Iowa Congressman Steve King is among those leading a revolt against House Speaker John Boehner.
The newly-expanded Republican majority takes control of the U.S. House of Representatives today and soon after all the members take the oath of office, a vote on whom should serve as House speaker will be held.
“I came to the conclusion that I cannot take an oath to the constitution and turn around and vote for John Boehner and so I will vote for an alternative candidate,” King says.
In the summer of 2013 Boehner chastized King for saying there are more drug runners than valedictorians among the so-called “Dreamers” who were brought into the U.S. illegally by their parents when they were children. King faults Boehner for failing to heed the calls of his fellow Republicans and block funding for implementing “ObamaCare” and accuses Boehner of buckling on the immigration issue.
“I’ve watched now as the president has committed his unconstitutional executive amnesty as of November 20. The House was perfectly positioned to block it and use the power of the purse and constitutional authority and instead we’ve been maneuvered out of that,” King says. “I can’t defend the constitution if I’m going to be outmaneuvered by my own speaker.”
It will take 218 votes to win the speaker’s race and vote counters in D.C. suggest Boehner has enough support to win a third term as speaker. King says Boehner can be denied the win if 29 Republicans refuse to vote for Boehner.
“I’ll have to see how many others will stand with me,” King says. “That number has grown over the past three days. I just don’t know how many yet.”
Three other House Republicans have stepped forward to offer themselves as an alternative to Boehner, and a chorus of conservatives and Tea Party activists have started lobbying members of congress to vote against Boehner today.
“It’s a very intense time and it’s awfully hard to read these situations since there really isn’t a formula for this,” King says. “It’s political science, after all, which is not a science in the end.”
Two new congressmen from Iowa will be sworn into office for the first time today. David Young of Van Meter and Rod Blum of Dubuque are both Republicans. Congressman Dave Loebsack, a Democrat from of Iowa City, will be sworn in for his fifth term. New members of the United States Senate will also take the oath of office today and Iowa’s Joni Ernst will be among them.