WASHINGTON — Days after House Republicans overhauled much of their leadership team, House Speaker John Boehner said today that he’s “all in” to remain as speaker in the new Congress that will meet next year.
The Ohio Republican’s remarks came after months of questions about whether he would continue holding the House’s No. 1 job after the current Congress ends in January 2015. Boehner, one of the party’s most prolific fundraisers, sent more campaign cash to House Republicans’ campaign arm today and pushed his giving to the National Republican Congressional Committee to more than $17 million since January 2013.
Boehner has been speaker since 2011. For much of that time, he’s managed a fractious Republican majority that includes conservatives who at times have rebelled against his leadership, including a handful who refused to vote for him when the House re-elected him as speaker in January 2013.
Additional questions about his tenure have arisen as House Republicans overhauled much of their leadership team last week following the primary election defeat of Virginia GOP Rep. Eric Cantor, the majority leader.
Asked by a reporter today whether he will remain as speaker, Boehner said, “I told my colleagues two weeks ago I was all in. And when I’m all in, I’m all in.”
Even so, Boehner’s return to the job is not guaranteed despite Republicans’ strong odds of keeping their majority status after November’s elections. With several conservatives saying they want the House GOP to take a more rightward turn, some lawmakers said last week that they would not rule out a challenge to Boehner when the House elects its new leaders for the next Congress.
Boehner, however, has deep pockets that can inspire loyalty.
So far this cycle, Boehner has raised more than $88 million for the GOP through Republican National Committee, state party and more than 150 candidate events. He also has lent his name to online, telephone and direct mail solicitations.
Today, Boehner was set to move $1.5 million from his Ohio re-election campaign account to House Republicans’ campaign arm. Boehner’s more than $17 million in transfers is set to help endangered incumbents and hopeful candidates buy ads, poll voters and call supporters.
The speaker also has given more than $1.4 million directly to incumbent members of Congress and candidates this cycle.
And aides said Boehner plans a 6,000-mile, 14-state campaign road trip to help allies in their home districts this August.