Amid a spirited reluctance by a number of conservative Republican lawmakers to support U.S. Rep. John Boehner for re-election as speaker of the House, the Ohio Republican now has a notable opponent to head the 114th Congress.
U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, broke the news early Sunday on “Fox and Friends” that he will challenge Boehner for the leadership post.
“We heard from a lot of Republicans that ‘Gee, I’d vote for somebody besides Speaker Boehner, but nobody will put their name out there as running so there’s nobody else to vote for,'” Gohmert said.
“Well, that changed yesterday when my friend [U.S. Rep.] Ted Yoho said, ‘I’m putting my name out there.'”
“And I’m putting my name out there also today to be another candidate for speaker,” Gohmert added.
In response to an op-ed published on Friday by U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., stating that he will not support Boehner for re-election as speaker, Yoho posted a note on Facebook Saturday saying that, “if needed,” he will offer members an alternative.
“Our Republic is built on choice, and if needed, I would stand up to give our members that option,” he wrote.
In a statement to The Blaze, Gohmert explained why he also stepped into the ring.
“I applaud my friend Rep. Ted Yoho for putting his name forward as an alternative to the status quo,” Gohmert wrote. “Ted is a good man for whom I could vote, but I have heard from many supporters and also friends in Congress who have urged me to put forward my name for Speaker as well to increase our chances of change. That is why I am also offering my name as a candidate for Speaker.”
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Gohmert’s announcement is the latest in a string of bad news for Boehner, including the release of a poll Friday that found 60 percent of Republican voters preferred someone else to be the next speaker of the House.
The same poll found 64 percent of Republicans consider Boehner to have been “ineffective” in opposing President Obama’s agenda.
The House will vote for the next speaker on Tuesday, and the GOP controls 247 seats to 188 for Democrats.
Boehner needs a simple majority to win reelection, which means he could lose 29 Republican votes and still prevail.
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