As expected, Boehner was reelected yesterday as Speaker of the House. Now he’s getting even with the Teabaggers who tried to push him out:
After he secured his third term as speaker Tuesday afternoon, losing 25 votes on the House floor to some relative-unknown members of the House Republican Conference, Boehner moved swiftly to boot Florida Reps. Daniel Webster and Rich Nugent from the influential Rules Committee.
The reason was simple: Webster ran against Boehner for speaker, distributing fliers outlining his candidacy and talking about how he would better adhere to the House rules than the Ohio Republican. Nugent supported his fellow Floridian in the quixotic endeavor, which garnered the support of 12 lawmakers. Webster didn’t even give Boehner a heads-up that he was running, although leadership was aware early Tuesday morning that it could happen.
With Webster openly offering himself as an alternative to Boehner, the GOP leadership thought seats on the Rules Committee were a plum that the pair no longer deserved. It didn’t take more than a few hours for Webster – a legendary former Florida statehouse speaker and state Senate majority leader – and Nugent to find themselves on the outside of a power structure they were once very much a part of.
Members are already making noises about reversing any punitive action by Boehner and the leadership, although the speaker’s allies warn that further retaliation could be on the way. The removal of Webster and Nugent was meant to provide a clear demonstration that what Boehner and other party leaders accepted during the last Congress is no longer acceptable, not with the House’s biggest GOP majority in decades.
The House Republican leadership is carefully reviewing the list of members who voted against the speaker and those who opposed a procedural motion in December on the so-called “crominibus,” the $1.1 trillion spending package to keep the government open through to September.
Subcommittee chairmanships might be stripped and other perks could fall away, top Republican sources suggested, in a process that could take months to unfold.