New kids in town. Do you think they’re going to be able to ‘fix’ the nation?
A long-shot effort to deny John Boehner a third term as speaker gained traction before Tuesday’s House vote as two Republicans jumped into the race against the Ohio leader and at least nine GOP lawmakers said they would vote for an alternative candidate.
The brewing rebellion is unlikely to succeed — at least 29 Republicans would have to vote against Boehner to strip him of the gavel. That would force the leadership election to a second ballot.
But having an attempted coup in the works should make Tuesday’s roll call on the House floor a dramatic, tense scene as the speaker’s conservative critics shout out the names of other candidates and the anti-Boehner votes add up.
Even if Boehner wins a comfortable majority, the public rebellion will serve as a high-profile reminder of the opposition he faces within his own Republican ranks as the 114th Congress gets underway.
“It’s not good because it shows there’s dissatisfaction with him inside his own conference, and it shows he has an ideologically divided conference,” said Ronald Peters, a professor at the University of Oklahoma and an expert on the speakership.
Monday, Indiana Rep. Marlin Stutzman became the latest Republican to announce he would oppose Boehner.
He said voters “want new leadership in Congress that will stand up to President Obama’s big-government policies and advance a common-sense conservative reform agenda. … I gave my word to my constituents back home in Indiana that I would do everything I could to bring a fresh start to Washington. My word will be kept, and I am hopeful tomorrow’s vote will help bring that fresh start.”
Read more: USA Today