Conservative lawmaker may seek vote to oust Boehner
© Greg Nash

Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsMulvaney faces uncertain future after public gaffes Testimony from GOP diplomat complicates Trump defense Obama: Cummings showed us 'the importance of checks and balances' MORE (R-N.C.) said he or another conservative lawmaker may seek a privileged vote next month to oust Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerIs Congress retrievable? Boehner reveals portrait done by George W. Bush Meadows to be replaced by Biggs as Freedom Caucus leader MORE (R-Ohio) from his leadership position.

Meadows told The Daily Signal that he or another conservative lawmaker may file a privileged motion to “vacate the chair” and force a vote on who should be the House leader.


In July, Meadows offered a non-privileged motion to vacate the chair. That motion did not actually force a vote on Boehner’s removal.

Offering a privileged motion would force a vote on the House floor.

“It’s very easy to say you are willing to pay any cost. It’s a very different thing to actually be willing to go through and lay it all on the line,” Meadows told The Daily Signal.

Conservative critics of Boehner criticized the Meadows motion in July. Even lawmakers typically opposed to Boehner considered the resolution ill-advised. 

But Meadows insisted there are “many more” than 29 Republicans who would vote to oust the Ohio Republican.

Meadows has battled with GOP leaders for much of the summer. After he voted against a House GOP rule on trade legislation this summer, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) punished Meadows by stripping him of his subcommittee gavel.

After an outcry from conservatives who said the punishment went too far, Meadows was reinstated as the subcommittee chairman.

He then offered the motion to vacate the chair, stunning much of Washington.

Meadows vowed he would act even if he lacked support.

“I for one — if it’s just me and me alone — I am willing to stand up and say this is what the people back home want, this is what they’re asking for, even if it makes it difficult on me in Washington, D.C.,” he said.

Meadows also for the first time floated a potential replacement should the vote be successful, saying he would “certainly entertain” becoming Speaker himself. 

In July, Meadows argued he merely wanted to spark a “discussion” about how House leaders were operating with his motion, and did not intend to force a vote on removing the gavel from Boehner.

His resolution argued that Boehner had centralized decision-making.