party and that House Weeper John Boehner will lose his speakership over it. That, of course, will simply consign him and his tan to a lucrative seven-figure K Street career.

Conservative gadfly Ann Coulter gained a copy of an embargoed report by Phyllis Schlafly that shows how immigration is changing the country and will spell doom for the Republican Party, in addition to driving down wages and sending more Americans to the unemployment lines. The report shows immigrants have little in common economically, culturally or historically with Americans; that they overwhelming support big government social programs, gun control, affirmative action, gun registration and Obamacare; and that they have a negative view of free-market capitalism. In other words, they’re progressives.

But the Republican establishment doesn’t care, as long as their corporate masters are happy.

It’s past time that Americans who support the Republican Party understand the party’s elite give only lip service to small-government and conservative principals and that they are truly interested only in feathering their own nests and those of their sugar daddies.



CAMBRIDGE, Md. — House Republicans are proposing to overhaul immigration laws so undocumented immigrants can gain legalization if they meet certain requirements, and if the nation’s borders are certified as secure.
The document — a draft of which POLITICO obtained before it was circulated here to members of of the House Republican Conference — lays out no legislation, but rather broad principles to guide the process of writing it. Party leaders are expected to lay out these “standards for immigration reform” here at their annual retreat.

In a shift for the party, Republicans are blessing a pathway to legalization for those who came into the country illegally. It does stress, though, that undocumented immigrants will have to go through the current immigration system and learn about the United States. Criminals will not be eligible for legalization.

“These persons could live legally and without fear in the U.S., but only if they were willing to admit their culpability, pass rigorous background checks, pay significant fines and back taxes, develop proficiency in English and American civics, and be able to support themselves and their families (without access to public benefits),” according to a draft of the document.
The document also makes clear that the House will not negotiate with the Senate on its comprehensive immigration bill. In fact, GOP leadership has already begun laying out the differences between the House’s approach and the Senate’s bill.
“The problems in our immigration system must be solved through a step-by-step, common-sense approach that starts with securing our country’s borders, enforcing our laws, and implementing robust enforcement measures,” the document’s preamble reads.

The pathway outlined in the principles does not open up until the nation’s borders are secure. Securing America’s borders has long been a major issue for House Republicans — but how that can actually be accomplished was a major issue in passing the Senate measure.
“Finally, none of this can happen before specific enforcement triggers have been implemented to fulfill our promise to the American people that from here on, our immigration laws will indeed be enforced,” the document says.
Republicans discussed immigration reform at their retreat here on Thursday as they try to forge a path forward on the issue. Even discussing the idea of legalization is a major shift for House Republicans, many of whom have decried such a move as “amnesty.”
The document lays out policies beyond legalization. Republicans want to implement a “biometric” system to track those in the nation on a visa. The GOP wants to implement a “workable electronic employment verification system.” The document also calls for “an opportunity for legal residence and citizenship for those who were brought to this country as children through no fault of their own.”
The one-page principles has been one of the most hotly anticipated documents in recent memory.
“While these standards are certainly not everything we would agree with, they leave a real possibility that Democrats and Republicans, in both the House and Senate, can in some way come together and pass immigration reform that both sides can accept,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who has led the process in the Senate. “It is a long, hard road but the door is open.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/01/immigration-house-republicans-102884.html#ixzz2rvXh37bo