Allen West gets two votes for speaker

Few knew what to make of it when Allen West pointed out after his electoral defeat that “Abraham Lincoln only served one term in Congress.” But if the former GOP congressman and firebrand from South Florida hoped to come back as speaker of the House, he came up a couple of hundred votes short.

To be clear, there are no signs that West wanted the job, which is not required to be held by a sitting member of the House (but always has been). But he did get a couple of votes as part of a protest by conservative House Republicans unhappy with the deal House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio brought to the floor Tuesday to bring the country back from the fiscal cliff. That raised tax rates on income over $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples despite GOP resistance to increasing rates.

West got two votes, short of Boehner’s total of 220. It also came in behind the 192 votes for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and the three for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va. Both Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., and Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tex., voted for West. Among the other “candidates” to get votes from GOP or Democratic defectors were other members of Congress and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

The News Service of Florida