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 BoehnerLobbyists bounce back under Trump Business groups silent on Trump's Ex-Im nominee Chaffetz won't run for reelection 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 BoehnerLobbyists bounce back under Trump Business groups silent on Trump's Ex-Im nominee Chaffetz won't run for reelection 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 GoodlatteGOP lays out regulatory reform wish list As former Copyright Office leaders, we support an autonomous register of copyrights The Hill's 12:30 Report 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 FoxxAn ounce of prevention … Trump, Congress, cut these regs to make higher education great again A guide to the committees: House 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 RyanFive fights for Trump’s first year Sunday shows preview: Trump stares down 100-day mark Ryan: Focus is on keeping government open, not healthcare MORE (R-Wis.), who might run for president in 2016, also falls in this category. Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioSunday shows preview: Trump stares down 100-day mark Treasury won’t grant Exxon drilling waiver for Russia Report: Trump privately met with former Colombian presidents in Florida 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 BarlettaRepublicans rush to help shape Trump’s infrastructure plan Overnight Finance: GOP makes case to fire consumer bureau chief | Republicans rush to shape infrastructure plan | Tax-writers urge Trump to fire IRS chief Trump transition members urge Rice to testify 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 CantorBrat: New ObamaCare repeal bill has 'significant' changes Overnight Energy: Flint lawmaker pushes EPA for new lead rule House staffer, Monsanto vet named to top Interior posts MORE (Va.)

Shelly Moore Capito (W.Va.)

Howard Coble (N.C.)

Tom Cole (Okla.)

Mike Conaway (Texas)

Rick CrawfordRick CrawfordGOP rep: Clash between Nunes and Schiff a 'little difference of opinion' The Hill's Whip List: 36 GOP no votes on ObamaCare repeal plan A guide to the committees: House 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 FloresRyan transfers record M to House GOP's campaign arm in March Trump warns Republicans ahead of healthcare vote The Hill's Whip List: 36 GOP no votes on ObamaCare repeal plan MORE (Texas)

Rodney FrelinghuysenRodney FrelinghuysenInside a NJ Republican's furious town hall Tax march protesters pressure Republicans who called for Trump tax returns Michigan Dems press for Flint aid in spending bill MORE (N.J.)

Jim GerlachJim GerlachFormer reps: Increase support to Ukraine to deter Russia With Trump and GOP Congress, job creators can go on offense Big names free to lobby in 2016 MORE (Pa.)

Bob Gibbs (Ohio)

Chris Gibson (N.Y.)

Paul GosarPaul GosarWho will replace Chaffetz on Oversight? Picking 2018 candidates pits McConnell vs. GOP groups House votes to begin debate on healthcare bill; six Republicans defect MORE (Ariz.)

Tim GriffinTim GriffinFlynn discloses lobbying that may have helped Turkey Tea Party class reassesses record Huckabee's daughter to run '16 campaign MORE (Ark.)

Michael Grimm (N.Y.)

Brett GuthrieBrett GuthrieHouse panel approves bills on juvenile justice, missing children The Hill's Whip List: 36 GOP no votes on ObamaCare repeal plan Congress should take a cue from Arkansas’s Medicaid expansion freeze MORE (Ky.)

Richard Hanna (N.Y.)

Gregg Harper (Miss.)

Doc HastingsDoc HastingsCongress just resolved a 20-year debate over Neolithic remains Boehner hires new press secretary GOP plots new course on Endangered Species Act reform MORE (Wash.)

Nan Hayworth (N.Y.)*

Joe Heck (Nev.)

Darrell Issa (Calif.)

Bill Johnson (Ohio)

Sam JohnsonSam JohnsonRyan transfers record M to House GOP's campaign arm in March Job creators need relief: Reform small-business healthcare End the ban on physician-owned hospitals 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 RodgersStudy: Rhode Island, Delaware have fastest internet in country At the table: The importance of advocating for ABLE Week ahead in tech: Internet privacy repeal awaits Trump signature MORE (Wash.)

Patrick Meehan (Pa.)

Gary Miller (Calif.)

Alan Nunnelee (Miss.)

Steven Palazzo (Miss.)

Todd Platts (Pa.)*

Dave ReichertDavid ReichertRepublicans try to tame their rowdy town halls The Hill's 12:30 Report Overnight Finance: Biz groups endorse Trump's Labor pick | New CBO score coming before health bill vote | Lawmakers push back on public broadcasting cuts 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 WittmanCongress has best opportunity in years to reform fisheries management in federal waters Overnight Defense: Top general reviewing arms treaty with Russia | Trump hits Obama after Syrian gas attack | Lawmakers fear 'ugly fallout' from short-term spending Lawmakers warn of 'ugly fallout' over short-term defense funding MORE (Va.)

Steve WomackSteve WomackDems offer House resolution to force Trump's tax returns GOP blocks Dem effort to request Trump tax returns Amash misses vote, ending perfect attendance streak MORE (Ark.)

Don YoungDon YoungReport: Ryan pleaded on one knee for ObamaCare repeal vote House votes to make it easier to fire VA employees for misconduct The Hill's Whip List: 36 GOP no votes on ObamaCare repeal plan 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.