NTF worksheet: cong128.doc. 10-15.

BACKGROUND. Conservatives nationwide cheered at the resignation of John Boehner as Speaker of the House. During his too long tenure, he stopped or delayed conservative legislation from deserved votes on the House floor and retaliated against conservative congressmen who pressed a conservative agenda and/or attempted to unseat him. Because of his actions, taxpayers saw continued tax and spending increases, increased regulations, and conservative bills stymied by collusion between House and Senate Democrats and RINO Republicans in both houses. He refused to fight diligently the Obama Regime on issues crucial to conservatives. A stronger conservative Congress probably meant that Boehner could not have survived another vote. Boehner initially scheduled a GOP vote on Oct. 8 and full House vote on Oct. 29, 2015 for his replacement but delayed these and votes for lower level positions until later, initially meant to benefit his preferred successor, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA.) but now to allow additional time for other candidates to mobilize votes. The moderate McCarthy lacked communications skills and credibility with conservatives, plus his embarrassing gaffe regarding the Benghazi hearings. He would not stand up and challenge Democrats. With the House gravitating in a conservative direction, a McCarthy victory may not have survived the next vote in Jan. 2016.

CONSERVATIVE CANDIDATES. The American voters in 2014 gave the GOP its largest House majority ever, yet the status quo persists. Nebraskans want Congress to tackle and solve tough issues like the deficit, national debt, and smothering regulations. Taxpayers continually have called for breaking the continued status quo. We need a Speaker who will champion conservatives and conservative bills. Conservative Rep. Jason Chaffetz (UT.), chairman of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee was a heavy favorite for the Oct. 8 secret ballot election. Chaffetz noted that he defeated the GOP establishment moderate 6-term incumbent to attain his congressional seat in 2008. He is a pragmatic conservative, urged to run by fellow conservatives, who, with his superb communication skills, can unite the House and mollify angry constituent taxpayers nationwide. He can bring together country club reps and conservatives. Chaffetz has used his committee chairmanship to launch deserved investigations of Secret Service scandals and Planned Parenthood misuse of federal funds to harvest unborn baby tissue. First elected in 2008, Chaffetz quickly climbed party ranks and skipped past more senior reps to become the head of his influential committee. A Chaffetz win means more debate, more conservative amendments, and more authority given to committees, rather than having the speaker decide unilaterally on all huge policy issues. He believes that the only way to raise the debt ceiling is to stop the spending spiral. He would help send more conservative bills to the President, conceding that the previous speaker missed such opportunities. Chaffetz pledged to permit congressmen to vote against their party without retaliating against them. He enjoys support from social conservatives. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
A second challenger is conservative Rep. Daniel Webster (Fla.). He had a very long and fruitful career in the Florida legislature for almost 30 yrs. He was minority whip, minority leader, then successfully won the speakership. He served as majority leader from 2006 to 2008 in the Florida Senate. Webster won a reputation as a budget cutter with great ability to win consensus among his colleagues. He came to Congress in 2010, representing the 8th Congressional District in his state. Webster joined other conservative congressmen in earlier attempts to unseat John Boehner from the speakership and stood as a conservative alternative on one vote. Boehner retaliated by removing him from the powerful House Rules Committee. Webster promises that he would stop last-minute appropriating without majority consent. His objectives are to press forward with member bills and advocate 3-yr. plans to stop allocating money for legislation that has expired. He promises to reform the good old boy network in the Republican leadership, unite the party structure, and halt the internal bickering. . The Freedom Caucus of 40 conservative Republicans endorsed Webster.
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Moderate Reps. Steve Scalise (LA.), the GOP whip, and Tom Price (GA.), the Budget Comm. Chairman, were both running for majority leader while McCarthy was running for Speaker but now may run for that spot.

THE PRESSURE. Crucial and polarizing issues face the House, like raising the fed borrowing limit and the Middle East cauldron. Congress needs to raise the federal debt limit by about Nov. 5, and government funding expires Dec. 11. Public approval of Congress is at a new low. The worst case scenario would see Boehner staying on until the election of a new Speaker, as he then could raise the debt ceiling without concessions on spending and Planned Parenthood defunding from the liberals. Conservatives, led by the House Freedom Caucus, demand rule changes that will reduce the Speaker authority and permit additional conservative amendments to come to the House floor for a vote. This caucus wields considerable power and amplifies its message well in social media and talk radio and works closely with conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation and FreedomWorks. A continued stalemate could fuel rallying around a reluctant Speaker candidate like Rep. Trey Gowdy (S.C.), Jeff Hensarling (TX), or Rep. Justin Amash (Mich.). A consensus candidate could become drafted into the race to avoid continued bickering. Conservatives want rules changes like more votes in committee, additional conservative committee chairmanships, procedural reforms, and no punishments for members who fail to vote the party line.

THE VOTING. Votes for Speaker and other posts are by secret ballot by all congressmen. The new Speaker then sets election dates for lower level GOP positions beginning with Majority Leader, all selected internally by a GOP Party caucus. The entire House votes later for Speaker. House members can vote for any member, including one not running for Speaker or one who has declined to run. The winner needs to acquire a majority of votes cast. Thus, if no seats are vacant, and if all members vote, a candidate needs 218 votes to win. If no one wins a majority of votes cast, the balloting continues until one wins a majority. In 1856, the House took months to elect a Speaker; in 1849 it took weeks. In both instances, the House voted to alter its rules temporarily, so that the winner needed only a plurality of votes. For the full Speaker vote, because the Democrats as the minority party vote for its own candidates, the majority Republicans need a large supermajority of its own caucus to elect a candidate on the first ballot. A small faction of the majority party could withhold votes and cause the frontrunner to fall short of victory.

TAKE ACTION NOW. Grass-roots activists can pressure and have effect. Contact your congressman immediately to vote for a conservative for House Speaker. Only a conservative Speaker can implement necessary reforms and push through more conservative fiscal legislation in the House and on to the Senate.

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