Despite the large scale and outspoken dissatisfaction by many Republican lawmakers of Speaker Boehner following the fiscal cliff vote, most are in agreement that his speakership is not going to be legitimately threatened today.
That being said, today’s vote may not necessarily be the smooth sailing that it was for the Speaker in 2010, when he was unanimously approved by his party.
In addition to the problems surrounding the fiscal cliff, his decision to withhold a vote on an apparently pork-laden Sandy Relief bill has rubbed many Northeastern Republican law makers the wrong way. However, now that it appears a new vote for a relief bill is scheduled for tomorrow, Boehner looks to have quelled the rising tide of resistance. (Via The Hill)
For Boehner, Thursday’s vote for Speaker could be particularly punishing amid a week when the Ohio Republican pushed through a fiscal-cliff package that was wildly unpopular in his conference, and then scrapped a promised vote on federal relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy.
The first move alienated conservatives who said the tax-and-spending package didn’t include nearly enough cuts; the second enraged Republicans from the Northeast, who were apoplectic Wednesday that the aid to their districts won’t come faster.
Reps. Pete King (R-N.Y.) and Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) threatened to defect on the Speaker vote unless Boehner reversed course on the Sandy measure. After Boehner did an about face, they expressed support for the Ohio Republican.
We’ll update this post periodically as results come in. Procedurally, the path to the speakership is as follows:
The only way for someone to win the speakership is to win a majority (more than 50 percent) of all votes cast. If everybody votes, that means the winner must ultimately attract 218 votes. There are 234 Republicans in the new Congress, but if Boehner loses 17 of them, it’s enough to kick the vote to a second ballot — something that hasn’t happened since 1923.