Who voted against Boehner for speaker and why?

by
January 4, 2013

John Boehner
Twelve Republicans voted against John Boehner’s second term as speaker Thursday, making for a very tense final few minutes of the vote.

At one point, in fact, the number either voting for someone else or not voting reached into the high teens, raising the possibility that Boehner wouldn’t secure a majority on the first ballot. Eventually, a few of those who hadn’t voted — including Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) — cast their ballots for Boehner.

Boehner won with 220 votes — six more than the 214 votes he needed. (A speaker needs only a majority of the actual votes cast, not of all members of the House. And here’s the roll call.)

Below is a look at the defectors, whom they voted for, and our best guess as to why it wasn’t Boehner:

Rep. Eric Cantor (3 votes)
Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) — conservative freshman who defeated Rep. John Sullivan (R-Okla.) in a primary
Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) — very conservative
Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) — conservative freshman who defeated Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) in a primary

Former congressman Allen West (2)

Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) — noted conservative maverick, Club for Growth favorite
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) — outspoken conservative

Rep. Raul Labrador (1)
Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) — libertarian ally of former congressman Ron Paul (R-Tex.), recently stripped of committee assignments by House GOP leadership

Rep. Jim Jordan (1)
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) — very conservative, recently stripped of committee assignments

Former comptroller general David Walker (1)
Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) — frequently votes against his party, recently stripped of committee assignments

Amash (1)
Rep. Tom Massie (R-Ky.) — freshman conservative, favorite of the Club for Growth

Voting present (1)
Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Tex.) — has criticized Boehner for “being too harsh with conservatives“

Not voting (3)
Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) — conservative, frequent critic of Boehner
Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) — critic of Boehner’s “Plan B” maneuver on the “fiscal cliff”
Boehner — speaker traditionally does not vote for himself or herself

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