Boehner Re-Elected Speaker--As Broun and Gohmert Vote for Allen West Instead

By Elizabeth Harrington | January 3, 2013 | 2:44pm EST

Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), reelected as Speaker of the House in the new 113th Congress. (AP)

( – Reps. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) both voted for former Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) instead of John Boehner (R-Ohio) to be Speaker of the House on Thursday. In total as reported so far, 9 Republicans voted against Boehner; 3 did not vote; and 1 voted “present.”

Boehner retained his speakership with a majority of 220 votes in the House.  Nancy Pelosi received 192 votes. In the new 113th Congress there are 233 Republicans, 200 Democrats, and 2 vacancies.

The 9 Republican votes against Boehner fell short of the 17 needed to force a second vote, during the

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first order of business for the 113th Congress. A second vote might have compelled Boehner to withdraw as a candidate for Speaker.

Allen West of Florida, a staunch conservative, lost his hotly contested reelection bid in November.

After missing the first roll call, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), and Scott Garret (R-N.J.) each voted for Boehner on the second roll call for the vote.

Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) received the third highest amount of votes, three, from Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) and from freshmen Reps. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) and Ted Yoho (R-Fla.)

The Republican Conference remained loyal to Boehner, including Cantor, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the GOP presidential candidate in 2012, and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.).

The 9 Republicans who voted against Boehner were:

Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.)

Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.)

Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.)

Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.)

Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.)

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas)

Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.)

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.)

Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.)

Rep. Justin Amash, who had said earlier that he was undecided, voted for Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho).  Rep. Walter Jones voted for David Walker, the former U.S. comptroller general. Huelskamp voted for Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

Rep. Gohmert, who voted for former Rep. Allen West -- non-members of Congress can be elected Speaker of the House -- issued a statement after his vote on Thursday that partly said, “As this nation continues plunging deeper and deeper into debt every minute of every day, I could not cast a vote for ‘business as usual.’ With so many talented, brilliant members of Congress, it certainly seems that seven years after our current leader was elected Majority Leader and with our goals now even farther away, it is time for a change from ‘business as usual.’"

"My vote for Allen West was for a man who knows how to stand for principle and has always been faithful to those he was entrusted to protect," said Gohmert.

On the Democratic side, Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) voted for former Secretary of State Colin Powell instead of leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).  Dan Lipinksi (D-Ill.) and Mike McIntyre voted for Cooper.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas)

The fiscal cliff negotiations had left Boehner under criticism from segments of his own party, particularly  after he proposed a tax hike on indivudals earning $1 million or more a yea, the so-called “Plan B,” which failed to gather enough Republican support to come up for a vote.  The final deal included tax hikes on those making $400,000 or more, and only 85 Republicans voted for it, while 151 voted against.

Boehner and Ryan voted for the legislation.

Speculation abounded prior to the vote that a movement was underway by House conservatives to unseat the Speaker.  However, House leadership remained confident that Boehner would be retained.

Incidentally, Rep. Gohmert had nominated Newt Gingrich to be Speaker of the House back in November, although he did not receive a second in support of that proposal.

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