Speaker Boehner Takes Revenge On Those Who Voted Against Him

| by Edward Arnold

After a mini revolt took away 25 votes from John Boehner's re-election, the third-term speaker of the House took revenge on those who voted against him on Tuesday.

Florida Rep. Daniel Webster ran against Boehner, receiving 12 votes. In response, Boehner kicked him off the House Rules Committee. Rep. Richard Nugent, also from Florida, voted for Webster and lost his seat on the committee as well. Both were on the Rules Committee last year and were expected to be reappointed until they voted against Boehner, reports Bloomberg.

Nugent explained the situation today.

“I’m not on Rules, I will tell you that,” Nugent said. “But it’s not really clear that I couldn’t get back on it. I carried a lot of water on the Rules Committee, took a lot of tough votes.”

But this wasn't the end of Boehner's revenge. Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) said Boehner wouldn't allow him to sponsor a bill because he voted for Rep. Louie Gohmert.

“I’ve already lost the authorship of one bill,” Weber said. “Look, it shouldn’t be that way. It was going to be a bill on regulation of clean nuclear energy.”

This style of retribution is one way Boehner has historically kept his caucus in line. In 2012, he pushed several Republicans off committees after voting against their party.

While this type of revenge does send a message, it might not be the best one. Rep. Scott Rigell (R-VA) voted for Webster and does not want to have to think about the unintended consequences of voting a certain way.

“One thing I respect the speaker for, and I believe it will be true with me -- we’ll find out -- is that he is not a vindictive man," he said. "And my vote was a vote of conscience. Something I share with my staff all the time is that I want to serve without fear and leave without regret.”

It's hard to predict what will come of this, but if Boehner continues to punish his own, it's likely the divide in the Republican base will become even greater.

“This is one of those cases where the fire has only gotten more intense,” a GOP lawmaker told Politico. “More attention has been brought to this now. It’s not going to go away."

The split in the GOP has been between hard-line institutionalists and more conservative tea party members. Regardless of how small the divide is now, Boehner is feeling the heat, as he just withstood one of the biggest revolts against a House speaker in 100 years, says the Washington Post.

While Boehner's opposition was noteworthly, he still won handily with 216 votes, making Boehner and his team confident of their influence on the House.

Whether or not Boehner continues to lash out on his opposition, he will hold power for another two years.

Sources: Bloomberg, Politico, Washington Post / Photo Credit: Breitbart