UPDATE 12:00 PM: Click here to watch a live feed of the House.
By Adam Bitely — This afternoon the Speaker of the House will be elected for the 113th Congress. As we noted yesterday, rumors are running wild on Capitol Hill that Boehner will fall short of the necessary 218 votes to secure the speakership. Outgoing Rep. Jeff Landry (R-LA) has noted that enough House Republicans have come forward to oppose Boehner to cause him to fall short barring Democrats crossing over and delivering Boehner a victory. Two sources have confirmed that there are over 20 Republicans who plan to oppose Boehner during the election.
Last night, Boehner met with the Republican caucus to confirm to the members that he will pursue the speakership regardless of any dissent in GOP ranks. Boehner went so far as to promise to Republican members that he will stop negotiating with Obama on his own and promised votes on the Hurricane Sandy relief vote.
The plan the conservatives will likely follow is to force at least two, maybe several elections until a suitable alternative steps up to unite the party. If enough Republicans – 17 at a minimum – vote for someone besides Boehner as Speaker during the first election shortly after noon today, it will go to a second vote. Some groups have confirmed that more than 20 House Republicans plan to vote for somebody else as Speaker.
If that happens, the House will vote in several consecutive elections until a majority of every member voting agrees on a Speaker.
According to the plan some conservative members have circulated, the precedent they’ll be following was last employed in 1923 when Massachusetts Republican Rep. Frederick Gillett lost his first eight bids for re-election before winning on the ninth. A Congressional Research Service (CRS) report the members seeking to ouster Boehner have been circulating for weeks notes that the 1923 incident is the only time this has happened since the “two established national parties,” Democrats and Republicans, took power.
Also, the Boston Globe has endorsed Boehner for Speaker because he will keep Tea Party “extremists” from being relevant in Congress… As the Globe wrote, “For placing ideological purity over compromise, and a willingness to use procedural mechanisms to gum up Congress in order to get his way, Cantor would be a poor choice. Americans who want a more cooperative approach should hope that Boehner prevails, and continues his recent efforts to keep Tea Party extremists out of key committee assignments.”
We will be covering the election throughout the day so be sure to check back to this page frequently for developments.
Adam Bitely is the Editor-in-Chief of NetRightDaily.com.