WASHINGTON – The House has re-elected John Boehner to be speaker in the new Republican-led Congress, despite opposition by tea party lawmakers that underscored party divisions.

The Ohio Republican garnered the votes of 216 Republican lawmakers as Congress convened Tuesday. That was enough for him to win a third two-year term leading the House.

But in an embarrassing slap, 25 Republicans voted for other candidates or voted ‘present.’ They consider Boehner to be too accommodating and not conservative enough.

Their repudiation of Boehner was an awkward display of Republican schisms at a time when party leaders want to show voters that they can govern effectively. They want to show they won’t be forced by tea party legislators into unwinnable, unpopular showdowns with President Barack Obama.

In his first speech to the new Congress, Boehner said he wants President Barack Obama to back Republican bills on energy and jobs as a way to break the partisan logjam that has stalled legislation in recent years.

In prepared remarks, he also rapped colleagues – whom he did not name – for what he called “shadowboxing and show business.”

Boehner likened his job to a farmer’s, saying he tries to plant seeds and take care of pests. He asked lawmakers for patience.

Boehner was addressing the House shortly after he was elected to his third term as speaker. He said that Obama should support bills helping workers and developing North American energy – some of which the administration opposes.

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.