Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, booted last week from his seat at the Budget Committee for not towing the GOP line, signaled a possible revolt against House Speaker John Boehner during an interview on Friday.
In the interview with CNN’s Starting Point, Rep. Amash said he hasn’t committed to voting for Speaker Boehner when the House holds its all-important organizational vote early next year.
“We’re going to see how the next few weeks go and whether he’s willing to make amends,” Rep. Amash said. “Right now I’m not very happy with the Speaker.”
When the House re-convenes and organizes on January 3, it will vote on who become the Speaker. Amash and three other conservatives, along with sympathizers, may take revenge by voting against Boehner for the leadership position.
Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp, who was also booted from his spot at the Agriculture and Budget committees, indicated he might even show up to vote that day.
“You know, the Fiesta Bowl with [Kansas] State’s the same day,” Rep. Huelskamp told the Washington Times.
Although political observers believe the worst such a mutiny could do is leave a mark on Boehner as an ineffective leader and expose divisions in the Republican majority of Congress, it does highlight a quiet rivalry between the Speaker and Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor. The two had a heated battle for the Speakership in 2011 that left some bitter feelings on both sides, insiders claim.
As a show of no bad feelings between the two, Rep. Cantor nominated Rep. Boehner for the Speakership in the 113th Congress last month.
Although he is Majority Leader of the 112th Congress, Rep. Cantor is still considered the second-in-command behind Boehner.
Georgia Rep. Tom Price denied on Monday rumors that he was mounting a challenge for the Speakership next month, reports the Washington Post.
Rep. David Schweikert, another Tea Party Republican purged by Boehner last week, “demurred” on Monday when asked if he prefers Cantor or Boehner for the Speakership, reports Politico.
Praising Rep. Cantor as being “one of the truly straight-shooters [he] has dealt with,” Rep. Schweikert paused when asked if he wanted to see Rep. Cantor replace Rep. Boehner at the Speakership.
“It’s bad enough being removed from your committee,” Rep. Schweikert said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “I’d actually like not to be chairman of janitorial supplies.”
In a Fox News interview last Wednesday, Rep. Schweikert compared Speaker Boehner to Newt Gingrich, who was forced from the leadership position in 1998.
A number of conservative groups have called for Speaker Boehner to be replaced for last week’s purge, reports the Hill.