A new effort to remove Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) as Speaker of the House is reportedly making the rounds of Congress again. The House Freedom Caucus, which is about 40 members strong, is demanding more fortitude from their House speaker to fight the battles they believe voters entrusted them with when they rewarded them a sweeping GOP victory last November.
One of those battles is defunding Planned Parenthood. After the Center for Medical Progress exposed the pro-abortion organization in a shocking investigation into its inhumane practices, defunding became a top priority for hill conservatives. So much so that the group is willing to shut down the government to ensure the organization doesn’t receive any more taxpayer dollars.
“Given the appalling revelations surrounding Planned Parenthood, we cannot in good moral conscience vote to send taxpayer money to this organization while still fulfilling our duty to represent our constituents. We must therefore oppose any spending measure that contains funding for Planned Parenthood.”
This is non-negotiable, conservatives warn Boehner, insisting they won’t accept any spending bill that includes even one dollar for Planned Parenthood.
Now, however, some representatives in Boehner’s inner circle are dismissing the Freedom Caucus’s efforts as showmanship:
“The people considering this are being totally irresponsible, but Boehner’s guys, we’re getting ready for whatever may come — not out of fear, but with exasperation about what some Republicans are willing to do to their own party,” said Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.), who is part of the speaker’s circle of unofficial advisers.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), another Boehner supporter, compared the passionate group of conservatives to radical activists:
“This is a continuation of the strange virus that’s running through the Republican Party, which I define as a weird form of right-wing Marxism where people are using Saul Alinsky-type tactics."
Sources say conservatives have about 30 votes to boot Boehner from his leadership role. Should it happen, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is expected to replace him.
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), who in July filed a resolution to request a vote to oust Boehner, explained what he’s looking for in a new speaker:
“We’ll look for a speaker who will serve the conference, rather than the conference serving the speaker,” Meadows said, when asked about the McCarthy chatter among his associates. “If Kevin could have that kind of inclusive debate, he could certainly find support.”