This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, January 7, 2015:
In the days running up to the opening of the 114th Congress, speculation was rampant that House Speaker John Boehner’s bid for a third term as speaker was in jeopardy. So much so that Boehner launched a full-court press including meetings with those opposed to his reelection and phone calls to dissidents right up to the last minute before the vote.
In the end, a combination of bad weather, a funeral, and a popular Florida Republican’s reluctance to oppose the speaker until the day before the vote spelled victory for Boehner.
Under House rules, only a majority of those present — not a majority of the total House membership — is needed to elect the speaker. With many Democrats attending the funeral service of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, and bad weather delaying flights into Washington, those present numbered just 401 out of House membership of 434 (New York Republican Rep. Michael Grimm resigned last week after pleading guilty to felony tax evasion). In the end, Boehner secured his position for another two years with 216 votes.