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The Magic Number Is 218

It takes a majority of the House to elect a Speaker, so in theory it takes 218 votes to replace establishment Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner with a conservative. 

Getting to 218 is a seemingly daunting task when the House Freedom Caucus, the group of conservatives that led the successful opposition to Boehner and Kevin McCarthy, his handpicked candidate to take over the Speaker’s gavel, has only 40 to 50 members. 

Paul RyanBut the reality is that there are a lot more than 40 to 50 House Republicans who want to do the right thing – the majority of House Republicans have simply been bamboozled and intimidated into believing that conservatives are a minority, when in fact they are the majority, even in the establishment-controlled House of Representatives. 

In a recent vote on a Continuing Resolution to fund the government at the existing Obama-endorsed level, 151 House Republicans voted against the House Republican leadership. Truth be told this was the vote that prompted Boehner’s departure. 

So who voted for the CR to keep the government running at Obama’s ruinous spending level? 

Mostly Democrats, and a relatively small number of Republicans who are in the establishment “leadership” or who could be intimidated by them into voting “YES” on a bill that funds Planned Parenthood, Obamacare, Obama’s executive amnesty and continues the ruinous deficit spending that Republicans promised to reign-in way back in 2010. 

And, not surprisingly, the Republican “YES” votes are a Who’s Who of the establishment Republican candidates to replace John Boehner as Speaker. 

Kevin McCarthy, the California Republican House Majority Leader whose campaign for Speaker just imploded was a “YES.” 

Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican Chairman of the house Ways and Means Committee was a “YES.” 

Darrell Issa, the California Republican who once served as Chairman of the Government Reform and Oversight Committee was a “YES.” 

Tom Cole of Oklahoma, the big spending member of the Appropriations Committee and former Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee was a “YES.” 

Charles Dent of Pennsylvania who recently suggested that liberal Republicans should abandon the GOP and form a “bipartisan coalition” to elect a Speaker was a “YES.” 

And so were National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden and virtually all of the Members of the NRCC’s “Patriot Program” that funnels PAC and K Street money to vulnerable GOP incumbents – as long as they toe the leadership’s lobbyist-friendly line. 

Who didn’t vote for the Obama-approved Continuing Resolution? 

Daniel Webster, the principled limited government constitutional conservative Florida Representative who is the endorsed candidate for Speaker of the House Freedom Caucus voted “NO.” 

Jim Jordan, the principled limited government constitutional conservative Representative from Ohio who once served as Chairman of the Republican Study Committee and helped found the House Freedom Caucus voted “NO.” 

Jim Bridenstine, the principled limited government constitutional conservative who helped organize the opposition to Boehner in January voted “NO.” 

And most importantly, Dave Brat, the Virginia conservative who won his 2014 congressional primary to defeat Eric Cantor, McCarthy’s predecessor as House Majority Leader voted “NO.” 

And, after Cantor’s 2014 defeat, how did establishment Republicans who are already facing principled limited government constitutional conservative primary opponents, like Martha Roby of Alabama, Pete Sessions of Texas and Renee Ellmers of North Carolina vote? 

No surprise – they all voted “NO” as well, because they may be arrogant and venal, but they are not stupid – they can at least read a poll and understand that the Republican grassroots demand congressional Republicans stand against Obama’s policies and will likely vote out any Republican who fails to fight them. 

The magic number to elect a Speaker is 218. So far 151Republicans have shown that, even if they lack principle, they are interested in political self-preservation and are willing to vote for conservative outcomes when their political futures are at stake.  

We urge you to call your Representative, the House switchboard is 1-866-220-0044, to demand that he or she vote for a thorough house cleaning in the House Republican leadership team and that no one, like Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy or Darrell Issa, who voted for the Obama CR be elected Speaker.

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Best Conservative Candidate for Speaker

Looking at Webster's voting record suggests he's hardly a "limited government constitutional conservative."

Daniel Webster's Record

We would agree that Rep. Webster took some bad votes while serving in Congress on the House Rules Committee under Speaker Boehner. But looking at his entire career record going all the way back to his service in the Florida legislature he has a strong record of standing for limited government constitutional conservative principles and certainly much stronger than any other announced candidate for Speaker.