Florida Republican Representative Ron DeSantis faced some angry constituents at a town hall meeting on January 3 in Palm Coast, Fla., when he was asked if he was going to vote against the re-election of House Speaker John Boehner. DeSantis explained to the crowd that to “eventually elect somebody better” than the current house speaker, “you need to get a majority of Republicans to nominate somebody better.”
As DeSantis suggested that the current speaker has enough votes to win, since no major rival has emerged before the first ballot, one constituent pushed the congressman to represent the will of the people.
“When you say, ‘Look, I have to worry about’ – that’s politics. You’re worried about your chairmanship. You’re worried about other things. You’re worried about influence in Congress. That’s not why we elected you. We elected you because we believed in the values that you said you believe in. That means that you have to stand up for it, even if it’s politically unpopular and it might hurt your career.”
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DeSantis said that an anti-Boehner vote would provide no gains — the speaker must win a majority of the 435 representatives — but the constituent continued to push DeSantis:
“I’ll tell you what it does. It gives you some political capital with people like us… Even if you lose once or twice, at least we know you’re fighting for us. But when you say, ‘Oh, if I don’t vote for it,’ then you’re not fighting for us. What you’re doing is you’re bending. We didn’t put you there to bend.”
This afternoon, John Boehner was re-elected as House Speaker with 216 votes. Nancy Pelosi received 164 votes. There were 28 votes for other representatives.
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