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Boehner rips Republicans for ‘nonsense’

(The Hill)…Displaying a rare flash of anger, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Tuesday chastised the nearly three dozen Republicans who voted against a procedural rule that structured how a critical trade package was brought to the House floor.

“I made it pretty clear to the members today I was not very happy about it,” Boehner told reporters after a closed-door meeting with rank-and-file members at the Capitol Hill Club. “You know, we’re a team. And we’ve worked hard to get the majority; we’ve worked hard to stay in the majority.

“And I expect our team to act like a team, and frankly, I made it pretty clear I wasn’t very happy,” he added.

In the meeting, Boehner told his fellow Republicans it was “nonsense” that some of them had voted against leadership, according to a GOP lawmaker in the room.

His remarks, which sparked applause, are notable because GOP leaders for days have been highlighting Democrats’ “civil war” over trade.

Boehner didn’t just give GOP rebels a tongue lashing. GOP leaders also booted three defectors — Reps. Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.), Steve Pearce (N.M.) and Trent Franks (Ariz.) — from the Republican whip team after they voted against the trade rule, National Journal reported.

The large number of GOP defections on Friday’s rule vote nearly scuttled the trade package before it even reached the floor. Thirty-four Republicans, mostly conservatives, voted no, objecting to the way the package was put together.

It wasn’t until a handful of pro-trade Democrats voted yes that the rule narrowly passed on a 217-212 vote.

The rule split the Senate-passed trade package into parts, including separate votes on a bill to aid workers displaced by trade and another to grant President Obama fast-track authority to complete major trade deals.

The fast-track bill, known as Trade Promotion Authority, narrowly cleared the House on a bipartisan vote. But because of the rule, it will not be sent to Obama’s desk because Democrats rallied to defeat the aid bill in order to derail the overall package.

The House will vote on a new rule Tuesday that would allow GOP leaders to bring back the workers’ aid bill for another vote by July 30.

Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), who was among the 34 Republicans who voted against the rule last week, said Boehner hasn’t spoken to him about his vote. He accused GOP leaders of catering too much to Democrats at the expense of losing support from conservatives.
“This is the second or third time that they negotiated with Democrats and then Democrats go back on their word. And they still don’t come to the conservatives,” Labrador said at an event hosted by the Heritage Foundation Tuesday morning. “We can help them with this process.”
“Voting against the rule is almost like committing a capital crime here,” Labrador said of the leadership’s attitude.

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