By Byron Shehee
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—Rep. Gary Palmer (AL-06) voted for Sen. Jeff Sessions yesterday when he cast his ballot for Speaker of the House.
Even without Palmer’s vote, Boehner was re-elected to a third term as House Speaker with 216 votes.
Palmer, a freshman from Birmingham, made a promise during his campaign that he would not vote for Boehner as speaker and the congressman stayed true to his word.
Palmer said, “Today, I honored my commitment to the people who elected me by not voting for John Boehner as Speaker. That commitment alone might not have determined the outcome of the election, but it was one that I was honor-bound to keep. That obligation has now been met.
“Some people might question my judgment on this and other matters, but as much as it depends on me, I intend to conduct myself in such a way that no sensible or fair minded person can credibly question my character.”
Palmer provided an illustration that he values not just words but action and integrity when he voted for Sessions.
Regarding his vote for Sen. Sessions Palmer said, “I have often joked that, when I grow up, I want to be like Jeff Sessions, so I wanted to honor him, especially after he was denied the chance to chair the Senate Budget Committee. He is a man of high character and intellect and has not wavered under the pressure of Washington. His name now ranks among those who have been nominated as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.”
All but one other Republican cast their ballots for fellow House members when voting for House Speaker. The other non-representative to receive a vote was Sen. Rand Paul from Kentucky.
The political backlash against a few of the congressmen who didn’t vote for Boehner has been significant and swift. Some who dissented have already been removed from preferred committee positions. It remains unclear what sort of retaliation, if any, will be directed toward Rep. Palmer.