Marking his 56th birthday, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) roiled the waters of House Republicans late on Tuesday by filing a resolution in the U.S. House to force Speaker John Boehner out of his position, something more conservative lawmakers and activists have been loudly demanding for the past two years.
Known as a "motion to vacate the chair," it is the first time that a GOP opponent of Boehner has taken such a step to try to oust the Speaker, who has faced calls for a more aggressive Republican legislative brand.
Here is the text of the resolution submitted by Meadows:
Whereas the Speaker of the House of Representatives for the 114th Congress has endeavored to consolidate power and centralize decision-making, bypassing the majority of the 435 Members of Congress and the people they represent;
Whereas the Speaker has, through inaction, caused the power of Congress to atrophy, thereby making Congress subservient to the Executive and Judicial branches, diminishing the voice of the American People;
Whereas the Speaker uses the power of the office to punish Members who vote according to their conscience instead of the will of the Speaker;
Whereas the Speaker has intentionally provided for voice votes on consequential and controversial legislation to be taken without notice and with few Members present;
Whereas the Speaker uses the legislative calendar to create crises for the American People, in order to compel Members to vote for legislation;
Whereas the Speaker does not comply with the spirit of the rules of the House of Representatives, which provide that Members shall have three days to review legislation before voting;
Whereas the Speaker continues to direct the Rules Committee to limit meaningful amendments, to limit debate on the House floor, and to subvert a straightforward legislative review process; and
Whereas the House of Representatives, to function effectively in the service of all citizens of this country, requires the service of a Speaker who will endeavor to follow an orderly and inclusive process without imposing his or her will upon any Member thereof:
Now, therefore, be it Resolved That the office of Speaker of the House of Representatives is hereby declared to be vacant.
On his Facebook page, Meadows was flooded with positive messages about his effort to push out Boehner, who along with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has become a favorite target of more conservative Republicans, convinced those two GOP leaders are standing in the way of Republican principles.
"Thank you, Mr. Meadows, for your courage and love of country. THIS is the peacetime revolution," one supporter wrote.
While Meadows has filed this resolution to try to open the Speaker's position, he did not personally present it on the floor of the House, so no action is required at this point in time.
So, as lawmakers go home on Wednesday for an extended summer break, the Meadows resolution will serve as more of a marker for Speaker Boehner - that not only does he have opponents within the GOP in Congress - but that some are ready to force him from his leadership position.
Meadows is no stranger to Boehner, as the North Carolina Republican has voted against the Speaker before; he was also booted from a subcommittee chairmanship recently by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), who had to back off when allies pressed for the reinstatement of Meadows.
Meadows told reporters that he wants to promote a "discussion" within Republican ranks about Boehner's leadership, to insure that "every voice and every vote is respected."
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