Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi , left, handed Boehner the speaker’s gavel to mark his re-election to the leadership role Thursday at the start of the 113th Congress.
Franks did not, he said, and quickly rejected the appeal to join in. This was a “ridiculous miscalculation on the part of sincere but completely inept” members “to do something I think was totally unjustified,” Franks said.
Other members also dismissed the threat. “I was here when there was a credible challenge to [then-Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga.,] and I don’t think this was a credible challenge. It was more disjointed people,” Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., said.
But Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, an influential conservative member who vied for but lost a seat in leadership, said the dissent “speaks to a concern and frustration about where we are in this country and the imperative of addressing the serious issues that we’ve got.”
Price recently said in a radio interview that the GOP leadership team needed more “red state” representation and explained Thursday, “If you look at the Republican Conference, it’s about two-thirds/one-third, conservative/moderate, and that percent isn’t reflected, necessarily, either in the leadership table or the steering committee.”
Huelskamp suggested that the members who voted no are ready to be punished if leadership sees fit and said leadership had engaged in intimidation leading up to the vote. McCarthy denied that. “What? That is crazy! That’s not true in any state or form at all,” he said.
As interesting as the vote was, however, the lasting historical implications are limited given the history of the speakership. Brookings Institution fellow Sarah Binder said there was no candidate to coalesce around, and really no issue large enough to wrench the conference in half.
“It’s a ripple, sort of a footnote,” she said. “I would see this really as the symptom of the disease, not the cause of the disease. It’s emblematic of the difficulties Boehner has to deal with in his conference.”
On January 3, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., raises her right hand as her son Henry messes up her hair while Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., delivers the ceremonial swearing-in in the Old Senate Chamber. Gillibrand's other son Theodore, lower right, looks on.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.