As members of the House Freedom Caucus figure out a plan of attack to remove John Boehner as Speaker of the House, the Ohio Republican is seeking help from an interesting but not all that unexpected of a place: the House Dems caucus.
Democrat Representatives like Henry Cuellar say they’ve got Boehner’s back.
Speaker John Boehner’s future was on Rep. Henry Cuellar’s mind when he was speaking with fellow House Democrats last week. The question they were mulling: Would they throw Boehner a lifeline and save his job if he needed their votes to survive?
“Heck yes!” Cuellar said in an interview when asked if he’d consider it.
The Texas Democrat is one of more than a dozen House Democrats who told CNN they’d be willing to vote to keep Boehner in place if he faces a rebellion from the tea party wing of his caucus this fall. In interviews, a number of Democrats said they would use the dilemma as leverage to demand Boehner take a list of unspecified actions before casting a vote to spare his speakership.
The openness of Democrats to help the Ohio Republican could give Boehner more breathing room as he faces a revolt from roughly two-dozen House conservatives who are plotting how to boot him from his position because, they believe, he has not taken a more confrontational line with President Barack Obama.
He is not the only one. Rep. Steve Israel also said he may help Speaker Boehner.
“If you look clinically at every instance in which John Boehner was in trouble with his own caucus, you’ll notice that Democrats were always there to put things over the top,” said Rep. Steve Israel, a New York Democrat and close ally of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. “I, for one, would work with him so long as he’s doing the right thing for the country and meeting us half-way on the values and priorities that we have.”
Rep. Cuellar also said that “I would rather have Boehner than some far winger, if that’s the choice.”
One ace up the sleeves of House Conservatives may be that one of their possible replacements is House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California moderate who many believe will be far more inclusive and open to the concerns of Conservatives.