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While U.S. Rep John Boehner, R-Ohio, may have been re-elected speaker of the House of Representatives, the narrow margin of victory – just a handful of votes over the minimum – may make it difficult for him to move his plans forward in the 113th Congress.
U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., for example, is open in his opposition.
“America cannot afford to continue down the path we’re on,” he said, confirming he did not support Boehner for speaker.
Instead, he said, he voted to replace Boehner “with a new speaker more committed to fixing the defining issue of our time.”
Jones cast his ballot for David Walker, assistant secretary of labor under President Reagan.
Jones described him as a man who “has dedicated his life to cutting wasteful government spending, balancing the federal budget, and eliminating the debt.”
Jones said “Boehner has done the best he could,” but “this House of Representatives was elected to stop the spending, and time and again, opportunities have been missed.”
Jones and Boehner have been at odds since Boehner removed Jones and several other conservative Republicans from select committee responsibilities in recent weeks.
Others that were purged include Reps. Tim Heulskamp, R-Kan., and Justin Amash, R-Mich.
The dismissals took place when many conservatives were fighting against any agreement with Barack Obama that would raise taxes, as the Congress did at the start of the year, adopting a plan to collect another $600 billion, a tax hike that hits virtually every wage earner.
Jones wasn’t the only one to express discontent yesterday at the re-election of Boehner, as Amash got two votes. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., also received votes.
“It was a vote of no confidence in the leadership of the speaker,” Heulskamp told Roll Call. ” … My constituents were very opposed to the current leadership of the House. They are very upset about it.”
Boehner received 220 votes, just above the minimum 214 needed. Ex-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi got support from the Democrats, with 192 votes.
Nine members of the GOP did not support Boehner.
Further, an unscientific poll of Drudge Report readers this week indicated opposition to Boehner’s leadership by about 6-1.
Pundits note Boehner’s maneuvering with Obama allowed the Republicans to avoid “being held responsible for an across-the-board tax increase” and “gave up substantially less revenue than Obama demanded.” But the fiscal cliff plan raises more than $600 billion in new taxes, cuts an insignificant $15 billion from spending and allows huge new budget increases to develop under Obama’s spending.
The bill also allowed virtually every working family in America to face higher taxes – with the expiration of a Social Security tax holiday.