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Rep. Pearce explains voting 'relief pitcher' Cantor for Speaker

Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.) explained his decision in a video posted to YouTube Thursday.

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"I represent New Mexico. It's forty-third per capita income. We make $34,000 average in New Mexico and the policies out of Washington and decimating the middle class and the class of people who make $34,000 a year. Retirees are being hurt … so no one is speaking about the full picture," said Pearce in the video.

The New Mexico lawmaker told viewers that his vote was "not against Boehner," but rather to bring in the "relief pitcher," Cantor.

"My vote today was not against Mr. Boehner, I've actually voted for him every time, worked very hard to see that he got his position initially. My vote … today was to bring in the relief pitcher. Mr. Cantor is second in command. I just wanted to say, let's change directions," he added.

Boehner was reelected Speaker of the House on Thursday, despite some defections from GOP members. Nine Republicans voted for other individuals, and several others abstained from the vote or voted "present."

Boehner was at odds with many in his own party earlier this week when he brought "fiscal cliff" legislation to the House floor that raised taxes.

“Congressman Pearce is looking for a new direction for the Republican-led House, and a new voice in future negotiations. He was unable to support the tax plan brought before the House on Tuesday, believing that it sent the wrong message that raising taxes is the solution when it is clear we have a spending problem not a tax problem," said Pearce's Communications Director, Eric Layer, in a statement to The Hill.

— Erik Wasson contributed.