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 Andrew BoehnerLott says lobbying firm cut ties to prevent him from taking clients Lobbying firm cuts ties to Trent Lott amid national anti-racism protests Bush, Romney won't support Trump reelection: NYT 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 Andrew BoehnerLott says lobbying firm cut ties to prevent him from taking clients Lobbying firm cuts ties to Trent Lott amid national anti-racism protests Bush, Romney won't support Trump reelection: NYT 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 GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteUSCIS chief Cuccinelli blames Paul Ryan for immigration inaction Immigrant advocacy groups shouldn't be opposing Trump's raids Top Republican releases full transcript of Bruce Ohr interview MORE (Va.), Jeb Hensarling (Texas), Tom Latham (Iowa), Steve Scalise (La.) and Frank WolfFrank Rudolph WolfAfrica's gathering storm DOJ opinion will help protect kids from dangers of online gambling Vulnerable Republican keeps focus as Democrats highlight Trump 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 Ann FoxxHouse fails to override Trump veto of bill blocking DeVos student loan rule The Hill's Coronavirus Report: BIO CEO Greenwood says US failed for years to heed warnings of coming pandemic; Trump: Fauci won't testify to 'a bunch of Trump haters' Hillicon Valley: Amazon VP resigns in protest | Republicans eye university ties to China | Support rises for vote by mail 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 Davis RyanBush, Romney won't support Trump reelection: NYT Twitter joins Democrats to boost mail-in voting — here's why Lobbying world MORE (R-Wis.), who might run for president in 2016, also falls in this category. Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioCongress eyes tighter restrictions on next round of small business help Trump administration eyes new strategy on COVID-19 tests ACLU calls on Congress to approve COVID-19 testing for immigrants 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 BarlettaLouis (Lou) James BarlettaBottom Line Ex-GOP congressman to lead group to protect Italian products from tariffs Head of Pennsylvania GOP resigns over alleged explicit texts 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 Ivan CantorTrump taps pollster to push back on surveys showing Biden with double-digit lead Bottom Line The Democrats' strategy conundrum: a 'movement' or a coalition? MORE (Va.)

Shelly Moore Capito (W.Va.)

Howard Coble (N.C.)

Tom Cole (Okla.)

Mike Conaway (Texas)

Rick CrawfordRick CrawfordRepublicans score procedural victory on Democrats' infrastructure bill The case for renewed US engagement in Latin America Arkansas program that places unemployed guards, reservists in agriculture jobs can be a model for nation 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 FloresWilliam (Bill) Hose FloresLawmakers ask Trump administration to help Gulf oil and gas producers Texas kicks off critical battle for House control Democrats push to end confidentiality for oil companies that don't add ethanol MORE (Texas)

Rodney FrelinghuysenRodney Procter FrelinghuysenBottom line Republican lobbying firms riding high despite uncertainty of 2020 race Ex-Rep. Frelinghuysen joins law and lobby firm MORE (N.J.)

Jim GerlachJames (Jim) GerlachThe business case for employer to employee engagement 2018 midterms: The blue wave or a red dawn? Pa. GOP 'disappointed' by rep retiring after filing deadline MORE (Pa.)

Bob Gibbs (Ohio)

Chris Gibson (N.Y.)

Paul GosarPaul Anthony GosarHouse Republicans urge White House to support TSA giving travelers temperature checks OVERNIGHT ENERGY: DOJ whistleblower cites Trump tweets as impetus for California emissions probe | Democrats set July vote for major conservation bill, blaming Republicans for delay | Trump vows crackdown on monument vandalism Democrats set July vote for major conservation bill, blaming Republicans for delay MORE (Ariz.)

Tim GriffinJohn (Tim) Timothy 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 GuthrieSteven (Brett) Brett GuthrieHillicon Valley: Tech giants poised to weather coronavirus damage | Record Facebook-FTC deal approved | Bipartisan 5G bill introduced Lawmakers introduce legislation to boost American 5G efforts Hillicon Valley: Facebook, Twitter dismantle Russian interference campaign targeting African Americans | YouTube to allow ads on coronavirus videos | Trump signs law banning federal funds for Huawei equipment MORE (Ky.)

Richard Hanna (N.Y.)

Gregg Harper (Miss.)

Doc HastingsRichard (Doc) Norman 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 JohnsonSamuel (Sam) Robert JohnsonSam Johnson: Fighter for the greater good House pays tribute to late Congressman Sam Johnson on the floor The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - US virus deaths exceed 100,000; Pelosi pulls FISA bill 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 RodgersGOP lawmakers voice support for Israeli plan to annex areas in West Bank Trio of GOP lawmakers asks Zoom to clarify China ties after it suspends accounts Bipartisan senators call for investigation of TikTok's child privacy policies MORE (Wash.)

Patrick Meehan (Pa.)

Gary Miller (Calif.)

Alan Nunnelee (Miss.)

Steven Palazzo (Miss.)

Todd Platts (Pa.)*

Dave ReichertDavid (Dave) George ReichertMail ballot surge places Postal Service under spotlight Bottom Line The most expensive congressional races of the last decade 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 WittmanRobert (Rob) Joseph WittmanTrade groups make lobbying push to be included in small business loan program Overnight Defense: 32 dead in ISIS-claimed attack in Kabul | Trump says Taliban could 'possibly' overrun Afghan government when US leaves | House poised for Iran war powers vote next week Republicans eye top spot on Natural Resources panel MORE (Va.)

Steve WomackStephen (Steve) Allen WomackEx-CBO director calls for more than trillion in coronavirus stimulus spending Overnight Defense: Lawmakers tear into Pentagon over .8B for border wall | Dems offer bill to reverse Trump on wall funding | Senators urge UN to restore Iran sanctions Lawmakers trade insults over Trump budget cuts MORE (Ark.)

Don YoungDonald (Don) Edwin YoungHillicon Valley: Apple, Google launch virus tracing system | Republican says panel should no longer use Zoom | Lawmakers introduce bill to expand telehealth House lawmakers introduce bipartisan bill to expand telehealth services Campaigns face attack ad dilemma amid coronavirus crisis 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.