Would House Democrats vote to remove John A. Boehner's speaker gavel?
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., isn't tipping her hand on which way she would urge her members to vote, should Rep. Mark Meadows's motion to "vacate the chair " receive consideration on the House floor. But on Wednesday morning, Pelosi was happy to seize on the developments of the past 15 hours to call attention to "dysfunction" inside the GOP — by green-lighting the release of a statement from her spokesman in direct response to Meadows' resolution.
"As the American people look to Congress for solutions to the challenges they face, they increasingly see a Republican Congress dominated by obstruction, distraction and dysfunction," spokesman Drew Hammill said. "For more than 200 days, this Republican Congress has failed to advance any measure to create jobs and growth in our country, and leaves for August early with the prospect of only more shutdowns and manufactured crises in store this fall. The American people deserve better."
Boehner Defends Speakership Amid Party Unrest
There is no immediate plan to consider Meadows' resolution, which the North Carolina filed as a non-privileged measure to "have a conversation " he said he hopes will result in some changes to Boehner's leadership style. That could, Meadows acknowledged, negate the need to bring up his motion at a later date as "privileged," which would require a vote to take place within a certain time frame rather than at the whim of leadership.
But voting to vacate the chair would have enormous political implications, even if it culminated in Boehner keeping his seat, and Democrats would have to think carefully about their options should it come to that.
Do members of the minority party vote "yes," and gleefully watch the wheels come off the wagon if enough House Republicans also vote to depose Boehner?
Or do they vote "no," calculating that the devil they know is better than the devil they don't? If Boehner goes, there would still be a Republican speaker, and who knows who the winner would be?
In any case, in either scenario, they'd still get a chance to crow over an intraparty squabble taking precious floor time away from any one of the legislative priorities Democrats are pushing, from a long-term highway bill to a rewrite of the Voting Rights Act.