Boehner Again Loses Control Of Tea Party Congress
Speaker John Boehner is again facing a major leadership test, dealing with a tea party revolt over the Senate deal to extend a payroll tax cut. Boehner had previously given an indication that if Senate Republicans could reach a deal with Democrats on the extension, he would be able to shepherd the legislation through the Republican-led House.
The measure overwhelmingly passed in the Senate, 89-10. Boehner reportedly presented the legislation to his caucus on a conference call when a tea party-led push-back forced the Speaker to publicly flip flop on his earlier statements. Boehner now claims he opposed to the bill, even though he promised to support a deal brokered by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said the Senate is finished with its business for the year, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has indicated that Democrats are ready to pass the deal passed by the Senate. The only remaining roadblock to a tax increase is Speaker Boehner and his party.
Boehner must find a way to appease the tea party revolt within his ranks, or risk being blamed for a tax increase on the eve of a presidential election.
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