- The Washington Times - Monday, January 5, 2015

Rep. Tom Cole, Oklahoma Republican, said Monday that planned challenges from some conservatives to Speaker John A. Boehner aren’t very serious, calling the challenges “unprofessional” and “disappointing.”

“Well, I don’t think they’re very serious, and frankly they’re pretty disappointing in the sense that any of these people that wanted to run could have run in [the] conference elections, and none of them did,” Mr. Cole, a Boehner ally, said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “So by going out and not voting for the conference choice, you’re not attacking John Boehner, you’re really attacking the Republican conference that you say you’re part of, so I find it, frankly, pretty unprofessional and very disappointing.”

GOP Reps. Ted Yoho of Florida and Louie Gohmert of Texas have thrown their hats into the ring to challenge Mr. Boehner, Ohio Republican, who is still likely to be re-elected to his post with relative ease.

Griping from conservative backbenchers got some attention after the 2012 elections as well, but Mr. Boehner was re-elected to his post on the first ballot in 2013. With a swelled GOP majority after the 2014 midterms, he has even more room for error this time around.

Some conservatives have objected most recently to Mr. Boehner’s support for a trillion-dollar spending bill passed by Congress before the body’s holiday break, saying it did not go far enough to counter President Obama’s recently-announced executive actions on immigration.

The bill provided funding for homeland security only through the early part of this year, however, and GOP leaders have vowed to take up the fight again in short order.

Though Mr. Boehner will almost assuredly win re-election to his post, the level of dissent will undoubtedly be watched closely as the GOP prepares to rule Capitol Hill with a full-fledged governing majority in both the House and the Senate starting this week.

According to a roundup from The Hill, though, other Republican congressmen planning to vote for someone else include Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Walter Jones of North Carolina, Steve King of Iowa, Paul Gosar of Arizona, Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma, and Dave Brat of Virginia, though several who opposed Mr. Boehner the last time around have said they’ll back him.

Mr. Brat, a freshman, knocked off former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a GOP primary last June.

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