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View Diary: Overnight News Digest -- "In Your Eye" Edition (45 comments)

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  •  Speaker Boehner No More? (16+ / 0-)

    National Journal: Could Boehner's Reelection as Speaker Be in Doubt?

    Think Congress is dysfunctional during these fiscal-cliff negotiations? What if John Boehner can’t even get enough House Republican votes next month to be reelected as speaker?

    Far-fetched? Perhaps. But at least one conservative group says Boehner’s hold on the speaker’s gavel should not be viewed as a done deal. It is launching an all-out effort aimed at about 100 House Republicans to see if it can find at least 17 of them angry enough, and bold enough, to block Boehner’s reelection when the new Congress commences on Jan. 3.

    [...]

    Under normal circumstances, Boehner’s reelection as speaker on Jan. 3 should be automatic. House Republicans are set to enter the new Congress holding 234 seats and the Democrats will have 200 seats (one of the House’s total 435 seats is to be vacant with the resignation last month of former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois). But the linchpin of the conservative “oust-Boehner” strategy being floated rests on the requirement that to be elected as speaker, a candidate must receive an “absolute majority” of all House member votes cast for individuals.

    And as confirmed in the details contained in a Congressional Research Service analysis dated Jan. 6, 2011, titled, “Speakers of the House: Elections, 1913-2011,” a concerted effort by as few as 17 House conservatives could--in fact--throw this normally routine reelection process for Boehner into turmoil.

    [...]

    In short, with Jackson having retired, as few as 17 House Republican members now can deny Boehner an “absolute majority” of the total 434 expected votes on Jan. 3, if all the Democrats back Pelosi.

    [...]

    “If no candidate receives the requisite majority, the roll call is repeated until a Speaker is elected," states the report. "Since 1913, this procedure has been necessary only in 1923, when nine ballots were required before a speaker was elected."

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