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A common complaint that we hear among liberty-minded grassroots activists is that Republicans have no backbone. When Republicans are right, they often lack the courage to fight for what they believe in and instead succumb to the Democrats. We’ve seen this kind of cowardly behavior time and time again from John Boehner who has been speaker for the last four years. There’s good reason why an EMC Research survey found that only 25 percent of GOP voters want Boehner to be reelected as speaker, while 60 percent said they want someone new.
With the vote for speaker being held tomorrow, a group of principled Republicans have already come out and announced that they will be voting against Boehner for speaker. I want to emphasize that this is an incredibly brave move due to its political risk. Let’s just say that it’s not going to win them any friends with the powers that be. Being too outspoken could get them kicked off committees or get them a well-financed establishment-backed primary challenger.
That’s why I think it’s important to highlight representatives who are taking a stand even though they know the political risks. Just like we need to criticize members of Congress when they are wrong, grassroots activists need to applaud them when they are right. At the time of this writing, the following representatives have stood up for the grassroots:
Rep. Thomas Massie
Rep. Dave Brat
Rep. Steve King
Rep. Jim Bridenstine
Rep. Tim Huelskamp
Rep. Jeff Duncan
Rep. Justin Amash
Rep. Ted Yoho
Rep. Walter Jones
Rep. Curt Clawson
Other representatives that have announced their intention to vote against Boehner include Reps. Gosar (Ariz.), Weber (Tex.), Gohmert (Tex.), Stutzman (Ind.) and Palmer (Ala.)
During the campaign trail, freshmen Reps. Jody Hice (Ga.) and John Ratcliffe (Tex.) said that they would vote against Boehner, according to the Washington Post.
Rep. Steve Pearce (N.M.) who voted against Boehner in 2013 hasn’t weighed in yet.
Right now, the magic number that we need to get is 29 opposed. If we achieve that, they will allow votes on other potential speakers—Reps. Yoho and Gohmert have tossed their names into the ring. The House will continue to vote until one individual gets 218 votes.
All Republicans who stick their neck out by voting against Boehner should be applauded. Be sure to thank them! And if your representative hasn’t announced which way he or she will vote on the speakership, how about making a call?