How an obscure motion to ‘vacate the chair’ spoils House GOP’s August vacation

31 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Boehner calls challenge by Republican ‘no big deal’.

The House is hitting the highways after passing a three-month extension of the Highway bill. WASHINGTON — House Speaker John Boehner brushed aside a challenge to his tenure on Wednesday as the work of a lone dissident Republican amounting to “no big deal.” Speaking at a news conference, Boehner said, “I’ve got broad support amongst my colleagues.” He was elected to his most recent term as speaker in January over the opposition of Meadows and 24 other rank-and-file Republicans, the most to oppose a winning candidate of their own party in a century. In the game of chicken between the chambers of Congress, both sides blinked and the only real victim seems to be the small businesses that care deeply about the Export Import Bank.

The Ohio Republican spoke one day after Meadows made his largely symbolic challenge, filing a formal proposal that — if approved — would force a new election by the entire House to pick a speaker. All signs point to a quick death for the resolution which, because of the way it was filed, will have to go through the committee process before reaching the House floor, according to The Washington Post. Boehner’s been sowing seeds of discontent for some time, doling out punishments to Representatives who fail to fall in line on key votes, Meadows among them.

Meadows, who was disciplined earlier this year in a move backed by House leadership, said in his legislative proposal 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 told reporters on Tuesday that he hoped his action prompted a “discussion” with Boehner and other House leaders “about representing the American people. On a side-note, the Rules of the House were written by Thomas Jefferson, who is currently being ostracized by Connecticut’s Democratic Party, because the former president once owned slaves. There’s a lot Boehner could do to tie Obama’s hands when he thumbs his nose at the law and at the constitutional limits on his power, but he knows he can’t do those things without experiencing a media onslaught and claims that he waants to “shut down the government”.

Late Tuesday evening, some of Boehner’s close allies and other figures atop the party said they thought Boehner (R-Ohio) should call up Meadows’ resolution himself, as a way to demonstrate his power and tamp down the rebellion from the right for good. All of this happened in the wake of the tragic and totally senseless shooting in Charleston, S.C., an event that had little if nothing to do with any of our Founding Fathers. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), who serves with Meadows (R-N.C.) in the conservative House Freedom Caucus, called the move “about the dumbest idea I’ve seen here”. “We’re fighting the President on his overreach, and we’re dealing with the issues that are extremely important to the people who believe in our brand”, Arkansas Rep. Mike Lee, R-Utah, suggested that conservative groups should take Lee’s fellow Republicans to task if they opposed him on a legislative maneuver to advance a repeal of President Barack Obama’s health care law. The standard operating procedure, according to Meadows’ resolution, is for members to follow the leadership’s direction and not ask too many questions.

The House GOP (and this applies more than it once did to Senate Republicans as well) includes a large and vocal minority always ready to go over a cliff and always ready to burn — fortunately, figuratively — heretical leaders and colleagues. You want enough input from the members on the committee product to allow every good idea to be considered, but you don’t to have endless amendments that slow up the process endlessly. That move was viewed as public retribution for Meadow’s vote against re-electing Boehner in January and blowback erupted from conservative quarters of the GOP conference.

Boehner privately but is absolutely petrified that having his back when things get tough will conjure a challenge inside the party by conservative ultras whose supporters dominate its primary electorate in so many places. While a motion to vacate can be highly privileged under House rules if made on the floor, Meadows instead filed the motion as a resolution, meaning it will be sent to committee rather than the floor. Meadows got in trouble with Boehner because he voted against a procedural motion to allow a rule to be considering governing debate of Trade Promotion Authority. This means that Republicans have to treat doing business with President Barack Obama and the Democrats as something bordering on philosophical treason. His lack of an organized plan already raises doubts about how effective the campaign can be. “Republicans aren’t fighting amongst themselves. (It was introduced with no Republican backers.) It is nonetheless a worthy piece of legislation that establishes what more is needed to ensure full equal rights”.

That Meadows would base his challenge against Boehner because the Speaker used the Rules Committee to pursue a conservative policy goal should give pause to some groups that want to make money off the Meadows maneuver. Well, as soon as Meadows offered his non-privileged motion, there was Freedom Works, on Twitter, supporting the North Carolina firebrand in the hopes of raising money for its organization. He complains that the speaker has “caused the power of Congress to atrophy, thereby making Congress subservient to the Executive and Judicial branches, diminishing the voice of the American people.” Actually, Congress has done a bang-up job of blocking Mr. Boehner for “intentionally” seeking voice votes (as opposed to roll calls) on “consequential and controversial legislation to be taken without notice and with few Members present.” He has a point. But since so many Republicans are often too timid to go on the record for the votes required to keep government moving — they don’t want to be punished by Mr.

Republicans already faced difficulties on this front before the “vacate the chair” warning shot, as Washington Post blogger Greg Sargent noted Wednesday. Jones expressed the hope that “the talk-show hosts who are so frustrated would pick up on this thing and beat the drum.” It’s enough to ruin a speaker’s summer. Republicans are talking a good deal about the threat to their brand posed by Donald Trump’s unplugged, unrestrained appeal to the party’s untamed side.

Our partners
Follow us
Contact us
Our contacts

About this site