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LIVE VOTE COUNT: CONGRESS VOTES FOR A NEW SPEAKER
With the start of the 113th Congress today, new members are poised to re-elect John Boehner as the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Still, Boehner goes into today’s vote with his power greatly diminished. Two years ago, the veteran Ohio Congressman took over as leader of the House Republican Majority as the toast of the GOP, riding in on the Tea Party wave of 2010.
The new Congress convened at noon, after which members voted for Speaker.
But Boehner took the helm of a party that was very different from the one he came up in. During the 112th Congress, the Speaker struggled to command discipline over a divided caucus that leaned far to the right on fiscal and social issues.
Boehner begins the new session of Congress more vulnerable than he has been at any other point in his speakership. Some GOP sources on the Hill say that it is even possible there will be a rare second ballot for Speaker, in the event that 16 conservative Republicans vote against Boehner.
We’ll be updating below with developments:
Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), one of the four congressmen “purged” by Boehner, just voted for Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) as speaker.
Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) just voted for Cantor.
Tea Party favorite Allen West, who lost his reelection to Congress, just got a vote for Speaker.
Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) votes for Colin Powell. That’s the second Democrat to defect from Pelosi.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) gives Allen West his second vote for speaker. Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) abstained.
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), another purged congressman, votes for Rep. Jim Jordan, the head of the Republican Study Committee.
Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) votes for David Jones, the former GAO comptroller. Yes, that’s pretty random.
Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) abstains. That’s four Republican abstentions and six defections from Boehner.
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) votes Amash for Speaker. Both Massie and Amash are acolytes of retired Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX).
Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-NC) a Blue Dog Democrat, defected from Pelosi.