Labrador jumped to prominence in the Idaho Legislature in 2008 by organizing to oust Gov. Butch Otters choice for chairman of the Idaho Republican Party and in 2009 by battling with Otter over transportation taxes. He won both fights.
In Congress, Labrador quickly became a national media figure as a Hispanic tea party Republican, making four appearances on Meet the Press in his first two years.
From the start, Labrador mused about expelling Boehner and every committee chairman. He was known for obnoxious outbursts in caucus and lunging for the microphone to blast Boehner, according to Robert Drapers spring 2011 book about 87 freshman Republicans, Do Not Ask What Good We Do.
Hes fearless, Weatherby said. Perhaps my only surprise is that it has taken this long for a public breach.
But beginning his third year by trying to depose the king and failing may compromise Labradors effectiveness, Weatherby said. Hes in league with a distinct minority in the GOP caucus who have been punished for not following the caucus line. The consequences of Labradors coup could be costly to him and Idaho.
Weatherby said Boehner appeared to chide Labrador and his allies when he spoke to the House after his re-election. So 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, Boehner said. The door is behind you.
Boehner spokesman Micheal Steel did not reply to the Statesmans request for comment.
BEHIND A FAILED COUP
When Republicans who control the House gathered Jan. 3 to select their speaker for the new Congress, Labrador and other Boehner critics aimed to gather enough votes to deny Boehner a first-ballot win. They hoped the prospect of a second ballot might prompt a senior Republican to challenge Boehner for the speakership. None did.
The group planned to pull the trigger if they had 25 votes, though they needed only 17 for a second ballot. They retreated when the count fell to 24, according to the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call.
Labrador acknowledged, I told some of my friends that they were released from pledges to oppose Boehner.
Weatherby said hes puzzled by Labradors open defiance after calling off the rebellion. The last thing you want to do is be known as part of an unsuccessful coup, Weatherby said.
By that time, Labrador said, his disloyalty already was known.
There was an opportunity, Labrador said. We had the numbers to actually win this thing. Nobody took the challenge. So, I felt that I still needed to be true to myself.
Labrador said he hopes Boehner will get tougher with President Obama as Congress works to cut spending and raise the debt ceiling in coming weeks.
Maybe Boehner needs to know that the conservatives have the numbers to be effective in a coup, but maybe its not the right time, Labrador said. And maybe hes the leader that needs to rise to become strong against the president.
Labrador said hes not worried about being stripped of committee assignments, as were three Boehner foes after they opposed Rep. Paul Ryans budget bill last month. I think he wants to come out stronger from this not by punishing, but by learning, Labrador said.
I think Im very effective, and I think that this will actually help the speaker become stronger.
Labrador was the lone Idaho lawmaker to oppose the fiscal cliff deal. Simpson as well as GOP Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch backed the compromise to preserve lower income tax rates for individual taxpayers making less than $400,000.
Simpson said hes among those House Republicans doing the difficult business of governing, reflecting the reality that Democrats control the Senate and White House.
Ill be the first to acknowledge that there are a thousand reasons to vote no on any bill of consequence, Simpson said. It is much harder to vote yes on bills that are politically difficult. Im fully aware that Ive taken some difficult votes, but I believe they were the only responsible path forward for our economy and our countrys future.
Spokesmen for Crapo and Risch said the Simpson-Labrador split is an internal House issue and that their bosses dont think it will affect the work the four do on behalf of Idaho.