Several reports out late today place House Majority Leader Eric Cantor directly at odds with House Speaker John Boehner, a situation very similar to that voiced by our Republican Insider weeks ago in an update titled “Norquist Day” and a more recent update several days ago aptly titled “Tell Speaker Boehner he can go to hell”
(Speaker John Boehner watches as GOP leadership rival Eric Cantor speaks to reporters during a recent press conference)
EXCERPT: (via The Washington Post)
House Republicans prepare for final passage of ‘fiscal cliff’ bill
…Among House Republicans, however, the measure at first appeared to run into strong opposition. The GOP held two briefings for its members on the bill. After the first, which lasted nearly two hours, Cantor emerged to announce his opposition.
Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said Cantor “forcefully” aired his concerns during the closed-door session, during which other GOP members expressed grave doubts about the Senate agreement…Former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), who has opposed any deal to raise taxes, voiced support for Cantor. LINK
Here is an excerpt from an earlier Republican Insider update from over a month ago:
Now that is the kind of non-leadership thing I was telling you about before that is killing the party, so if there is a revolt inside the party, maybe that would be a good thing. That possibility leads me to Cantor, who I know does not totally trust Boehner’s instincts or loyalty to fiscal conservatism. So there’s a whole bunch of us watching Cantor closely right now for any clues, but very little info is coming from his office which always means they are cooking up something. I wish I could tell you what that is, but at this point, nobody around me knows. Someone suggested Cantor was preparing to challenge Boehner for the Speakers position…LINK
And another excerpt from the most recent Republican Insider update of just over a week ago:
Remember what I said a month ago about the push to remove Boehner from his position as Speaker? That move has now turned into all out war.
…The fact this particular Congressman was even approached about supporting the Plan B option shows just how weak John Boehner has become among his own Republicans. January 3rd is the vote for Speaker. I am going to be part of an effort to see Boehner removed. LINK
So what once appeared highly unlikely – a direct and forceful challenge to John Boehner’s position as Speaker of the House, now appears increasingly possible. (Though RI indicated it has not yet reached the point of probable) The risk to someone like Eric Cantor would be great if he were to in fact openly push to be made the next Speaker and failed. What is clear is that RI is now part of an effort to do that very thing. If there is risk to Eric Cantor – the risk to RI is likely far greater.
Dangerous waters on the Hill these days, but how refreshing is it to see conservatives showing some fight in them once again. Let’s hope it becomes the rule and not merely the exception…
Final approval came in the House on New Year’s Night. The vote was 257 to 167. Early reports indicate Eric Cantor voted NO.
This outcome was predicted by RI as well:
Doesn’t mean the fiscal cliff stuff won’t turn into some kind of negotiation pledge with the White House. That is too far gone to stop now and the Democrats are obviously trying to use it as political leverage with the voters for 2014. That appears to have been the plan all along. Typical Obama bullcrap. LINK
To have 167 NO votes is a sign of serious weakness to John Boehner. Will Eric Cantor or someone else step up to challenge the Speaker position?
Let’s hope so. Republicans need to shed a bit of in-house political blood NOW, reorganize, and then focus 100% on taking back the Senate in 2014.
Good luck to RI in helping to make that happen. Hope to hear from you soon…