Yoho, Gohmert to challenge Boehner

  • 5 January 2015
  • NormanL
Gohmert to challenge Boehner

The 114th congress">Congress convenes on Tuesday, and among the first items of business is the election of a Speaker.  And there are signs of trouble for incumbent John Boehner, as Florida Rep. Ted Yoho and Texas Rep. Louis Gohmert have announced they will challenge Boehner for the job.

A nationwide poll found 60 percent of republicans">Republicans wanting someone besides Boehner to be House Speaker. The poll offered no possible alternatives, but now we have two. The question becomes whether House Republicans will be able to muster the votes needed to deny Boehner a majority:

In order to retain the speakership, Boehner will need 218 votes—a majority of House members. That means no more than 29 Republicans can defect.

democrats">Democrats will nominate Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California as their candidate for speaker. But unless Republicans abstain or cast their votes for Pelosi, she will be unable to reach a majority. Republicans outnumber Democrats 246 to 188 following the resignation of New York Republican Michael Grimm last week.

The U.S. constitution">constitution">Constitution allows for the election of a House speaker at the beginning of each Congress. The winning candidate needs a majority—not plurality—to be elected.

For conservatives to deny Boehner a majority, Yoho or other GOP members—some of whom might not announce their intentions until Tuesday—would need the support of at least 29 fellow Republicans. If Boehner fails to achieve a majority on the first ballot, the House would continue to vote on subsequent ballots until a winner has a majority.

Which makes all of this a test, both of wills and raw political power.  We will be watching the results very closely.