Apparently, we’re on this merry-go-round again.
It’s the Senate that’s causing all the trouble, but the House has decided it can’t fathom not being the center of bad attention. As a showdown nears over the Export-Import bank and its connection to highway refinancing, Rep. Mark Meadows has filed a really out-of-place motion calling for ousting Speaker Boehner, even though pretty much no one but Mark Meadows thinks it’s a good idea.
Oh well. Regardless, here we go again.
North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows had heard from leading conservatives that trying to oust Speaker John Boehner right now was a bad idea.
Reps. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), fierce and frequent critics of leadership, thought the move was ill-advised. Some of Meadows’ friends didn’t even see it coming. But just before 6 p.m. Tuesday — a day before the House was set to leave town for its five-week summer recess — Meadows offered a motion to vacate the chair, an extraordinarily rare procedural move that represents the most serious expression of opposition to Boehner’s speakership. If the motion were to pass — most Republicans say it will be hard to cobble together the votes — Boehner would be stripped of the speaker’s gavel, potentially plunging the House of Representatives into chaos.
This isn’t out of nowhere. Boehner’s been sowing seeds of discontent for some time, doling out punishments to Representatives who fail to fall in line on key votes, Meadows among them. As Republican leadership in the House, that’s Boehner’s prerogative, and had the GOP been desperate for a leadership change, they missed two chances to do it, one which they ignored completely, and the other that they took so seriously, they started whipping votes a whole two days ahead of time. This time, a member went rouge, filing his own bill, which Congress will have to address in the next several days before recess, but which will likely fail.
One thing Meadows could be doing, though, is blazing a path. He is the only one willing to challenge Boehner mid-stream, and he may be unsuccessful, but the next attempt may be less so. It’s also a message to Boehner that old school tactics and punishments aren’t faring so well among new school Members. Whether the message comes across, though, remains to be seen.
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