Boehner, Pelosi Facing Defections as House Votes for Speaker
Disgruntled House lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are lining up to voice their discontent with their own leaders during Thursday’s vote to choose the Speaker in the 113th Congress.
Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) is expected to keep his Speaker position while Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has already secured her spot as the Democratic leader. But the small groups of defectors are a reminder that neither party is entirely unified heading into the high-stakes fiscal battles that are expected to define 2013.
For Boehner, Thursday’s vote for Speaker could be particularly punishing amid a week when the Ohio Republican pushed through a fiscal-cliff package that was wildly unpopular in his conference, and then scrapped a promised vote on federal relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy.
The first move alienated conservatives who said the tax-and-spending package didn’t include nearly enough cuts; the second enraged Republicans from the Northeast, who were apoplectic Wednesday that the aid to their districts won’t come faster.
Reps. Pete King (R-N.Y.) and Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) threatened to defect on the Speaker vote unless Boehner reversed course on the Sandy measure. After Boehner did an about face, they expressed support for the Ohio Republican.