- Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy voted against fiscall cliff bill that Boehner supported but they will back him in today’s vote
- Boehner had to placate north-eastern Republicans after New Jersey Governor Christie said fiscal cliff manoeuvrings showed a ‘callous indifference’ to those in his state
House Speaker John Boehner has been afforded no rest after the passage of the fiscal cliff bill.
He has been forced to put down a revolt by conservatives furious about the $620billion in tax hikes he pushed through the House. He has also been subjected to withering criticism from Republicans in New York and New Jersey – including Governor Chris Christie – for failing to bring a bill with $60billion in Hurricane Sandy to a vote.
President Barack Obama, meanwhile, has been vacationing on the sunny beaches of Hawaii – leaving Washington just hours after the deal made it through Congress on Tuesday night.
The White House released a series of year-end photos of the President on Wednesday. The first picture in the series was of shot of a jubilant Obama frolicking in the warm Hawaiian waters.
Wish you were here! This photo of President Barack Obama frolicking in the waves of Kaneohe Bay in Hawaii on January 1, 2012 was released on Wednesday
It’s a sneaky move that could be interpreted as twisting the dagger in the embattled Boehner, who is in the midst of fighting for political life in chilly Washington.
Boehner appears likely to be re-elected as Speaker of the House of Representatives when the 113th United States Congress is sworn in at midday on Thursday.
While some conservatives had said that 20 or more House Republicans were prepared to mount a challenge to Boehner, no one has been willing to step forward as a rallying figure – an indication that the position is in some ways one of the most difficult and thankless in politics.
Boehner’s job as Speaker had been under threat after just 85 members of his Republican caucus voted for a fiscal cliff deal that 151 opposed and nearly all Democrats backed.
Most ominously, his own leadership team publicly split from him over the vote with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy opposing the bill.
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