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 BoehnerCoronavirus poses risks for Trump in 2020 Lobbying world Pelosi-Trump relationship takes turn for the terrible 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 BoehnerCoronavirus poses risks for Trump in 2020 Lobbying world Pelosi-Trump relationship takes turn for the terrible 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 FoxxOvernight Health Care: House panel advances legislation on surprise medical bills | Planned Parenthood, ACLU sue over Trump abortion coverage rule | CDC identifies 13th US patient with coronavirus House panel advances bipartisan surprise billing legislation despite divisions Ex-HHS chief threatens to vote 'no' on surprise medical billing measure 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 RyanPaul Ryan says he disagrees with Romney's impeachment vote Trump doubles down on Neil Cavuto attacks: 'Will he get the same treatment as' Shep Smith? Trump lashes out at Fox News coverage: 'I won every one of my debates' MORE (R-Wis.), who might run for president in 2016, also falls in this category. Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Energy: Critics pile on Trump plan to roll back major environmental law | Pick for Interior No. 2 official confirmed | JPMorgan Chase to stop loans for fossil fuel drilling in the Arctic MacGregor confirmed as Interior deputy chief GOP casts Sanders as 2020 boogeyman 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 BarlettaEx-GOP congressman to lead group to protect Italian products from tariffs Head of Pennsylvania GOP resigns over alleged explicit texts Trump's most memorable insults and nicknames of 2018 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 CantorThe Democrats' strategy conundrum: a 'movement' or a coalition? The biggest political upsets of the decade Bottom Line MORE (Va.)

Shelly Moore Capito (W.Va.)

Howard Coble (N.C.)

Tom Cole (Okla.)

Mike Conaway (Texas)

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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 FloresDemocrats push to end confidentiality for oil companies that don't add ethanol The Hill's Campaign Report: Warren, Sanders overtake Biden in third-quarter fundraising The Hill's Morning Report — Trump broadens call for Biden probes MORE (Texas)

Rodney FrelinghuysenRodney Procter FrelinghuysenRepublican lobbying firms riding high despite uncertainty of 2020 race Ex-Rep. Frelinghuysen joins law and lobby firm The 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority 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 GosarOvernight Energy: Green groups to sue over Trump rollback of Obama water rules | GOP climate plan faces pushback from right | Bezos launches B climate initiative GOP climate plan faces pushback — from Republicans New Qatari prime minister means new opportunities 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 GuthrieOvernight Health Care: Big Pharma looks to stem losses after trade deal defeat | House panel to examine federal marijuana policies | House GOP reopens investigation into opioid manufacturers Lawmakers express alarm over rise in cocaine overdose deaths House GOP reopens investigation into opioid manufacturers over role in crisis 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 Johnson Retirees should say 'no thanks' to Romney's Social Security plan Lobbying world Social Security is approaching crisis territory 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 RodgersCelebrating and expanding upon five years of the ABLE  Act Koch network could target almost 200 races in 2020, official says Lawmakers voice skepticism over Facebook's deepfake ban MORE (Wash.)

Patrick Meehan (Pa.)

Gary Miller (Calif.)

Alan Nunnelee (Miss.)

Steven Palazzo (Miss.)

Todd Platts (Pa.)*

Dave ReichertDavid (Dave) George ReichertBottom Line The most expensive congressional races of the last decade Lymphedema Treatment Act would provide a commonsense solution to a fixable problem 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.)

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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.