Ann Marie Buerkle exits congressional stage, still a freshman

Though it has been suggested that Boehner could face a challenge to his speakership next year by the more conservative wing of his caucus, Buerkle, one of those who rebelled against his Plan B, described him as a “good leader” who was doing the right things.

Not bringing Plan B to the House floor, she said, was “the best course of action” since he did not have the votes to pass it.

“He just did a very smart thing; he just took a step back,” she said.

That he could not find the necessary votes, she said, had nothing to do with a rejection of his leadership, but with “a difference among the members as to whether or not they would be willing to change the tax rates. That was the issue, and many were not willing to do that.”

Buerkle is in the camp that believes that not raising taxes is a core tenet of the Republican Party, from which legislators should not stray.

“The Republican Party has to be true to its principles and who we are as a party,” she said, focusing on less government and lower taxes, something she said was a “big part of the discussion” Thursday evening before Boehner called off the Plan B vote.

“When a Republican Party adheres to those principles, they do better,” she said. “Now it can be painful to do that because sometimes you’re accursed of being stubborn, you don’t want to compromise,” she said. But ultimately, she reiterated, things work out better when you stand on principle.

That, in part, is what she’d like people to remember about her brief time in Congress.

“Many of us in the freshman class who came down here not looking for a job,” just with the intention of “doing what we believe is right for this country,” she said.