Boehner plans ‘family conversation’ with GOP foes

sot boehner emotional at reelection ceremony  _00002729
Emotional Boehner speaks on re-election 01:06

Story highlights

  • More than two dozen Republicans voted against Boehner gaining another term as Speaker
  • Boehner plans conversations with GOP critics
  • Some critics are being removed from key committee seats

Washington (CNN)The day after 25 House Republicans attempted to prevent Speaker John Boehner from getting a third term, Boehner says he’s starting “a family conversation” with his critics.

The Speaker and his allies were furious with GOP members who publicly rebuked him on the opening day of the new session of Congress. In front of live television cameras they voted for someone else or declined to back him for the job. Hours after the vote the message was clear that those defectors would be punished.

Two Florida Republicans who opposed Boehner – Rep. Daniel Webster, who got 12 votes for his own bid to become Speaker, and Rep. Richard Nugent, who voted for him – were removed from serving on the House Rules committee. That panel is essentially an extension of the Speaker’s office since it decides which bills go to the floor and sets parameters for debate.

Boehner left the door open Webster and Nugent might return to the committee. He discussed the divisive vote and a closed door meeting of all House Republicans on Wednesday morning, and told reporters afterwards, “I have not had a chance to talk to them.”

“We’re going to have a family conversation, which we had this morning, about bringing our team together,” Boehner said. “And I expect those conversations over the next couple of days will continue and we’ll come to a decision about how we go forward.”

But during the morning session, several of Boehner’s allies stood up and urged the Speaker not to give these members a second chance. They argued there should be consequences for those who publicly embarrassed the Speaker on the day the Republicans were taking control of both chambers of Congress.

Louisiana Rep. John Fleming, who voted for Boehner but has clashed with him in the past, cautioned against further sanctions.

“I think retaliation and revenge is the wrong way to go on this. Emotions and personalities begin to get into the mix and I think that begins to work against us,” Fleming said.

Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert, who campaigned to replace Boehner as Speaker, agreed that moves to exact revenge would make any effort to unify House Republicans harder.

“There’s going to be a fight,” Gohmert said.

Multiple House GOP sources told CNN that prior to the vote for Speaker, they had a good idea of the group that would vote for other candidates. But they were particularly disappointed at those Republicans who joined the rebels, saying some votes blindsided them.

New Jersey GOP Rep. Scott Garrett told reporters he did discuss his plans to back someone else with GOP leaders before the vote. He said “I’m looking forward to doing my job on the Budget committee, I’m looking forward to doing my job on the Financial Services Committee.”

As for the prospects that he might lose one of those positions Garrett said, “I don’t think that’s the nature of John Boehner.”

Boehner, when asked if there would be further repercussions for those who opposed him, only said “we’re going to continue to have a family conversation.”