POLITICS
07/29/2015 05:01 pm ET Updated Jul 29, 2015

Boehner Downplays GOP Insurrection

The Republican leader doesn't seem worried about dissent in the ranks.

WASHINGTON -- A bid to oust House Speaker John Boehner is merely the action of one malcontent, and is really "no big deal," the Ohio Republican told reporters Wednesday.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) offered a resolution late Tuesday to "vacate the chair," which, if it gets a vote, would require a vote on keeping Boehner as speaker. Boehner, however, does not seem inclined to let things progress that far.

"Listen, this is one member, all right?" the speaker told reporters at his final weekly news conference before Congress takes five weeks off. "I've got broad support amongst my colleagues. And frankly, it isn't even deserving of a vote."

The move against Boehner came the same week that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) moved to hamstring legislation pushed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) -- and called McConnell a liar to boot.

But Boehner said such insurrections were to be expected.

"Listen, you've got a member here and a member there who are off the reservation," he said. "No big deal."

He explained that it was just part of the American way.

"Because America has, essentially, a two-party system, each of the parties represents a pretty wide, divergent set of views," Boehner said. "And as a result, it requires a lot more effort on the part of the leaders to try to work in a unified fashion. We just continue to work at it every day."

Still, he was particularly dismissive when asked if he'd spoken with Meadows, who has told reporters his goal is less to boot Boehner than to start a conversation.

"I have not," the speaker said. "Why?" he added, chuckling.

UPDATE: 7:50 p.m. -- Boehner's confidence may be warranted, as rank-and-file Republicans don't exactly appear to be rallying to Meadows' cause.

“I love Mark Meadows. He’s a good man. I just think he didn’t realize the potential damage of both the tenor and timing his motion could create,” one of Congress' most conservative members, Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), told The Huffington Post Wednesday.

"There’s an old saying that sometimes it’s easier to stand in the way of an entire army than one Calvinist who believes he’s doing the will of God," Franks added. "I don’t doubt that Mark may have been trying to follow the dictates of his conscience. I just feel like he made a terrible error in this instance."

It was an error, Franks said, because the tone of Meadows' resolution was harsh, and because in theory the motion could put Boehner's leadership up for a vote before the entire House, including the other party.

"This proposal had the potential of allowing the few liberal Democrats in our caucus" -- that is, moderate members of the GOP -- "to team up with the Democrats, and install someone as speaker that would have been a disaster," Franks said.

Michael McAuliff covers Congress and politics for The Huffington Post. Talk to him on Facebook.

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