It's the first time in 105 years in the House of Representatives: A Republican congressman filed a motion Tuesday to remove House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, from his position.
Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., filed a "motion to vacate the chair" Tuesday evening, saying Boehner "has endeavored to consolidate power and centralize decision-making, bypassing the majority of the 435 Members of Congress and the people they represent."
Meadows' proposal has been referred to a committee filled with leadership loyalists, making it unlikely to survive, Fox News reported.
The congressman's motion accuses Boehner of weakening the power of Congress, "thereby making Congress subservient to the Executive and Judicial branches, diminishing the voice of the American People."
It also charges that Boehner has used his leadership position in the House to "punish Members who vote according to their conscience instead of the will of the Speaker."
In June, GOP leaders fired Meadows from his subcommittee chairmanship, but outcry from conservatives caused them to restore it.
Fox News noted that the resolution could place Democrats in a difficult situation. Should they vote to keep Boehner even after they've clashed with him so many times? Or should they side with conservatives and help throw him out?
"Much like the Declaration of Independence, he's laid a case against the crown," talk-show host Mark Levin said on his show Tuesday evening. "He's showing the institutional corruption of John Boehner."
He continued, "John Boehner is Nancy Pelosi's favorite Republican in the House of Representatives. So, while the Democrats should vote to remove John Boehner, many will vote to keep him because they like what he's doing. They like what he's doing to advance Obama's agenda. We have a very brave member of Congress, Meadows, who has said enough is enough. I would encourage you to call your members of the House of Representatives and tell them to support Mark Meadows."
Levin urged listeners to "overwhelm their phone lines," "overwhelm their emails."
In an interview with Levin, Meadows explained, "I felt like I had to take action on behalf of the American people. For all the millions of American who felt like we're not accomplishing much in Washington, D.C., I felt like it was a move I had to make."
Levin pointed out that Meadows would be punished for his actions.
"I am prepared for it," Meadows said. "It's not something I relish. It's not something I want. I've already had a few discussions with some of my colleagues. … What it really gets down to, is if you're not willing to stand up for the people who send you to Washington, D.C., why go? ... If we're allowing three or four people to make all the decisions, it's wrong."
Meadows said he has "an obligation" to make this move, and the "punishment is surely going to come, but it's nothing compared to the sacrifices our Founding Fathers had to make."
He added, "We have a rule book that has 13,008 pages of rules, and yet since I've been in Congress, I don't know of one time where we've actually followed those rules."
Meadows said Congress suspends or changes the rules, but never follows them.
"I couldn't be silent any longer," he said. "Indeed, it's something that had to be done regardless of consequences. This particular decision may send me home. It may make sure I don't get re-elected, but ultimately it had to be made."
Levin warned Meadows that GOP elites will likely attack him in the GOP primary.
But Meadows said he has vowed to make sure his constituents' voices are heard in Washington, D.C.
"I want you to know something," Levin said. "There are millions of us who agree with you."
Meadows said he believes Boehner could make a quick vote of the issue.
"Obviously this is bigger than one vote tomorrow or next week," he said. "This is about the future of our country. Will we have a representative form of government? That's where we're at."
According to Fox News, some GOP members blasted the resolution, saying it would benefit President Obama by diverting attention from the issues of the Iran nuclear deal and Planned Parenthood defunding.
Republican Study Chairman Bill Flores of Texas told Politico the resolution is a “cheap political stunt.”
Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., who has a close relationship with Boehner, told Fox News: "You don't raise any money, you need a way to raise money, you do gimmicks like this."
But Meadows said he hasn't raised money on this issue.
Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., said GOP leadership is "not listening to the American people" – especially by preventing quick votes against same-sex marriage and federal funding of Planned Parenthood.
Immediately after Levin's interview with Meadow, an excited listener called into the show and declared: "Hooray for Mark Meadows. I'm so frustrated with this Congress!"
On Monday, Levin called for Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to resign.
He wrote on his Facebook page:
It is time for Mitch McConnell and John Boehner to resign for the good of the nation and the Republican Party. The nation and GOP are both suffering as a result of the unwillingness or inability of McConnell and Boehner to effectively defend either. Instead, these politicians are consumed with consolidating their own power on Capitol Hill and silencing opponents who dare to challenge their ironfisted rule. Sadly, they rarely act in the best interests of America’s future. Indeed, time and again they have delivered victory after victory for Obama and his radical agenda – from spending, borrowing, and Obamacare to illegal immigration, Iran and "trade" power. Never before has a Congress controlled by one party been so thoroughly impotent. This is due to the disastrous leadership of McConnell and Boehner.
It is time for younger, wiser, and more courageous Republican leadership – constitutional conservatives who understand the role of a statesman in perilous times – who are willing to truly lead the nation and the Republican Party based on America’s enlightened principles, advance the cause of liberty and republican government, and make the case everyday to the American people.
The following is the full text of Meadows' resolution:
Whereas the Speaker of the House of Representatives for the 114th Congress has endeavored to consolidate power and centralize decision-making, bypassing the majority of the 435 Members of Congress and the people they represent;
Whereas the Speaker has, through inaction, caused the power of Congress to atrophy, thereby making Congress subservient to the Executive and Judicial branches, diminishing the voice of the American People;
Whereas the Speaker uses the power of the office to punish Members who vote according to their conscience instead of the will of the Speaker;
Whereas the Speaker has intentionally provided for voice votes on consequential and controversial legislation to be taken without notice and with few Members present;
Whereas the Speaker uses the legislative calendar to create crises for the American People, in order to compel Members to vote for legislation;
Whereas the Speaker does not comply with the spirit of the rules of the House of Representatives, which provide that Members shall have three days to review legislation before voting;
Whereas the Speaker continues to direct the Rules Committee to limit meaningful amendments, to limit debate on the House floor, and to subvert a straightforward legislative process; and
Whereas the House of Representatives, to function effectively in the service of all citizens of this country, requires the service of a Speaker who will endeavor to follow an orderly and inclusive process without imposing his or her will upon any Member thereof: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the office of Speaker of the House of Representatives is hereby declared to be vacant.