Some new members of the House of Representatives have pledged not to vote for Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. John BoehnerHouse Republican AverageN/A. Instead of casting their vote for someone, they claim they will vote “present.” They need to understand that doing so is a vote for Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. Nancy PelosiHouse Democrat Average11%.
Under House rules, a Speaker is elected based on an absolute majority of votes cast for a person. There can be no plurality. The person elected Speaker must be elected based on an absolute majority of the votes cast.
But here is the catch.
If a member of the House of Representatives votes present, their vote is not considered. Consequently, each vote of present narrows the majority of Republicans and brings Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. Nancy PelosiHouse Democrat Average11% that much closer to being elected Speaker.
If thirty Republicans were to vote present, their votes would be negated and, as the GOP majority is 29, that would put the Democrats (assuming they all vote for Pelosi) in the majority.
I believe Republicans should vote against Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. John BoehnerHouse Republican AverageN/A. Under the House rules, to do so requires that they vote for someone else. Again, of the votes cast, there must be an absolute majority, not a plurality.
Consequently, a vote for anyone other than Boehner prevents Pelosi from being Speaker and blocks Boehner.
Voting present brings us one step closer to Pelosi.