Boehner could face conservative challenger for speaker

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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UPDATE: A spokesman for Price said the congressman will not challenge Boehner.

“Congressman Price is not running for speaker,” spokeswoman Ellen Carmichael said. “He is focused on real solutions to get America back on track. Those solutions reside in fundamental principles that embrace individual opportunity and economic freedom.”

Read the original story below:

As conservative distrust of John Boehner intensifies, Rep. Tom Price of Georgia is reportedly considering challenging the Ohio Republican for the speaker’s gavel in January.

In a Monday story titled “Boehner’s Biggest Threat,” National Review reported that Price is being buzzed about as a possible Republican challenger to Boehner if a “debt deal” goes “sour.”

Price, who is also thought to be considering a run for the U.S. Senate in Georgia, won’t say if he’s thinking about running.

But he acknowledged to the magazine that conservatives are not happy with Boehner, who has drawn fire in recent days from several Republican congressmen who say the GOP leadership has removed them from desired committee assignments because they are too conservative or libertarian. Boehner insists that isn’t the case.

“My concern is that within our conference, conservatives, who are a majority, don’t have a proper platform,” Price said. “That’s true at the leadership table and on the steering committee.”

National Review cited an aide “close to House leadership” who said: “Price is the person we’re all watching. We know he’s frustrated, but we don’t know much else.”

Keeping Boehner from becoming speaker would be a tough task. It’s not entirely clear how a Republican challenger would successfully go about defeating him.

The Republican caucus voted last month to keep Boehner in the role.

But one conservative, Ned Ryun of American Majority, has an idea. In a post on the RedState blog last week, he noted how it’s required to get a majority or 218 votes to be elected speaker and argued that rule can be used to keep Boehner from being re-elected.

“If 16 House Republicans were to abstain from voting for speaker, Boehner would only receive 217 votes. Once we depose Boehner and cause a firestorm, the Republican caucus will get the memo: Pick someone else! These 16 Republicans only need to hold out until the caucus chooses a new leader,” he wrote.

Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert already unsuccessfully tried to keep Boehner from being speaker. When the Republican caucus met last month, he nominated Newt Gingrich for the leadership position. The constitution does not require a speaker to actually be a member of Congress.

But no Republican seconded Gohmert’s nomination, so it wasn’t voted on.

“I just figured it was not time for business as usual,” Gohmert told TheDC at the time.

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