According to The Washington Post, Rep. Dave Brat will not support John Boehner (R-Ohio) as the House Speaker in the new congress. This decision solidifies that the new legislator, who beat former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in his primary, is working to position himself in the most conservative wing of the GOP.
“While I like Speaker Boehner personally, he will not have my support,” said Brat in a statement. He said he feels that the Republican leadership should have worked harder with conservatives to defund President Obama’s executive action that granted legal statuses to millions of undocumented immigrants.
Immigration policy was also a large contributor to Brat’s defeat of Cantor in June. His conservative Richmond-area district turned against Cantor after the influential politician suggested that a comprehensive reform plan should be considered.
Brat was sworn into Congress last fall after Cantor resigned his position. He initially supported Boehner for the leadership position in a closed-door meeting saying that there was no alternative.
“I said I’d favor the person who most closely followed [my] principles, so no challenger emerged, so I followed my logic,” he told the Post.
At least two conservative legislators are now planning to challenge Boehner: Louie Gohmert of Texas and Ted Yoho of Florida. Both men are tough on immigration. Brat did not announce his support for either candidates, only saying that he wants a speaker who will stand up to the president.