Boehner Survives Revolt, GOP Begins 2015 With Anti-Conservative, Weakened Leadership

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WASHINGTON—House Republicans re-elected John Boehner (R., Ohio) for a third term as House speaker on Tuesday over the objections of a band of frustrated conservatives lobbying for a new leader.

Senior Republicans expressed some frustration that internal GOP dissent was grabbing the headlines on the first day of the 114th Congress.

Mr. Boehner, 65 years old, faced more opposition from his party’s right flank than in years past, but not enough to oust him from the House’s top post. After being selected among House Republicans for the post in November, he was officially re-elected in a floor roll-call vote, as the new Congress—now fully controlled by Republicans—convened on Tuesday.

Conservatives defecting from Mr. Boehner said they objected to how he ran the House, faulting him for hashing out too many deals behind closed doors and not giving lawmakers enough time to read legislation before voting.

Even some of the most conservative House Republicans voted for Mr. Boehner, citing the party’s victories in last fall’s midterm election that gave the GOP control of the Senate and expanded the House’s Republican majority.

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Members of the House of Representatives at the opening session of the 114th Congress in Washington on Tuesday. Associated Press

“I’ve had my differences with the speaker, but I plan to support him,” Rep. John Fleming (R., La.) said before the vote. “He led us through a period where we’ve increased our majority, substantially.”

In November’s midterm election, House Republicans won 247 seats, their largest majority in decades. After the resignation of Rep. Michael Grimm (R., N.Y.), effective Monday, Republicans control 246 of the chamber’s 435 seats.

Still, Mr. Boehner faced more defections from those in his own party than he had two years ago, when 12 House Republicans didn’t vote for him, including one who just voted “present” and two who didn’t vote.

Senior Republicans expressed some frustration that internal GOP dissent was grabbing the headlines on the first day of the 114th Congress, as Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) officially became the next Senate Majority Leader across the Capitol…(read more)

WSJ

Write to Kristina Peterson at kristina.peterson@wsj.com and Michael R. Crittenden at michael.crittenden@wsj.com



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