As expected, John Boehner will continue on as Speaker of the House. He received 216 votes. That’s less than a majority of the full House, but comfortably more than a majority of the votes cast.
Like John, I’m not happy to see Boehner serve two more years as Speaker, given his handling of “Cromnibus.” But I wasn’t convinced that the candidates who ran against him were Speaker material.
24 Republicans voted against Boehner (one of them voted “present”). That’s an increase from last session, when 12 Republicans bucked Boehner. It’s also the largest defection since 1923, when multiple ballots were required to pick the Speaker.
There were some whimsical votes. Senators Jeff Sessions and Rand Paul each received a vote. So did Colin Powell. That choice, which strikes me as beyond whimsical, came from Tennessee Democrat Jim Cooper.
Will the 25 defections influence Boehner’s conduct as Speaker. I don’t think so, at least not directly. Boehner’s conduct will depend on the amount of backing he gets from Republicans on specific voting issues.
I expect that these amounts won’t always be as large as Boehner wants. But very often they will probably be as large as he needs.