(WASHINGTON) — Rep. John Boehner on Thursday was elected to a second term as House Speaker.
Nine Republicans voted against Boehner in support of another candidate. Majority Leader Eric Cantor received three votes, former Florida Rep. Allen West received two votes, Michigan Rep. Justin Amash received one vote, and Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador received one vote. Rep. Jim Jordan and David Walker, the former U.S. comptroller general, also received one vote each.
Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi took second place, receiving the support of 192 members of her caucus.
After Boehner was reelected, Pelosi passed the speaker’s gavel to the 12-term Ohio congressman and told Boehner, “May God bless you.”
Before taking the oath of office Boehner delivered remarks to the House chamber, calling the display of democracy “an interlude for reflection, a glimpse of old truths.”
“To our new members and their families, welcome. You are likely feeling awestruck right about now. History runs through here, and now you are among a select few to share in this privilege,” Boehner told the 113th Congress. “For those who are returning, who have walked these aisles before, maybe it’s time we feel awestruck again.”
Boehner reminded members that each member-elect takes the same oath of office, that “makes no mention of party, faction, or title” and “contains no reference to agendas or platforms – only to the Constitution.”
Boehner then drew upon his Catholic faith, talking about the temptation to “invoke the assistance of our Heavenly Father” in the oath of office.
“This covenant makes us servants of posterity. It calls us to refuse the pull of passing interests and follow the fixed star of a more perfect union,” he said. “We are sent here not to be something, but to do something – to do the right thing. It’s a big job, and it comes with big challenges.”
As he prepares for a second term as speaker, Boehner said that “government has built up too much debt” and he noted that the U.S. economy “is not producing enough jobs.”
“These are not separate problems,” he said. “At $16 trillion and rising, our national debt is draining free enterprise and weakening the ship of state. The American Dream is in peril so long as its namesake is weighed down by this anchor of debt. Break its hold, and we begin to set our economy free. Jobs will come home. Confidence will come back.”
Before he administered the oath of office to the new House, Boehner reminded members that “service was never meant to be an easy living” and “extraordinary challenges demand extraordinary leadership.”
“There is no substitute for the wisdom of the people. We are their servants,” Boehner said. “As Speaker, I pledge to listen and do all I can to help you carry out the oath we are all about to take.”
“If you have come here to see your name in lights or to pass off political victory as accomplishment, you have come to the wrong place. The door is behind you,” he added. “If you have come here humbled by the opportunity to serve; if you have come here to be the determined voice of the people; if you have come here to carry the standard of leadership demanded not just by our constituents but by the times, then you have come to the right place.”
Boehner concluded his address telling lawmakers “there is a time to every purpose under Heaven.”
“For the 113th Congress, it is a time to rise. When the day is over, and the verdict is read, may it be said that we well and faithfully did our duty to ensure freedom will endure and prevail,” he said. “So help us God.”
Rep. John Dingell, the dean of the House, then administered the Oath of Office to Boehner who stood atop the Speaker’s rostrum with his right hand raised, and his left hand resting on the Bible.
Boehner then swore in the members-elect.
“Congratulations!” Boehner said. “You’re now members of the 113th Congress.”
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