There's a chance, just a chance that we're stuck
with House Speaker John Boehner for the foreseeable future.
Boehner's deputy, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), is expected to win the nomination in a closed-door vote on Thursday. But if he can’t reach 218 votes in the formal floor vote, additional rounds of voting will be held.
And if no other GOP candidate for Speaker can secure 218, Boehner would not resign his post as Speaker.
"If you don’t put up 218, Boehner stays Speaker," [Rep. Tom] Cole [R-OK] explained, "because his resignation doesn't take effect until there's a new Speaker.
"They've checked with the parliamentarian about that. ... We will not be without a Speaker."
That uncertainty is kind of
the rationale behind Rep. Jason Chaffetz's challenge of McCarthy. He's not justifying his own run by saying that he himself has 218 votes to get the speakership—he's saying he doesn't think McCarthy has 218, so he's putting out an alternative. Who also doesn't have 218 votes. And, by the way, the Democrats aren't going to be bailing anyone out
by providing their support.
That means a deadlocked House. And that means Boehner sticks around, which is supposedly what Chaffetz's crowd most did not want. Says Republican Rep. Tom Rooney, who supports McCarthy, "[w]henever I think of what's the worst-case scenario that can happen with this Congress, it's not altogether wrong all the time. Just try us."