Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) said that after Thursday night's vote to pass a controversial $1 trillion spending bill, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) might need help from Democrats to be re-elected as Speaker when the new House of Representatives convenes in January.
"I think he ought to be able to pick up some Democratic votes for speaker this time," Gohmert said on Fox News. "He can have Denis McDonough or the president come over and get Democrats to get the votes to carry him across the finish line to speaker."
Gohmert spoke just moments after the House just barely passed a $1 trillion spending bill, thanks to help from 57 Democrats to voted for it, mostly offsetting the 67 Republicans who voted against it. White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough met with Democrats Thursday evening as they discussed whether they could support the bill.
Gohmert and other Republicans indicated they felt jilted by Boehner, who they said worked with Democrats more than Republicans to pass the bill. These Republicans were pushing for language that would defund President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration, but GOP leaders saw no way to attach that language without having it blocked by Senate Democrats, which could have led to a government shutdown.
Near the end of the night, Gohmert and others said they could support a two-month spending bill in return for a vote on immigration that the Senate would be able to strike down. But Gohmert said Boehner never reached out to Republicans, and instead focused on Democrats.
"Not one word, as you know. The calls went to the White House. When at a time the Speaker needed votes, he turned to somebody that he really identifies with — the president and liberal Democrats."
Gohmert's specific comments were tongue in cheek — it's unlikely any Democrat will vote for Boehner for Speaker, and it's unlikely Boehner is counting on any Democratic votes.
But the Thursday vote on the huge spending bill upset dozens of Republicans, and therefore once again raises the question of whether there is enough support for Boehner to become Speaker.
House members will convene in early January to elect a Speaker, and Boehner is still expected to win. But there is a precedent for some Republicans to vote against him.
In early 2013, for example, 14 Republicans either voted for someone else or voted "present." That still let Boehner win with 220 votes to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's 192 votes.
Because there will be more Republicans in 2015, Boehner would lose even more votes — perhaps as many as 25 — and still get re-elected as Speaker.