Washington, D.C. — Ithaca area Rep. Tom Reed (R — NY 23rd) released a statement Tuesday explaining his vote for Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) as Speaker of the House.
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Boehner won the vote, beating back a challenge from Tea Party conservatives who don’t think he’s done enough to challenge President Barack Obama. But Reed, who has been identified with the Tea Party at various points, supported the more centrist Boehner.
“I came to the decision to support Speaker Boehner after carefully considering the alternatives, weighing the pros and cons, and listening to the many constituents that weighed in with their opinions,” Reed wrote on his campaign Facebook page.
Reed notes that his decision was in part the result of recognizing a lack of an agenda from Boehner’s opposition.
“I was not comfortable voting for an alternative to the Speaker that has not articulated a vision or shown the leadership needed to achieve progress on the many important issues facing our country,” Reed wrote.
Approximately two dozen House Republicans voted for a candidate other than John Boehner, who saw more votes against him than any other sitting Speaker of the House since 1923, the Huffington Post reported.
Boehner was reelected Speaker of the House with 11 more votes than needed, the Washington Post reported.
In his statement, Reed also noted his support for passing the Keystone pipeline bill — a bill that the White House says President Obama will veto — and stopping executive amnesty.
Read Rep. Reed’s full statement below:
Today the House of Representatives voted for the next Speaker of the House.
I came to the decision to support Speaker Boehner after carefully considering the alternatives, weighing the pros and cons, and listening to the many constituents that shared their opinions.
I have heard your frustrations with Washington and I share them. That is why I stood up and campaigned for a position in leadership running for the position of Republican Policy Chair in mid-November. It is the same reason that I ran for Congress in the first place. I was angry at the lack of direction and believe I provide a needed fresh perspective. I have encouraged friends in Congress who share my concerns to join me. That is one of the main reasons I supported Marlin Stutzman in his ultimately unsuccessful campaign for leadership this past year. It was disappointing that we both lost to establishment candidates because we both care deeply about this country. But I learned a lot and the experience of running helped me come to my decision.
In anticipation of running for policy chair I built a platform and shared my vision with every colleague that would take the time to listen. The day of the election I stood in front of the entire conference to present my vision and answered their tough questions. I was one of only three candidates that day that were not already members of the leadership establishment. I won the support of more than ninety of my colleagues, a result that I am proud of, but not enough for victory.
At the same mid-November meeting my colleagues reelected Boehner as our candidate for Speaker without opposition.
This is important because while every other candidate for leadership, including myself, spent months crafting an agenda and presenting it to our colleagues for careful consideration and criticism in mid-November, the candidates that challenged Speaker Boehner today did not. As a result I was not comfortable voting for an alternative to the Speaker that has not articulated a vision or shown the leadership needed to achieve progress on the many important issues facing our country.
Working with our new majority in the Senate I believe that we are headed in the right direction. We have a great opportunity over the next two years to make progress towards reducing the deficit, creating jobs and rolling back executive overreach. For the first time since I was elected in 2010, we will have an actual budget process.
I look forward to moving past these political battles and towards delivering the results promised to the voters that elected us. That starts by passing the keystone pipeline and stopping executive amnesty.