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Allen West Pulls Votes For Speaker Of The House, Despite No Longer Serving In Congress

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ALLEN WEST SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE
AP

Former Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) is no longer a member of Congress, having lost his quest for a second term in November. But that didn't prevent some of his former Republican colleagues from voting on Thursday to have him lead the body as speaker of the House.

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) eventually retained the position after no member of the new 113th Congress came forward to officially challenge him for the leadership role. But dissent was certainly on display among House Republicans, many of whom were casting votes fresh off a bruising battle to pass a New Year's Day fiscal cliff deal that would end up neglecting some of their primary concerns on spending cuts and tax hikes.

When called on to announce their selection for speaker, Reps. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) -- two of the House's most outspoken conservatives -- gave West as their choice. Fifteen other Republicans took similar moves in opposition to Boehner, with seven voting for other lawmakers and eight abstaining from voting.

West gave a parting shot to the GOP establishment this week, taking to Facebook to announce that he couldn't support a fiscal cliff deal that raised taxes on couples earning over $450,000 and individuals earning over $400,000. He's now in Phoenix for Thursday night's college football Fiesta Bowl.

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