The Washington Times - December 7, 2012, 09:57AM

GOP Rep. Justin Amash, who was booted from the Budget Committee this week as punishment for bucking the GOP party line, said Friday he won’t yet commit to voting for Speaker John A. 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,” Mr. Amash told CNN’s “Starting Point.” “Right now I’m not very happy with the speaker.”


The Michigan Republican, who was just elected to his second term, was one of four House Republicans ousted from their current committee assignments after Mr. Boehner and the Republican House leadership decided they weren’t team players.

In the House GOP’s weekly closed-door conference meeting this week, lawmakers said Mr. Boehner warned that leaders are watching votes and said others could face punishment, too.

Few options are open to rank-and-file lawmakers to retaliate against leaders, but one chance is the speaker’s election on Jan. 3, when the new Congress convenes and organizes.

Voting for someone other than their own party’s nominee for speaker is considered a stark move, since it helps the opposing party.

The GOP will have a big enough margin of votes that it can afford to lose the support of Mr. Amash and others in the speaker’s election and still have Mr. Boehner triumph over California Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who will be Democrats’ choice.

But having multiple people vote for someone else is a black mark on the party’s efforts at unity.

Rep. Tim Huelskamp, the Kansas Republican who was also booted from the Agriculture and Budget committees, joked this week when asked if he would withhold his vote from Mr. Boehner Jan. 3: “You know, the Fiesta Bowl with [Kansas] State’s the same day.”