By Cristina Marcos - 11/08/14 08:04 AM EST
House Republicans will have their largest majority since the 1930s next year, but that doesn't mean Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerDems brace for immigration battle 56 memorable moments from a wild presidential race Trump may pose problem for Ryan in Speaker vote MORE's (R-Ohio) job will be easy.
The House GOP leadership's struggles in keeping members in line over the past four years have been well documented. Some of the incoming freshmen will likely join the ranks of conservatives who frequently oppose leadership initiatives.
Here are 10 new freshmen who swell the far-right’s numbers, including several who will replace members upon whom the House GOP leadership was normally able to rely.
1. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.). Grothman will be replacing Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wis.), a reliable supporter of the leadership. Grothman is likely to be anything but that. The conservative firebrand has called for eliminating Kwanzaa — a holiday he says "almost no black people today care about" — and the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. As if that were not enough, he has also accused the federal government of waging a "war on men" by promoting affirmative action.
2. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.). Loudermilk has stated plainly he will not support Boehner for Speaker. He has also generated headlines for suggesting that President Obama deserves to be impeached, though he acknowledged that he didn't think the idea would be worth pursuing if it would not succeed. In addition, Loudermilk sponsored legislation in the Georgia state Senate to prevent illegal immigrants from obtaining marriage licenses, attending state colleges or accessing water and sewage services.
3. Jody Hice (R-Ga.). Hice, a radio talk-show host, has expressed a desire for "new leadership with a backbone" instead of Boehner. He has also asserted that it is acceptable for a woman to hold political power if she is "within the authority of her husband." Hice further suggested in his 2012 book "It's Now or Never: A Call to Reclaim America" that Muslims don't deserve First Amendment rights because Islam is "a complete geo-political structure."
4. Mark Walker (R-N.C.). Walker generated headlines by suggesting that the U.S. invade Mexico to limit the stream of undocumented immigrants crossing the southwestern border. "Well, we did it before. If we need to do it again, I don’t have a qualm about it," Walker said about going to war with Mexico.
5. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.). Back in January, Zinke declared during a campaign stop that Hillary Clinton was the "anti-Christ." On the same occasion, he insisted that "We need to focus on the real enemy," apparently in reference to Clinton. Zinke will replace Sen.-elect Steve Daines (R-Mont.), another member whom leadership could typically count on.
6. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.). Palmer, who is replacing leadership ally Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), stated early in his campaign that he would not support Boehner for Speaker because he thinks the Ohio Republican has "lost his legitimacy to lead." But Palmer said last month that he regrets, "to a certain extent," making that pledge because it could compromise his ability to secure plum committee assignments. Palmer said he explained his rationale in a conversation with Boehner: "I told him, I said that I want you to know right now that if I tell you I'll do something, you can count on it, and I'm going to prove it to you by not voting for you."
7. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas). Ratcliffe defeated Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Texas), currently the oldest sitting member of Congress, in a primary earlier this year. He said repeatedly over the course of his campaign that he was undecided about whether to support Boehner for Speaker. Ratcliffe has also blamed the leadership for the Republican Party's shortcomings. "I have said pretty candidly that I think some of the problems we’ve had have been failures of GOP leadership. I’m not going to back away from that," Ratcliffe said.
8. Dave Brat (R-Va.). Brat, a Randolph-Macon College economics professor, delivered perhaps the biggest political upset of the year when he toppled former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) in the June GOP primary. His victory came partly by accusing Cantor of being "pro-amnesty" on immigration. Brat has also declined to say whether he'll support Boehner for Speaker.
9. French Hill (R-Ark.). When asked at a June forum if he would oppose future government shutdowns, Hill suggested such events weren't so out of the ordinary. "First of all, government shutdowns have been sort of a part of the tension between the executive branch and the legislative branch for decades," Hill said. "So it's not always something that's a partisan issue, there's a constructive tension between the executive and the legislative."
10. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.). Emmer will replace retiring Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), a Tea Party star who frequently defied the GOP leadership. Emmer was known as a conservative firebrand in the Minnesota state House and proposed a state constitutional amendment in 2010 while running for governor that would only have allowed federal laws to be implemented in Minnesota if supermajorities in the state legislature approved them. While Emmer ran a more toned-down congressional campaign this year, he's still worth watching. He represents the most conservative district in his state.