The PJ Tatler

Boehner on Ouster Effort: A Few Lawmakers are 'Off the Reservation; No Big Deal'

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) today dismissed the effort by a North Carolina conservative to declare his seat vacant.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) has no co-sponsors listed yet for H.Res. 385, which was introduced yesterday and referred to the House Rules Committee.

The resolution reads:

Whereas the Speaker of the House of Representatives for the 114th Congress has endeavored to consolidate power and centralize decisionmaking, bypassing the majority of the 435 Members of Congress and the people they represent;

Whereas the Speaker has, through inaction, caused the power of Congress to atrophy, thereby making Congress subservient to the executive and judicial branches, diminishing the voice of the American people;

Whereas the Speaker uses the power of the office to punish Members who vote according to their conscience instead of the will of the Speaker;

Whereas the Speaker has intentionally provided for voice votes on consequential and controversial legislation to be taken without notice and with few Members present;

Whereas the Speaker uses the legislative calendar to create crises for the American people, in order to compel Members to vote for legislation;

Whereas the Speaker does not comply with the spirit of the rules of the House of Representatives, which provide that Members shall have three days to review legislation before voting;

Whereas the Speaker continues to direct the Rules Committee to limit meaningful amendments, to limit debate on the House floor, and to subvert a straightforward legislative process; and

Whereas the House of Representatives, to function effectively in the service of all citizens of this country, requires the service of a Speaker who will endeavor to follow an orderly and inclusive process without imposing his or her will upon any Member thereof: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved,

      That the office of Speaker of the House of Representatives is hereby declared to be vacant.

Rep. Walt Jones (R-N.C.), a Meadows supporter, told CNN this morning that Boehner “has used too much force to intimidate, and that is wrong.”

Meadows was temporarily removed as chairman of an Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee in June.

Many GOP lawmakers said Meadows’ bill came as a shock. “I’m sorry that they were caught by surprise. I’ve known this for three weeks,” Jones said.

“So therefore, in a situation like this, you don’t know who you can trust and not trust,” he added. “And when you’ve got a problem like we have with the speaker of the House being so coercive, then we need to do what is necessary for the good of the people and the good of this country.”

At his weekly press conference, Boehner predicted “pretty smooth sailing” going into fall.

“Listen, because America has essentially a two-party system, each of the parties represents a pretty wide, divergent set of views. And as a result, it requires a lot more effort on the part of the leaders to try to work in a — in a unified fashion. We just continue to work at it every day,” he said. “You’ve got a member here and a member there who are off the reservation. No big deal.”

“Listen, this is one member, all right? I’ve got broad support amongst my colleagues. And frankly, it isn’t even deserving of a vote,” the Speaker continued.

Asked if he’d spoken with Meadows, Boehner replied, “I have not. Why?”