Politics & Government

N.C. Rep. Mark Meadows seeks Boehner’s ouster as speaker

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., filed a motion Tuesday to remove House Speaker John Boehner from his leadership post

In a legislative maneuver called a "motion to vacate the chair," Meadows declares that Boehner, R-Ohio, has "caused the power of Congress to atrophy, thereby by making Congress subservient to the Executive and Judicial branches, diminishing the voice of the American people."

In the motion, he accuses Boehner of using his power to "punish Members who vote according to their conscience instead of the will of the Speaker."

Boehner’s office declined to comment on Meadows’ motion on the record Tuesday night, but is expected to respond at a press conference on Wednesday. Meadows couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday evening.

Last month, Meadows was stripped of his chairmanship on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Government Operations Subcommittee. Many lawmakers viewed it as payback for Meadows being one of 34 lawmakers who bucked House leadership and voted against a rule that allowed consideration of a measure to grant President Barack Obama so-called "fast track" trade authority.

Meadows was later reinstated as subcommittee chairman in late June by Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.

“Having spoken with Mark Meadows several times during the past week, I think we both better understand each other,” Chaffetz said in a release announcing the move. “I respect Mark and his approach. The discussions and candor have been healthy and productive.”

Meadows is also a member of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative Republicans who often lock horns with Boehner and his leadership team on policy and strategy matters. Meadows’ action Tuesday caught many of his House colleagues by surprise.

Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C., called the motion a personal matter between Meadows and Boehner. He disagrees with Meadows’ approach.

"I’m sympathetic with his concerns," Pittenger said Tuesday night. "I share the same concerns, but my process is just different. I don’t believe you sit there and throw rocks at your leadership and call people names. I don’t think that moves the ball down the field at all. There is good and there is bad in a team. But you work with your team to work to move the ball down the field."