In a dramatic vote in which Republican dissidents staged yet another unsuccessful coup attempt, Speaker John A. Boehner was elected to a third term as speaker of the House Tuesday.
Boehner won re-election with 216 of the 408 votes cast, as 25 Republicans voted for someone else or voted present in an act of protest. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi received 164 Democratic votes, with four members of her party voting for someone other than the California Democrat. In his remarks to the full House after retaking the gavel, Boehner expressed hope for a new era of cooperation and productivity.
“They say nothing is going to be accomplished here, divisions are greater than ever. … Skepticism of our government is healthy and in our time quite understandable. But one problem with saying, ‘it can’t be done,’ is that it already has been done, or at least started.
“As speaker, all I ask, and frankly expect, is that we disagree without being disagreeable,” Boehner continued. “Let’s stand tall and prove the skeptics wrong.”
Other Republicans who voted for someone other than Boehner:
— Louie Gohmert of Texas, Randy Weber of Texas, and Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma, who voted for Gohmert.
— Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Ted Yoho of Florida, who voted for Yoho.
— Justin Amash of Michigan and Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee, who voted for Jim Jordan of Ohio.
— Florida freshman Curt Clawson, who voted for Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.
— Alabama freshman Gary Palmer, who voted for Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama.
— Virginia freshman Dave Brat, who voted for Jeff Duncan of South Carolina.
— Jeff Duncan, who voted for Trey Gowdy of South Carolina.
— Chris Gibson of New York, who voted for Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California.
— And freshman Brian Babin of Texas, who voted present, just as his predecessor, former Rep. Steve Stockman, voted at the start of the 113th Congress.
Matt Salmon of Arizona and Stephen Fincher of Tennessee were in the chamber when their name was called, but both sat silent. In the end, when it was clear that insurgents didn’t have enough votes to bring the speaker election to a second ballot, both voted for Boehner.
The Boehner dissidents more than doubled in size from the 113th Congress two years ago, when Republicans staged another coup attempt on the floor.
The 25 Republicans who voted for someone other than Boehner sent a clear message to the speaker: This is not a unified conference.
Despite historic gains in November, the GOP conference begins the 114th Congress with ongoing questions about the depth of support for Boehner among the GOP rank-and-file and lingering concerns, especially among Democrats, over Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s 2002 address to a white supremacist group.
Clark Mindock contributed to this report.
Correction 3:10 p.m. An earlier headline misstated the number of Republican dissidents.
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