Breitbart News (with is a contradiction in terms) claims at least 20 House Republicans have banded together in an effort to unseat House Speaker John Boehner from his position when it comes up for a vote tomorrow. Now, there are 233 Republicans taking their oaths of office tomorrow. If there are really 20 Republicans who will not vote for Boehner for Speaker, that means Boehner will be denied a majority, as 233 minus 20 is 213. Since there will be two vacancies at the start of the new Congress, only 217 votes is needed for a majority. So Boehner needs to peel off either 4 of those Republicans or 4 conservative Democrats to remain Speaker. Are there 4 conservative Democrats in the House anymore?
Perhaps that is why John Boehner had a short temper with Harry Reid outside the Oval Office last Friday.
“Go fuck yourself.” — House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), quoted by Politico, to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) after Reid had publicly accused Boehner of running a “dictatorship” in the House. He said not once, but twice. Poor crying baby.
The New York Times has the complete House roll call and an interactive map for last night’s vote on the Cliff Deal. The final vote was 257-167. 172 Democrats and 85 Republicans voted for the bill. 16 Democrats and 151 Republicans voted no. Speaker Boehner and Paul Ryan voted yes, and the next Speaker, Eric Cantor, along with the entire remaining GOP leadership, voted no.
The 16 Democrats were varied ideologically, as there were some principled progressives (like Reps. Xavier Becerra (Calif.), Earl Blumenauer (Ore.), Peter DeFazio (Ore.), Rosa DeLauro (Conn.), Jim McDermott (Wash.), Brad Miller (N.C.), Jim Moran (Va.), Bobby Scott (Va.), and Pete Visclosky (Ind.)) who wanted the President to stand firm on letting all the Clinton rates expire or at least at a lower income threshold, and there were some old Blue Dogs who, like Republicans, can never vote for a tax increase, even and especially on the rich (and they are Reps. John Barrow (Ga.), Jim Cooper (Tenn.), Jim Matheson (Utah), Mike McIntyre (N.C.), Collin Peterson (Minn.), Kurt Schrader (Ore.) and Adam Smith (Wash.)).
Ezra Klein looks ahead at future negotiations:
[T]he Republicans aren’t quite as crazy as they’d like the Democrats to believe. They were scared to take the country over the fiscal cliff. They’re going to be terrified to force the country into default, as the economic consequences would be calamitous. They know they need to offer the White House a deal that the White House can actually take — or at least a deal that, if the White House doesn’t take it, doesn’t lead to Republicans shouldering the blame for crashing the global economy. That deal will have to include taxes, though the tax increases could come through reform rather than higher rates.
I think Ezra is very very optimistic. However, if Boehner will allow the Hastert Rule, which was violated, disregarded and destroyed last night, to remain dead, and allow a governing coalition of Democrats and non-crazy Republicans to pass deals, then maybe, just maybe, we all are not doomed.