Ted Yoho: Vote for Eric Cantor a Challenge to 'Lost' GOP House Leadership
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UPDATED: Newly sworn-in Congressman Ted Yoho, R-Gainesville, wasted little time showing his support for the Republican Party’s conservative “Young Guns” while voting for House speaker.
Meanwhile, conservative firebrand Allen West, who is now out of office, picked up two votes for the post that is not constitutionally required to be a sitting member of Congress.
Yoho, who was carried to a primary victory last year over longtime Rep. Cliff Stearns by tea party supporters in the rural district that includes Ocala and Gainesville, was one of nine Republicans on Thursday who didn’t support Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, remaining as the House speaker.
Yoho voted for Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., who was among the GOP members to vote against Senate Bill 8, the compromise backed by Boehner to prevent the nation’s economy from falling off the so-called fiscal cliff.
Cantor is author of the 2010 book "Young Guns" with Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., on how the party and America can recapture its ideological roots.
Yoho released the following statement Thursday evening about his vote.
"I came to Congress for a cause -- not a job. I came here to make a difference and to stand up for what is right for America -- not a political party. The gridlock in Washington is killing the American Republic. The people that I represent have had enough,” Yoho stated.
“My vote today for Congressman Cantor was a signal that I will hold leadership accountable and challenge leadership when I feel that it is the right thing to do -- just like I am held accountable to the people of my district. However, it was also a signal that I believe in teamwork and will work with leadership to get things done. Congressman Cantor is part of leadership.
“We have gotten lost. What I have seen from the Republican Party is the re-arranging of the deck chairs on the Titanic. Our ship called America is sinking. We have to right the ship.
“We are in dire need of strong leadership that is willing to put our nation first -- not a political party. I am looking forward to getting to work and restoring the faith of the American people in their elected officials."
Boehner received 220 votes, two more than needed, with Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., receiving 192 votes from Democrats.
Yoho, who was recently named one of the "10 fresh faces to watch in the new Congress" by NBC, was joined among Republicans in casting votes for someone other than Boehner by Justin Amash of Michigan, Steve Pearce of New Mexico, Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma, Paul Broun of Georgia, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Walter Jones of North Carolina, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, and Tim Huelskamp of Kansas.
Pearce and Bridenstine were the only members to join Yoho in voting for Cantor, who cast his vote for Boehner.
Broun and Gohmert cast their votes for West, the Palm Beach Gardens Republican who lost his seat while seeking a newly drawn district that covers northern Palm Beach County, Martin and St. Lucie counties.
Reach Jim Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (772) 215-9889.