Moderate Republican Pleads With Boehner To Work With Democrats

AP

Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) wants Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to accept that some uber-conservatives in the party are not interested in governing and to instead start working with a coalition of Democrats.

“I’ve come to the point where you have somewhere between 180 and 200 Republican governance votes in the House,” he told reporters in the Capitol on Tuesday afternoon. “And going forward on this issue and many other issues we’re going to have to find a coalition of Democrats to work with the governing majority of the House.”

Dent, a relative moderate in a deeply conservative conference, said most Republicans want to bring up — if not vote for — a “clean” continuing resolution to re-open the shuttered government. He predicted it would easily pass.

The congressman’s message to his leaders?

“Recognize that there are going to be a few people on the House Republican side that just aren’t going to be there on these major governing matters,” he said. “We just have to get to that point and accept it.”

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), a conservative who’s deeply frustrated with the hard right wing of his party, said it’s time to stop listening to the “lemmings,” or the lawmakers who insist on picking self-defeating battles.

“I’m a real conservative. These other guys are not conservatives,” Nunes told reporters. “They’re lemmings. They’re followers. They’re just waiting for the next guy in front of the mic, the next guy on TV, and they’re going to run out and follow him. Because they’re anti-leadership.”

“If you going to take these extreme measures, you better have a plan to win. And I don’t know that there’s a plan to win,” he said. “I refuse to be like the lemmings. If you want to run for leadership, run for leadership like you’re supposed to. You don’t go out, privately sneak around and then create spectacles on the floor.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK