Boehner ally: GOP challenges to Speaker 'unprofessional'

Rep. Tom ColeThomas (Tom) Jeffrey ColeCongress votes to expand deficit — and many in GOP are unhappy Overnight Health Care: House passes .3T omnibus | Bill boosts funds for NIH, opioid treatment | Senators spar over ObamaCare fix | 'Right to Try' bill heads to the Senate Top appropriators say they see no need to specify funding for gun research MORE (R-Okla.) called GOP challenges to Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew Boehner4 reasons Mike Pompeo will succeed at Foggy Bottom The misunderstood reason Congress can’t get its job done GOP sees McCarthy moving up — if GOP loses the House MORE (R-Ohio) “pretty unprofessional and very disappointing” on Monday.

Cole, a close ally to Boehner, said the challenges aren’t serious and criticized Republicans trying to unseat the Speaker for not trying to do so when the GOP held its internal discussions late last year.

“Well, I don’t think they’re very serious,” he said while appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe" of the bids by Rep. Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertDoug Collins to run for House Judiciary chair Congress votes to expand deficit — and many in GOP are unhappy 25 House Republicans defy leadership in key spending bill vote MORE (R-Texas) and Rep. Ted YohoTheodore (Ted) Scott Yoho25 House Republicans defy leadership in key spending bill vote Once on chopping block, Trump's budget puts development finance in overdrive Overnight Cybersecurity: Zuckerberg breaks silence on Cambridge Analytica | Senators grill DHS chief on election security | Omnibus to include election cyber funds | Bill would create 'bug bounty' for State MORE (R-Fla.) to challenge Boehner for speakership.

“And frankly, they’re pretty disappointing in the sense that anyone who wanted to run could have run in the conference elections and none of them did. So by going out and not voting for the conference choice, you’re not attacking John Boehner, you’re really attacking the Republican conference that you say you’re part of,” Cole said.

Gohmert, Yoho and other Boehner critics argue the Speaker didn’t do enough to stop President Obama’s executive action on immigration. Some conservatives wanted to withhold funding for the government over the order, which could defer deportations for up to 4.5 million immigrants.

Several Republicans have joined the charge against Boehner, though it appears opponents remain short of the nearly 30 GOP votes they’d need to unseat him. 

Incoming Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) said Sunday that she expected Boehner to be elected again.

“We voted in our conference in November, and … it was near unanimous,” she said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “I think there was one weak voice that didn't say, that may have said ‘nay.’ There hasn't been a campaign or any phone calls that anyone has received, so I expect that will move forward very smoothly.”