Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerHouse conservatives plot to oust Liz Cheney Ex-Speaker Boehner after Capitol violence: 'The GOP must awaken' Boehner congratulates President-elect Joe Biden MORE's (R-Ohio) magic number for the first days of the new Congress will be 28 following the departure of Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.).

Consequently, the House Republican majority will be comprised of 246 members instead of 247. That means Boehner can only afford up to 28 defections from Republicans before he has to turn to Democrats for help in passing legislation.


The first test for the magic number will be on Tuesday during the election for Speaker for the new Congress. At least nine Republicans have announced they won't support Boehner, but that falls far short of their goal for a second ballot.

Conservative firebrand Reps. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) have both launched long-shot bids for Speaker as alternatives to Boehner.

Grimm's resignation is effective Monday after he announced he'd step down in light of pleading guilty to tax fraud last month. The Staten Island Republican faces a 20-count indictment for charges that include employing undocumented immigrants at a Manhattan restaurant he owned prior to serving in Congress.