Pretty well everyone was shocked when John Boehner announced, immediately after dodging the fiscal cliff, that Congress would delay voting on the bill for Hurricane Sandy repair money. The reaction was swift and furious. So, why did he do it?
Former Rep. Steve LaTourette told (our mothership) The Atlantic's Molly Ball about speaking to Boehner the night the House passed the cliff deal, and moments before they were to vote on the Sandy bill:
During the roll call on the tax bill, I walked into the cloakroom, and Boehner was sitting there. I said, 'This Sandy thing is really important. We've got to do something.' He said, 'Not tonight.' I asked if we were going to do it tomorrow, and he said no. He said, 'After this mess, I just can't do it tonight.'
LaTourette went onto explain that Boehner "felt a little betrayed that the other members of the elected leadership walked on him," and was afraid of the "insurrection" forming around him. The insurrection ended up being the 12 members of Congress who voted against his speakership, the most no votes in any speaker election in over two decades.
So, in essence, he thought spent all of his political capital passing the cliff deal, was mad at Eric Cantor, and scared of the murmurs he wouldn't get elected Speaker of the House again.
Of course, we know now the move backfired on him anyway. Peter King told his wealthy donors not to give any money to House Republicans. Chris Christie cut a pro-wrestling worthy promo on his fellow Republicans, calling them 'know nothings.' The fury forced the first part of the bill to go to a vote on Friday, passing with near unanimous numbers.
Read the rest of the interview with LaTourette here.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.