Politics
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (C) takes questions during a news conference after a House Republican caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, January 14, 2014. Prospects of 1.4 million unemployed Americans getting their federal jobless benefits back soon brightened on Monday when U.S. Senate Republican negotiators offered a new plan to extend the emergency relief for three months. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst    (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - RTX17DYO U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (C) takes questions during a news conference after a House Republican caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, January 14, 2014. Prospects of 1.4 million unemployed Americans getting their federal jobless benefits back soon brightened on Monday when U.S. Senate Republican negotiators offered a new plan to extend the emergency relief for three months. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - RTX17DYO  

Conservatives rally against debt ceiling ‘surrender,’ call for Boehner’s head

Photo of Alexis Levinson
Alexis Levinson
Political Reporter

The House voted Tuesday to raise the debt ceiling with no conditions attached, and conservative groups are calling for Speaker John Boehner’s head.

The vote was 221-201, with just 28 Republicans joining 193 Democrats to vote for it. Speaker Boehner cast a rare vote in favor of the bill.

But the attacks began before the vote even took place, as soon as it was known that Boehner would bring a no-strings-attached debt ceiling hike to the floor.

“A clean debt ceiling is a complete capitulation on the Speaker’s part and demonstrates that he has lost the ability to lead the House of Representatives, let alone his own party. Speaker Boehner has failed in his duty to represent the people and as a result, it is time for him to go… Fire the Speaker,” said Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin in a statement before the vote. The statement linked to a petition to “Fire the Speaker,” and the group’s Twitter account has been tweeting since the vote asking people to call Boehner and tell him to “resign.”

Senate Conservatives Fund had a similar idea.

“John Boehner must be replaced as Speaker of the House,” reads a post on their website from before the vote.

“Instead of fighting for conservative principles, Speaker Boehner has completely surrendered to the Democrats,” the post reads, and the group launched its own petition to “Replace the Speaker.”

Club for Growth lampooned the idea, flagging it as a “key vote” for their rankings of how pro-growth members are.

“When we heard that House leadership was scheduling a clean debt ceiling increase, we thought it was a joke,” wrote Club for Growth Vice President of Government Affairs Andy Roth in an email to House offices before the vote. “But it’s not. Something is very wrong with House leadership, or with the Republican Party. This is not a bill that advocates of limited government should schedule or support.”

For America, another conservative group, also went after the House Republican leadership.

“Republicans have caved again!” reads a post on the group’s Facebook page. “They promised to fight Obama, but they’ve just announced they will raise the debt limit without any conditions … Yet another failure from the GOP and more proof it’s time to dump the leadership!”

The post is illustrated with a photo of Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy.

Freedomworks’ Matt Kibbe dubbed the vote the “Boehner debt hike,” and marked it as a key vote in their score card for members as well.

“Governing with Democratic votes to raise the debt limit with no reforms attached is an all-time low for Speaker Boehner,” Kibbe said in a statement. “Based on reports, the Boehner debt hike spends money we don’t have to increase entitlement spending and grow the debt. In other words, with the money they spend today, they’ll come back and borrow to pay for tomorrow.”

Heritage Action also knocked the bill, urging members to vote against it.

Historically, Boehner does not have a warm and fuzzy relationship with any these groups. In December, Boehner accused outside groups like these — that were criticizing the bipartisan budget deal — of “misleading their followers” and said “they’ve lost all credibility” in the wake of the government shutdown in October.

Follow Alexis on Twitter