WASHINGTON, DC (WLOX) - Despite opposition from tea party lawmakers, House members voted Tuesday to re-elect John Boehner as speaker. But 25 Republicans voted against Boehner saying he isn't conservative enough. Mississippi's GOP congressmen were not among that group, and Rep. Steven Palazzo is taking heat for it.
Palazzo acknowledged on Facebook Tuesday after the vote that many of his constituents contacted him, asking that he vote against John Boehner for Speaker of the House.
He defended his decision, saying he met "one-on-one and man-to-man for more than an hour" Monday, and believes he will "stand up to the liberal agenda of President Obama."
Palazzo said he thought about opposing Speaker Boehner, but reconsidered when a more conservative candidate failed to emerge.
"I realize many people disagree with this decision, but I was not willing to compromise my ability to serve South Mississippi for a purely symbolic vote that could later be used to punish my constituents," Palazzo wrote on Facebook. "I believe a vote against Speaker Boehner would have been harmful to our jobs and the economy of South Mississippi and diminish my ability to effectively represent the citizens of South Mississippi. Throwing South Mississippi under the bus just to make a point was not an option."
South Mississippians, and others, outraged over the congressman's vote took to social media to voice their displeasure.
Shirley Page of Hattiesburg wrote on the congressman's Facebook page, "Mr. Palazzo, people who will not stand up and fight are running the Republican Party into the ground. I may never vote republican again."
"I'm really shocked about your decision," wrote Beth White of Gulfport. "With your experience, your knowledge should have been to vote for what the people want. I really hope your decision works out for the best and not like the people think it will!"
Kevin Felsher of Biloxi wrote, " I get your logic on the vote, but it's that very line of thinking that prohibits true change in D.C. And why congress has a below 10% approval rating. I generally agree with the way you vote, but on this one, not so much!"
You can read Congressman Palazzo's full statement, and more comments from the Facebook post here: https://www.facebook.com/palazzoforcongress/posts/10153061967067835