Can John Boehner survive as House Speaker after DHS debacle?

Can John Boehner survive as House Speaker after DHS debacle?

Being elected Speaker of the US House of Representatives by his Republican peers should have been the happy culmination of a long congressional career for Rep. John Boehner. Telling his story about rising from modest circumstances – the second of 12 children in a working-class Ohio family – to become a legislative leader and second in order of presidential succession frequently brought tears to his eyes.

But so far, at least, it’s largely been a slog through political swamps. He’s had to fight off not only Democrats but tea partiers and other members of his own party – including the 25 Republican House members who voted for somebody else as Speaker last month in what the Washington Post reported as “the largest rebellion by a party against its incumbent speaker since the Civil War.”

Late Friday night – literally at the 11th hour – Mr. Boehner faced another wall of opposition, into which he crashed.

The stunning House defeat of a three-week spending bill for the Department of Homeland Security exposed Boehner’s weakness in the face of rebellious GOP conservatives – 52 of whom went against him.

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