Tag Archives: House Speaker

House Freedom Caucus Opposes Paul Ryan’s Terms for House Speaker

The House Freedom Caucus ensured that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) would have the support to secure the position of Speaker of the House next week following a vote on Wednesday night.

However, while Ryan did receive two-thirds of the vote, he did not receive the 80 percent required for an endorsement, and the group stated that it would not accept all of his terms for Speaker.

After the meeting, Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) said“We are not meeting all his demands, but if he wants to be speaker, he has the votes as of tonight.”

Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) shared a similar sentiment, regarding the group’s support for Paul. “We are sending the message to the conference and Paul Ryan that he has our support, but that we will continue to ask for the changes that we are asking for,” he said.

Following the vote, Ryan posted a statement on this Twitter, thanking the House Freedom Caucus for its support:

[pull_quote_center]I’m grateful for the support of a supermajority of the House Freedom Caucus. I look forward to hearing from the other two caucuses by the end of the week, but I believe this is a positive step toward a unified Republican team.[/pull_quote_center]

Paul’s run for Speaker of the House comes after Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced that he was stepping down, and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the assumed replacement, dropped out of the race.

TIME noted that Ryan has given five main conditions to run for Speaker of the House, including that the Speaker should be a visionary who communicates the party agenda; the speaker will only concede to rules changes if the entire conference agrees; there will be no motions to vacate the chair; he must have free time to spend with his family; and everyone in the conference must vote for him.

Ryan’s condition for “family time” has drawn criticism due to the fact that during his time as a Representative, Ryan has opposed nearly every federal policy on paid family leave.

BREAKING: Kevin McCarthy Drops Out Of Speaker Race

WASHINGTON, October 8, 2015– In an unexpected move that has Washington DC buzzing, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Cali.), the establishment pick, has dropped out of the race to replace Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. Only an hour ago, media was reporting McCarthy as the presumptive nominee and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) took to Twitter saying that consensus was behind McCarthy becoming Speaker. However, it has become clear that McCarthy didn’t have the numbers to pull of a win.

“I’m not the one,” McCarthy reportedly said as House Republicans met to nominate their next Speaker. Audible gasps are reported to have been heard once McCarthy delivered his comments.

McCarthy’s exit comes as the House Freedom Caucus, a group of almost 40 conservative Representatives founded by Rep. Justin Amash, Rep. Scott Garrett, Rep. Jim Jordan, Rep. John Fleming, Rep. Matt Salmon, Rep. Raúl Labrador, Rep. Mick Mulvaney, Rep. Ron DeSantis and Rep. Mark Meadows., endorsed Rep. Daniel Webster (R- Fla.) over McCarthy yesterday.

In addition to the stinging abandonment of House conservatives, McCarthy handed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton what many consider to be a hand-wrapped gift when he told media that the Benghazi committee we set up to hurt Clinton’s chances of winning the presidency. Due to McCarthy’s comments, for the first time, Republicans were put on defense, rather than Clinton, with regards to Benghazi and her email scandal. In a matter of hours, Clinton was running an ad in New Hampshire and Iowa stating that the Benghazi committee was nothing more than a Republican witch-hunt and featured McCarthy’s comments as ‘proof’.

A candidate for Speaker must receive 218 votes in order to be elected. If no consensus emerges, Boehner has said he will remain Speaker until a new one is elected once consensus is reached.

McCarthy said he felt good about the decision and that a new face was needed in order to reach consensus.

Currently, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Rep. Daniel Webster are the only two declared candidates.

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BREAKING: House Speaker John Boehner Stepping Down From Congress

WASHINGTON, September 25, 2015– Just two days ago, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives John Boehner (R-Ohio) was making headlines– conservatives were planning a coup to throw him off of the Speaker’s perch. Today, Boehner has announced that he will be stepping down from Congress next month.

On Wednesday, The Hill reported that conservatives were planning a coup to throw off Speaker Boehner due to Planned Parenthood funding.

“…lawmakers are wondering more than ever if Boehner’s days as Speaker are numbered,” reported The Hill.

Talk of the overthrow sent Washington into a frenzy.

“That’s what tells you there’s something afoot. You know there’s some drops of blood in the water, because all the sharks are starting to circle,” noted one conservative lawmaker who supports Boehner’s exit, according to The Hill.

Boehner allies had dismissed the chatter.

“The Speaker isn’t going anywhere,” Boehner’s spokeswoman, Emily Schillinger, said last week. “He’s focused on the American people’s priorities and how we can accomplish them.”

Fast-forward to today, Boehner sent a shock wave through Capitol Hill early this morning when it was announced that he would be stepping down from the Speakership and resigning from Congress at the end of October.

Two Republican lawmakers are likely to rise in an attempt to replace Boehner. House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Cali.), the establishment pick, and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the conservative pick.

While McCarthy is not necessarily well-liked among conservative House members, he has attempted to make inroads with them since replacing former House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor who was defeated by conservative challenger Dave Bratt in an upset that shook Capitol Hill to its core.

On the other hand, Jordan is the conservative pick, but is still somewhat well-liked among the establishment. Jordan was leading the charge to defund Planned Parenthood, and was willing to climb over Boehner to do so.

John Andrew Boehner was first elected to Congress in 1990.

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Conservative Files Motion To Oust John Boehner As House Speaker

The growing rift among House Republicans reached a new height on Tuesday when Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) filed a motion to oust Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) as House Speaker.

In a copy of the resolution, obtained by Politico, Meadows claimed that Boehner has “endeavored to consolidate power and centralize decision-making, bypassing the majority of the 435 Members of Congress and the people they represent.” 

Meadows, who is a member of the House Freedom Caucus, a conservative group that is often in disagreement with Boehner, filed the motion after he was recently removed from his title as the chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee. Meadows lost the title after voting against “a leadership-backed procedural vote on trade legislation,” and was retuned to his post after protests from fellow conservatives, according to the Washington Post.

In his motion, Meadows also alleged that Boehner has diminished the “voice of the American people” through inaction, by weakening Congress and making it “subservient to the Executive and Judicial branches.”

“Whereas the Speaker uses the power of the office to punish Members who vote according to their conscience instead of the will of the Speaker,” wrote Meadows, who went on to say that Boehner “intentionally provided for voice votes on consequential and controversial legislation,” and did not give House members the required three-day period to review legislation.

Some House members aren’t taking Meadows seriously, such as Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, who called the motion a “gimmick” and suggested that Meadows was just doing it because he is “probably in trouble in his district so he needs a way to raise money.”

In contrast, Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), also a member of the Freedom Caucus, said that he has “talked about the need for new leadership for a long time” because ultimately “people at home want us to take a new direction.”

Rep. Walter Jones Jr. (R-N.C.) said that he hopes talk show hosts “pick up on this thing and beat the drum so loud that other members feel like they can be encouraged to join this effort to change the leadership of the House.”

Reuters noted that although it is unlikely the motion filed by Meadows will pass, “it highlights the friction within the Republican Party ahead of a presidential election in 2016.”

“It’s really more about trying to have a conversation on making this place work, where everybody’s voice matters, where there’s not a punitive culture,” Meadows said. “Hopefully, we’ll have some discussion about that in the days and weeks to come.”

Meadows was just one of the 25 House Republicans who voted against Boehner when he was up for re-election in Jan. After he secured his third term as House Speaker, Boehner retaliated against some of the lawmakers who voted against him, such as Florida Reps. Daniel Webster and Rich Nugent, by removing them from the House Rules Committee.

Dennis Hastert Pushed For The Patriot Act That Led To His Indictment

On Thursday, the Department of Justice announced that former U.S. House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) has been indicted for paying  $3.5 million in “hush money” to ensure silence about his “prior misconduct” in a town where he was a high school teacher.

The grand jury indictment states that Hastert, 73, has been charged with one count of evading bank regulations and withdrawing $952,000 in increments of less than $10,000 in separate transactions on at least 106 occasions, and one count of lying to the FBI about the reason behind the transactions.

According to the Associated Press, each count against Hastert “carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.”

The Huffington Post noted that Hastert, who has taken credit for the Patriot Act’s passage in the House of Representatives in 2001, found out the hard way that the law he helped pass has given federal law enforcement the tools to indict him.

The indictment describes the person who received the “hush money” as “Individual A,” and noted that while Hastert was a high school teacher and a coach in Yorkville, Illinois, from 1965 to 1981, Individual A has been a resident of Yorkville, and has known Hastert most of Individual A’s life.

The AP noted that the indictment is very vague, and in addition to not telling what Hastert’s “prior misconduct” was, it also does not tell Hastert’s relationship with “Individual A.”

Jeff Cramer, a former federal prosecutor and head of the Chicago office of the investigation firm Kroll, told the AP that the language of the indictment suggests that the misconduct was related to Hastert’s position as a coach and teacher.

“Notice the teacher and coach language,” Cramer said. “Feds don’t put in language like that unless it’s relevant.”

In the aftermath of 9/11, Hastert was largely in favor of implementing the Patriot Act, which passed in the House of Representatives on Oct. 24, 2001, with a vote of 357 to 66.

In 2011, Haster took credit for passing the Act in the House, and told Real Clear Politics that passing the Act was not an easy task, because it “wasn’t popular, and there was a lot of fight in the Congress” over it.

The Huffington Post noted that the indictment “suggests that law enforcement officials relied on the Patriot Act’s expansion of bank reporting requirements to snare Hastert,” because it “increased the scope of cash reporting laws to help trace funds used for terrorism.”

Fox News Bashes Boehner for Inviting Netanyahu to Address Congress, Not Notifying White House

Following President Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday, House Speaker John Boehner invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak about nuclear negotiations with Iran at an upcoming joint session of Congress, without first verifying the invitation with Obama.

Politico described this move as Boehner’s “most dramatic foreign policy confrontation” with Obama to date, due to the fact that Netanyahu is a “fierce opponent of the emerging U.S. nuclear agreement with the Islamic republic and has served as Obama’s foil, of sorts, as the negotiations have progressed.”

According to the New York Times, Boehner’s invitation to Netanyahu “stunned” the White House, which called it a “breach of protocol,” and confirmed on Thursday that Obama would not meet with Netanyahu during his visit.

On Friday, in a discussion about Boehner’s subversion of Obama’s authority, Fox News correspondents Chris Wallace and Shepard Smith spoke out in criticism of both Boehner’s decision the extend an invitation, and Netanyahu’s decision to accept it.

Wallace said he completely agreed with former U.S. ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk when he told the New York Times:

Netanyahu is using the Republican Congress for a photo-op for his election campaign and the Republicans are using Bibi for their campaign against Obama. Unfortunately, the U.S. relationship will take the hit. It would be far wiser for us to stay out of their politics and for them to stay out of ours.”

I think he’s 100 percent right,” Wallace said, explaining that he had been at the White House on Wednesday when Boehner announced that he had invited Netanyahu to speak to Congress, and that Netanyahu had accepted.

Wallace said one White House official was “flabbergasted,” and claimed the administration was given “no advanced warning,” and first found out about Netanyahu’s impending visit when Boehner announced it to the Press.

To make you get a sense of really how, forgive me, wicked, this whole thing is, the Secretary of State John Kerry met with the Israeli Ambassador to the United States for two hours on Tuesday,” Wallace said. “Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador, according to the State Department, never mentioned the fact that Netanyahu was in negotiations and finally agreed to come to Washington, not to see the president, but to go to Capitol Hill, speak to a joint session of congress and criticize the president’s policy. I have to say I’m shocked.

Smith pointed out that although both members of the Mossad and members of his own political party have warned Netanyahu that the upcoming trip to the U.S. is a bad idea, he “won’t back out.”

The newspapers over there are going wild over this,” Smith said. “It just seems like they think we don’t pay any attention and we’re just a bunch of complete morons, the United States citizens, like we wouldn’t pick up on what’s happening here.”

Wallace noted that although Netanyahu is an “extremely savvy and successful politician,” Israel is just weeks away from a major election, and Israel’s relationship with the U.S. is a big political issue.

Even when they’re fighting with each other the Israelis want to know that the U.S. has their back,” Wallace said. “For Netanyahu to do something that is going to be seen as such a deliberate and really egregious snub of President Obama, when Obama’s going to be in power for the next year and three-quarters would seem to me to be a very risky political strategy for Prime Minister Netanyahu.”

Bartender indicted for threatening to kill Speaker Boehner

A former bartender in Ohio has been indicted on the charge of threatening to kill House Speaker John Boehner.

Michael Hoyt, 44, worked as the bartender of the Wetherington Country Club in West Chester, Ohio, but he was fired in October. It was while working at this country club Hoyt had served drinks to Boehner for five years, according to WCPO Cincinnati.

Hoyt called police on Oct. 29, a week after being fired, and told the 911 dispatcher he blamed Boehner for his termination from the position.

When officers responded to Hoyt’s home, according to NBC News, Hoyt told the officers he believed he was Jesus Christ and that he also blamed Boehner for the Ebola outbreak. Court documents also show Hoyt claimed to hear voices coming from the speakers in his car and his home radio which told him Boehner was evil.

After being taken into custody, Hoyt was ordered by a judge to undergo a psychiatric evaluation at a facility run by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. According to FOX News, the FBI and U.S. Capitol Police believe Hoyt, “poses a current and ongoing credible threat” to Boehner.

Reuters also reports Hoyt had sent messages to Boehner’s wife, Debbie, which showed his anger at being fired from his position as the country club’s bartender. In the messages, Hoyt also said he could have easily killed Boehner previously by poisoning his drinks.

Michael Steel, a spokesman for Boehner, said Boehner  is “aware of the situation and sincerely thanks the FBI, the Capitol Police and the local authorities in Ohio for their efforts.”

It remains unclear as to why officials waited so long to indict Hoyt given the incident occurred on Oct. 29 and the complaint was filed on Nov. 6, while the indictment is dated Jan. 7.

Boehner Secures Third Term as Speaker, Retaliates Against Opposition

On Tuesday, after a loss of 25 votes on the House floor from fellow Republicans, John Boehner was elected to a third term as the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. He began by retaliating against a few of the representatives who voted against him.

The New York Times reported that the 25 Republicans who voted against Boehner compiled the “largest number of votes against a speaker from members of his or her own party in at least two decades.”

Once he secured the title for the third time, Boehner removed Florida representatives Daniel Webster and Rich Nugent from the House Rules Committee, as a demonstration that what was “accepted during the last Congress is no longer acceptable, not with the House’s biggest GOP majority in decades,” according to Politico.

Webster was one of the candidates who ran against Boehner. He received 12 votes, which was more than any of the other opposing candidates.

The New York Times reported that while the opposition from Louie Gohmert of Texas and Ted Yoho of Florida were expected, Webster’s last-minute entry “came as somewhat of a surprise,” and did the most damage, due to the fact that Webster is a “more pragmatic Republican who has a cordial relationship” with Boehner.

According to Bloomberg, Representative Randy Weber of Texas claims Boehner “won’t let him sponsor a bill headed for House floor consideration because he voted for Representative Louie Gohmert of Texas for speaker.

I’ve already lost the authorship of one bill,” said Weber, “Look, it shouldn’t be that way. It was going to be a bill on regulation of clean nuclear energy.”

Politico reported that upon hearing about the growing opposition, Boehner met with representatives Mark Meadows of North Carolina, Justin Amash of Michigan, and Matt Salmon of Arizona on Monday night, and with Raul Labrador of Idaho on Tuesday, prior to the vote. While Meadows voted for Webster, and Amash voted for Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, both Salmon and Labrador voted in support of Boehner.

According to the New York Times, although Boehner has always faced some opposition from other Republicans, Tea Party conservatives “felt betrayed anew late last month” after Boehner ignored their pleas to deny funding in the federal spending plan to enforce Obama’s new immigration orders.

Politico reported that while members are “already making noises about reversing any punitive action by Boehner and the leadership,” the speaker’s allies “warn that further retaliation could be on the way.”

Rep. Justin Amash Joins Call For New House Speaker

U.S. Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) provided a statement ahead of today’s vote for House Speaker thanking John Boehner for his service but called for a change in leadership in a Facebook post:

Republicans have a historic opportunity in this Congress. We can pass significant legislation and push President Obama to the bargaining table for the first time in his presidency. We can uphold the Constitution and the Rule of Law. We can expand liberty and economic freedom for all Americans.

Our success is not assured. To accomplish our goals, we need sound strategy, crisp messaging, and a commitment to running the House as a deliberative body in which all its diverse voices are heard. Committees must be given enough time to do their work. Rank-and-file members must have sufficient time to read and debate legislation that can profoundly affect the lives of our constituents.

We have been told much over the last few years about opening up the House’s legislative process and returning to regular order. Yet time and again, it seems that Congress governs by crisis and raw partisanship.

Our party and our country are different than they were a generation ago. Americans at home have learned from the policy mistakes our Congress has made over the last few decades. It’s not clear that the men and women in congressional leadership have done the same. To appeal to more Americans and better reflect today’s Republicans, we need modern leaders who respect the diversity of ideas within the House of Representatives.

Speaker Boehner has been the leader of our party in the House for eight years. We have welcomed at least three large waves of new representatives during that time. Republican conference rules limit chairmen to six years in their offices to promote fresh thinking and new priorities. We should apply those same principles to all our party’s leaders.

The speaker of the House has one of the most challenging jobs in government. Speaker Boehner has given his best to our conference, and I thank him for his service. But it’s time for Republicans to change our leadership. This afternoon, I will vote for a new speaker.

Amash has joined several other Republicans in publicly stating their intent to vote for a new House Speaker: Reps. Jim Bridenstine, Marlin Stutzman, Thomas Massie, Ted Yoho, Steve King, Louie Gohmert, Walter Jones, Dave Brat, Paul Gosar, Rep.-elect Gary Palmer, Curt Clawson, Randy Weber, and Jeff Duncan have stated they will vote for someone other than Boehner.

The Washington Post reports that a minimum of 29 House Republicans would need to vote against Boehner in order to have a second ballot.

Gohmert and Yoho offered themselves as alternatives to Boehner over the weekend. “We’ve heard from a lot of Republicans that ‘Gee, Id rather vote for somebody besides Speaker Boehner, but nobody will put their name out there as running, so there’s nobody else to vote for. Well this changed yesterday when my friend Ted Yoho said ‘I’m putting my name out there, I’ll be a candidate for Speaker’ and I’m putting my name also out there also today to be another candidate for Speaker,” Gohmert told Fox News on Sunday.

According to Politico, those against Boehner’s reelection believe that neither Yoho and Gohmert will win, but are hopeful that if the election moves to a second ballot they may be able to find a new Speaker. Boehner’s supporters have stated that they will continue to vote for Boehner until the opposition concedes.

Congressman Massie Announces He Will Not Vote For Re-Election Of Boehner

United States Congressman Thomas Massie announced in a press release on Saturday that he will not be voting for the re-election of House Speaker John Boehner next Tuesday and described the current House leadership as a “significant source” of dysfunction.

“During my first two years as a congressman I discovered a significant source of the dysfunction. I watched the House Leadership:

  •  Schedule a fiscal crisis in a lame duck session on the last legislative day before Christmas to get maximum leverage over rank and file members,
  •  Mislead members into thinking that a vote on an unpopular bill was postponed, only to then conduct a rushed voice vote on the $10 billion unfunded spending measure with fewer than a dozen members present,
  •  Give members less than 72 hours to read bills over 1,000 pages long, and
  • Remove members from committees simply because they voted for the principles upon which they campaigned.”

Massie’s press release also stated that “Washington no longer works for the people” and he will vote for a new House speaker on January 6th, but did not name who he would be voting for. Boehner will need at least 218 votes to secure his re-election. While a Caddell Associates survey showed that 60% of Republicans polled would choose someone other than Boehner, it is unclear how many Republicans will join Massie in voting for an alternative.