Division of power
On Friday, both chambers are expected to pass a $9 billion bill to begin speeding aid to the victims of Superstorm Sandy.
They almost immediately begin negotiations on the next major fights, which are dealing with the exhaustion of the federal government’s borrowing ability sometime near the end of February, and another round of automatic spending cuts looming March 1.
With those fights on the back burner Thursday, the major drama was the speaker’s election.
Three dissenting Republicans voted for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Mr. Boehner’s chief lieutenant. The Virginian, who is the second-ranking Republican in the chamber, has said he would not mount a challenge, and shook his head in disgust as those fellow members called out his name during the roll call.
Two Republicans cast their votes for former Rep. Allen B. West, the Florida Republican and tea party favorite who lost his re-election bid in November.
Meanwhile, Rep. Walter B. Jones, a North Carolina Republican who was booted from his committee assignments by Mr. Boehner this year, voted for David M. Walker, the former comptroller general of the federal government, who is a prominent advocate for action to deal with the federal debt.
The Constitution does not require that the speaker be a member of Congress.
In addition to Mr. Jones, the Republicans who didn’t vote for Mr. Boehner, were Reps. Justin Amash of Michigan, Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma, Paul C. Broun of Georgia, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Tim Huelskamp of Kansas, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Stevan Pearce of New Mexico and Ted S. Yoho of Florida.
Rep. Steve Stockman, Texas Republican, voted “present.”
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Stephen Dinan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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