John Boehner’s Revenge: How The House Speaker Is Punishing GOP Defectors

PHOTO: House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, followed by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., arrives to speak to reporters following a House GOP caucus meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015. J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, followed by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., arrives to speak to reporters following a House GOP caucus meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015.

Four congressmen who voted against Speaker John Boehner felt the sting from their leader as three have lost plum assignments and one was prevented from sponsoring legislation.

There may be more payback on the way that could target the 25 Republicans who voted against Boehner’s reelection.

Florida GOP Reps. Daniel Webster and Rep. Richard Nugent both voted against Boehner Tuesday and were not reappointed to their seats on the powerful House Rules Committee. Republicans had been poised to have nine seats to the Democrats’ four seats, but when the committee was organized Tuesday, just seven Republicans were seated, leaving the duo off the panel.

“We had a situation yesterday where we had to constitute the Rules Committee because of some of the activities on the floor,” Boehner, R-Ohio, explained during a news conference at the Capitol today. “Two of our members weren't put back on the committee immediately. I had not had a chance to talk to them.”

Webster received 12 votes in the speaker's race, including one from himself and one from Nugent. Stripping them of their most precious committee assignment is being widely perceived as payback for bucking Boehner.

Another Republican rebel, Rep. Randy Weber of Texas, told Bloomberg that Boehner blocked him from sponsoring legislation related to the regulation of clean nuclear energy, while Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas said he lost out on a promised gavel at a subcommittee because of his vote for Webster.

Boehner narrowly survived a tense vote to win a third term as House Speaker, receiving the support of 216 of his colleagues -- 11 more than he needed for a simple majority. Twenty-four Republicans voted for someone else while one voted present.

Today, Boehner said House Republicans are “going to continue to have a family conversation,” hinting that there could be more payback coming for the other defectors as the leadership team builds its agenda in the coming days.

“I told the members the same thing I'm saying here: We're going to have a family conversation, which we had this morning, about bringing our team together,” Boehner said. “I expect that those conversations over the next couple of days will continue and we'll come to a decision about how we go forward.”

In addition to Huelskamp, Nugent, Weber and Webster, the other Republicans who voted against Boehner were: Reps. Justin Amash (Michigan), Rob Blum (Iowa), Dave Brat (Virginia), Jim Bridenstine (Oklahoma), Curt Clawson (Florida), Scott DesJarlais (Tennessee), Jeff Duncan (South Carolina), Scott Garrett (New Jersey), Chris Gibson (New York), Louie Gohmert (Texas), Paul Gosar (Arizona), Walter Jones (North Carolina), Steve King (Iowa), Thomas Massie (Kentucky), Mark Meadows (North Carolina), Gary Palmer (Alabama), Bill Posey (Florida), Scott Rigell (Virginia), Marlin Stutzman (Indiana), and Ted Yoho (Florida). Rep. Brian Babin voted present.