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The conflict between the moderate House leadership under John Boehner and the conservative House Freedom Caucus appears to be heating up.
The opening lines of the article are quite intriguing:
The House Freedom Caucus has a secret it wants to share with Democrats. “If the Democrats were to file a motion to vacate the chair [remove Boehner] and were to vote for that motion unanimously, there probably are 218 votes for it to succeed,” one member of the House Freedom Caucus told CQ Roll Call Tuesday night, as he exited an meeting in the basement of Tortilla Coast.
If that’s true, Democrats could certainly use a vote to remove Speaker John A. Boehner as leverage in any number of upcoming battles: the Export-Import Bank, a highway bill, all sorts of spending measures. But absent any real talk from Democrats, the official response from Boehner’s communications director, Kevin Smith, was simply to dismiss CQ Roll Call’s reporter. “Matt Fuller is a prop for Freedom Caucus propaganda,” Smith wrote via email.
What this suggests is that the Freedom Caucus is looking for ways to pressure the House leadership to pay more attention to their concerns instead of Democratic concerns. And if the data from the article is correct and that the caucus’s membership has swelled to as much as 70 members, then Boehner is in deep trouble.
Then again, this could all be a game to make the caucus look more powerful than it is. If it can work out a deal to depose Boehner, however, even if it is weak, it might still be able to get a true conservative Republican named as House Speaker.