Politics
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. passes the gavel to House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, who was re-elected as House Speaker of the 113th Congress, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. passes the gavel to House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, who was re-elected as House Speaker of the 113th Congress, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)  

Republican who voted against Boehner for speaker: ‘It was important to make a statement’

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

Up until the vote, a conservative group aiming to oust Boehner claimed they had commitments from enough Republicans in Congress to deny the Ohio Republican the speaker’s gavel.

“I have confirmed with a group of congressmen that Speaker Boehner will not be elected speaker tomorrow,” Ron Meyer of the group American Majority Action wrote in an email Wednesday evening. “He will either resign or be forced out tomorrow.”

While that never happened, Jones hinted that Amash, whose disagreements with Boehner are well known after he recently lost a coveted committee assignment, was behind an organized effort to get Republicans to vote for someone other than Boehner.

“Justin Amash would be the one that you should speak to because I think he was the quarterback on this one,” Jones said, explaining he met with Amash on Wednesday about the speaker’s election.

Several other Republicans abstained from voting or voted present. One Republican who was present for the election, but did not vote, was Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador.

“I have no comment, but thank you,” he told The Daily Caller afterward.

Likewise, as Boehner left the House floor, he refused to answer questions about the Republicans who voted against him. He remained silent when TheDC asked if the Republicans who voted against him could be punished.

“If the leader decides he wants to punish any of the group, then that’s to me is not the definition of a leader,” Jones said. “That becomes the definition of a dictator.”

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