Latham, King help re-elect Boehner as House speaker

The new U.S. House of Representatives convened yesterday and narrowly re-elected John Boehner speaker. He received 220 votes, needing 214 to be elected because a few House members were absent. The roll call shows that Iowa Republicans Tom Latham (IA-03) and Steve King (IA-04) voted for Boehner, while eight members of the GOP caucus voted for others and several did not vote. Latham and Boehner have been close friends and smoking buddies since Latham was first elected in the mid-1990s. King has sometimes been among the "tea party" dissenters within the GOP caucus, but most of that group (Michele Bachmann, for instance) fell behind Boehner yesterday. King will be a House Agriculture subcommittee chairman in the new Congress. Several of the Republicans who voted for other speaker candidates recently lost prime committee positions.

Boehner’s opponents were disorganized and couldn’t agree on a replacement as speaker.

Bruce Braley (IA-01) and Dave Loebsack (IA-02) were among the 192 votes for Nancy Pelosi as speaker, but five Blue Dog Democrats voted for other candidates.

The new thing I learned this week is that the speaker of the House does not have to be a member of the House. One Democrat voted for Colin Powell, one Republican voted for Comptroller General David Walker, and two Republicans voted for outgoing Representative Allen West.

  • Boehner

    I was watching the mock swearing-in ceremony for House members and Richard Hanna’s little boy was so upset about having his picture taken with John Boehner that he took a swing at his mother.  I am not kidding.  I am sure that the kid was either amped up because of all the excitement there or tired from travel, daily life, whatever.  I think this proves that there is indeed trouble within the caucus.  

    Walter Jones wants to switch parties, but he knows he would lose his seat unfairly if he did.  I think he wants to switch parties anyway.  I know he supported Ron Paul’s presidential bid, but he votes with Democrats quite often for a Republican on these budget questions.  

    • in the old days

      Walter Jones would definitely have been a Dixiecrat.

      I missed the swearing-in ceremony. It’s asking for trouble to bring a small child into a setting like that. Way too stimulating, probably lights also too bright, room too noisy, etc.

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