With the new Republican-controlled 114th Congress set to be sworn in Tuesday, incumbent House Speaker John Boehner faces his first test as lawmakers vote on whether to retain him as speaker.
While Boehner is expected to be re-elected, the vote could potentially be embarrassing as a small but aggressive group of conservative Republicans are mounting an effort against him.
Some conservative lawmakers in the House and several outside groups and talk radio hosts are frustrated with Boehner’s leadership, saying he has abandoned conservative principles and capitulated to President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats.
Two Republicans, Reps. Ted Yoho of Florida and Louie Gohmert of Texas, are running against Boehner in what usually would be considered gadfly campaigns.
But their resistance efforts are attracting numbers. Politico reported Tuesday morning that 13 Republicans have indicated that they won’t vote for Boehner.
The Hill, a Capitol Hill publication, conducted its own whip count and concluded that at least 14 Republicans will vote no on another Boehner speakership.
The rebels would need at least 29 Republicans to vote against Boehner to force a second ballot.
In addition to Yoho and Gohmert, Reps. Justin Amash, R-Mich., Randy Weber, R-Texas, Curt Clawson, R-Fla., are among those who plan to vote against Boehner.
Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., had told Capitol Hill reporters that he planned to support Boehner this year after leading an unsuccessful coup against him two years ago.
But on Tuesday morning he announced on Twitter that he wouldn’t vote for Boehner after all.
‘Honest. Principled. Conservative. Leadership is what I want,’ Huelskamp tweeted.
In 2013, a dozen House Republicans abstained or voted for someone other than Boehner for speaker.
As punishment for his previous rebellion against Boehner, House Republican leadership yanked Huelskamp from the House budget and agriculture committees.
Losing the agriculture post was a particularly harsh blow for Huelskamp who represents a largely rural district where farming is big business. A representative from Kansas had served on the committee for nearly 100 years.
Editors’ note: This version was changed from an earlier version to correct the vote total in 2013.