John Boehner was re-elected to another two-year term as speaker of the House on Thursday, capping a turbulent period that saw the failure of his “Plan B” to avert the so-called fiscal cliff and open hostility from fellow Republicans over not holding a vote for Hurricane Sandy aid.
The Ohio Republican received 220 votes, losing just a handful of votes from his party. House Democrats nominated Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who received 192 votes.
A visibly emotional Boehner used his post-election remarks to decry the rising national debt and said Congress must be “willing, truly willing, to make this problem right.”
“The American dream is in peril so long as its namesake is weighed down by this anchor of debt,” Boehner said.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) received three Republican votes. Republican Reps. Justin Amash (Mich.), Jim Jordan (Ohio) and Raul Labrador (Idaho) each received one vote. Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) received two votes and Reps. John Dingell (D-Mich.) and John Lewis (D-Ga.) each received one.
The Constitution does not require the speaker to be a member of the House, which welcomed two votes for former Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) from Reps. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and even one vote for former Secretary of State Colin Powell.