A number of Republicans and some Democrats are considering a protest vote against Nancy Pelosi for House speaker when lawmakers convene Tuesday afternoon to launch the 111th Congress, FOX News has learned.
Once the House is sworn in, one of its first orders of business is to elect a speaker, a vote taken by the entire Congress.
The vote usually goes along party lines. Pelosi will run for the Democrats while Republicans were expected to nominate House Minority Leader John Boehner.
But some lawmakers of both parties are mulling a protest against their leaders and are considering casting their vote for the most senior member of the House, Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich.
Dingell first took office in 1955 and is the second-longest serving U.S. representative in history.
House sources offered FOX News a number of reasons why some Democrats and Republicans might vote for Dingell.
Firstly, it would give moderate and conservative Democrats from marginal districts some political space between them and the more liberal Pelosi.
Secondly, many House moderates are upset that the House Democratic Caucus unceremoniously ousted Dingell from his chairmanship of the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee in favor of the more liberal Henry Waxman, a Pelosi disciple.
Thirdly, it would be highly unlikely for any Republicans to vote for Pelosi but some conservative Republicans have considered a protest vote against Boehner. He presided over two bloodbath elections for Republicans and while no GOPer has emerged as a strong enough alternative to be the minority leader, some might vote for Dingell as a clear statement of disapproval of Boehner.
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