Boehner's 100 loyal soldiers might give him political cover on 'fiscal cliff'

Boehner's 100 loyal soldiers might give him political cover on 'fiscal cliff'

Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerLobbying World 'Ready for Michelle' PACs urge 2020 run News Flash: Trump was never going to lock Clinton up MORE (Ohio) has about 100 Republican members he can count on if and when the Senate-passed "fiscal cliff" bill hits the House floor, according to an analysis by The Hill.

But it remains unclear if BoehnerJohn BoehnerLobbying World 'Ready for Michelle' PACs urge 2020 run News Flash: Trump was never going to lock Clinton up MORE and his lieutenants will be able to convince the majority of the GOP conference to back legislation that increases tax rates on the wealthy and lacks significant spending cuts. The Senate passed its fiscal-cliff bill, 89-8, early on New Year's Day.

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Boehner has not expressed opposition to or support for the Senate legislation. But Rep. Tom Cole (Okla.), a member of the GOP leadership team, backed the bill during a Tuesday morning interview on MSNBC and later predicted a majority of Republicans will support it. The House will either pass the measure or amend it and send it back to the upper chamber. However, such a move would be difficult because House Democrats would likely oppose changing the bill, and keeping the entire Republican Conference in line has been a major challenge for Boehner this Congress.

To assess party loyalty, The Hill analyzed five controversial bills on fiscal matters that sparked outcry from factions on the right and significant defections from House GOP members: a March 15, 2011, stopgap funding bill; an April 14, 2011, bill that averted a government shutdown; an Aug. 1 roll call on the Budget Control Act; a Nov. 17, 2011, appropriations measure; and a Feb. 17, 2012, vote to extend the payroll tax holiday. Republican defections ranged from 54 to 101 on these bills.

Despite the GOP infighting, 92 House Republicans didn't buck leadership on any of those measures. This group includes leadership lawmakers, committee and subcommittee chairmen and a surprising number of freshman members. Some of Boehner's loyal legislators include GOP Reps. Cole, Steven LaTourette (Ohio), Pete King (N.Y.), Darrell Issa (Calif.), Gary Miller (Calif.), Tom Marino (Pa.), Jon Runyan (N.J.) and Steve Stivers (Ohio). Read the full list of the 92 members below.

LaTourette, a close friend of the Speaker, recently told The Washington Post, "I'm a Team Boehner guy, and I will support the Speaker [on the fiscal cliff]."

Members among the 92 hail from Pennsylvania (10), California (9), Ohio (8), Illinois (7), New Jersey (6) and New York (4). All of those states were won by President Obama in the 2012 presidential election, though some of the legislators represent very conservative districts.

There are an additional 51 House Republicans who broke ranks on only one of the five votes reviewed by The Hill, including GOP Reps. Bob GoodlatteBob GoodlatteHouse GOP picks two women to lead committees Victims of Nazi Art theft need Congress to HEAR Passing US-Canada preclearance would improve security and economy MORE (Va.), Jeb Hensarling (Texas), Tom Latham (Iowa), Steve Scalise (La.) and Frank WolfFrank WolfBottom Line 10 most expensive House races Benghazi Report and Hillary: What it means for Philadelphia MORE (Va.).


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Of course, this doesn't mean that the 143 GOP members are guaranteed "yes" votes if the Senate bill comes to a floor vote. But it does suggest these members could be won over, unlike some Tea Party lawmakers who have consistently voted against leadership.

For the last several weeks, political operatives on both sides of the aisle have said Boehner needs to broker a deal that will attract the support of a majority of his conference.

Boehner has never adopted former Speaker Dennis Hastert's (R-Ill.) unwritten rule of not bringing a bill to the floor unless it has "a majority of the majority." But a vote on a fiscal-cliff bill that falls short of that would likely weaken the Speaker, who took a major hit when he couldn't muster the votes to pass his "Plan B" fiscal-cliff measure last month. Boehner has attracted a majority of the majority on every high-profile vote in this Congress.

There are 241 Republicans in the House now, though there will be fewer in the new Congress on Thursday as a result of Democratic gains on Election Day.

There are some positive signs for Boehner, who knows that Democrats by and large will back their president and vote for the Senate measure. But more importantly, Boehner has fostered some pockets of unity in various parts of his unruly conference.

He could also attract support from members who defected on two of the five fiscal roll calls reviewed by The Hill. Republican Reps. Virginia FoxxVirginia FoxxHouse GOP picks two women to lead committees Speculation and starting points: accreditation, a new administration and a new Congress President-elect Trump: Please drain the student loan swamp MORE (N.C.), Jeff Miller (Fla.), James Lankford (Okla.), Ed Royce (Calif.) and Pete Sessions (Texas) fall in this category. All of them will be in leadership and/or will be committee chairmen in the new Congress. Rep. Paul RyanPaul RyanRepublicans raise red flags about ObamaCare repeal strategy Overnight Healthcare: GOP in talks about helping insurers after ObamaCare repeal Ryan on Trump: 'We're not looking back' MORE (R-Wis.), who might run for president in 2016, also falls in this category. Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioThe ignored question: What does the future Republican Party look like? Graham to roll out extension of Obama immigration program Trump and Cuba: A murky future MORE (R-Fla.), another possible 2016 White House contender, voted no on the Senate bill.

Since the election, Boehner and his leadership team have stressed the need for unity. They sent a clear signal to rank-and-file members by kicking four recalcitrant lawmakers off prized committees. The moves unsettled some conservatives in the conference.

The following is the list of 92 House Republicans who didn't defect on any of the five bills reviewed by The Hill.

Boehner's loyal soldiers

Rodney Alexander (La.)

Lou BarlettaLou BarlettaOvernight Finance: Trump expected to pick Steven Mnuchin for Treasury | Budget chair up for grabs | Trump team gets deal on Carrier jobs Barletta talks with Trump about Labor secretary job Trump to name Elaine Chao Transportation secretary MORE (Pa.)

Charlie Bass (N.H.)*

Rick Berg (N.D.)*

Judy Biggert (Ill.)*

Brian Bilbray (Calif.)*

Gus Bilirakis (Fla.)

John Boehner (Ohio)

Mary Bono Mack (Calif.)*

Vern Buchanan (Fla.)

Ken Calvert (Calif.)

Dave Camp (Mich.)

Eric CantorEric CantorChamber of Commerce overhauls lobbying operation Laura Ingraham under consideration for White House press secretary VA Dems jockey for Kaine's seat MORE (Va.)

Shelly Moore Capito (W.Va.)

Howard Coble (N.C.)

Tom Cole (Okla.)

Mike Conaway (Texas)

Rick CrawfordRick CrawfordWhy a bill about catfish will show whether Ryan's serious about regulatory reform Convention calendar: Parties and events Southern lawmakers fight to keep USDA catfish inspections MORE (Ark.)

Ander Crenshaw (Fla.)

John Culberson (Texas)**

Jeff Denham (Calif.)

Charlie Dent (Pa.)

Mario Diaz-Balart (Fla.)

Robert Dold (Ill.)*

David Dreier (Calif.)*

Renee Ellmers (N.C.)

Jo Ann Emerson (Mo.)*

Mike Fitzpatrick (Pa.)

Bill FloresBill FloresTexas lawmaker defends HGTV hosts House freshman wins RSC chair GOP opts for short-term spending bill MORE (Texas)

Rodney FrelinghuysenRodney FrelinghuysenHouse GOP picks two women to lead committees GOP struggles to find women to lead House committees Overnight Defense: NY/NJ bombings renew terror debate | US probes Syrian air strike | Senators push measure on Saudi arms sale MORE (N.J.)

Jim GerlachJim GerlachBig names free to lobby in 2016 Ex-Rep. Gerlach ditches K St. in return to campaign world Ex-Sen. Pryor heading to K Street MORE (Pa.)

Bob Gibbs (Ohio)

Chris Gibson (N.Y.)

Paul GosarPaul GosarArizonans agree: No new national monument Is there a silver lining to the ObamaCare blues? Ryan has little margin for error in Speaker vote MORE (Ariz.)

Tim GriffinTim GriffinTea Party class reassesses record Huckabee's daughter to run '16 campaign Lawmakers seek Purple Heart for victims of Little Rock shooting MORE (Ark.)

Michael Grimm (N.Y.)

Brett GuthrieBrett GuthrieHouse GOP defense policy bill conferees named Overnight Regulation: Fight brews over minor leaguers' salaries Lawmakers push bill blocking minor league ballplayers from salary protections MORE (Ky.)

Richard Hanna (N.Y.)

Gregg Harper (Miss.)

Doc HastingsDoc HastingsBoehner hires new press secretary GOP plots new course on Endangered Species Act reform GOP accuses feds of bad science in endangered species studies MORE (Wash.)

Nan Hayworth (N.Y.)*

Joe Heck (Nev.)

Darrell Issa (Calif.)

Bill Johnson (Ohio)

Sam JohnsonSam JohnsonRepublican Study Committee elders back Harris for chairman IRS publishes guidelines on tax relief for wrongfully incarcerated people Overnight Finance: House votes to rein in IRS; Ryan won't set Puerto Rico timeline MORE (Texas)

Mike Kelly (Pa.)

Pete King (N.Y.)

John Kline (Minn.)

Leonard Lance (N.J.)

Steven LaTourette (Ohio)*

Bob Latta (Ohio)

Jerry Lewis (Calif.)*

Frank LoBiondo (N.J.)

Frank Lucas (Okla.)

Blaine Luetkemeyer (Mo.)

Donald Manzullo (Ill.)*

Tom Marino (Pa.)

Kevin McCarthy (Calif.)

Mike McCaul (Texas)

Buck McKeon (Calif.)

Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris RodgersThe Hill's 12:30 Report Trump eyes House members for Cabinet jobs Trump, GOP enjoy surprise honeymoon MORE (Wash.)

Patrick Meehan (Pa.)

Gary Miller (Calif.)

Alan Nunnelee (Miss.)

Steven Palazzo (Miss.)

Todd Platts (Pa.)*

Dave ReichertDavid ReichertUS businesses can start applying for tariff reductions on scarce products House lawmakers call on Obama administration to oppose Iran joining global trade body Ryan: Pacific deal can't be fixed in time for lame-duck vote MORE (Wash.)

Jim Renacci (Ohio)

David Rivera (Fla.)*

Hal Rogers (Ky.)

Mike Rogers (Mich.)

Tom Rooney (Fla.)

Peter Roskam (Ill.)

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.)

Jon Runyan (N.J.)

Bobby Schilling (Ill.)*

Aaron Schock (Ill.)

John Shimkus (Ill.)

Bill Shuster (Pa.)

Adrian Smith (Neb.)

Lamar Smith (Texas)

Steve Stivers (Ohio)

Glenn Thompson (Pa.)

Patrick Tiberi (Ohio)

Bob Turner (N.Y.)*

Fred Upton (Mich.)

Greg Walden (Ore.)

Daniel Webster (Fla.)

Rob WittmanRob WittmanVA Dems jockey for Kaine's seat Virginia governor contenders ready for battle House GOP defense policy bill conferees named MORE (Va.)

Steve WomackSteve WomackTrump tweets about flag burning, setting off a battle Students across the country spend their 'summer recess' getting involved in politics After the balloons have fallen MORE (Ark.)

Don YoungDon YoungOur National Forests weren't designed just for timber Big Oil makes a push for risky and reckless Arctic drilling House bill would up Fish and Wildlife funding by .3B MORE (Alaska)

Bill Young (Fla.)

* Members who are retiring or were defeated in 2012 election cycle

Note: Emerson is retiring early in 2013.

** Members opposed to Senate-passed bill

Note: After this article was published, Rep. John Culberson's (R-Texas) office contacted The Hill to say the congressman is opposed to the Senate-passed bill.

— This article was originally published at 11:57 a.m. and last updated at 3:06 p.m.