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December 11, 2012

Boehner's Challenge is Keeping His Caucus United

Wall Street Journal: "The unruly freshman class of 2010 has thwarted Mr. Boehner numerous times during his two years as speaker. To bolster his position, Mr. Boehner has been slowly bringing Republican freshmen to his side by introducing them to the realities of legislating and congressional leadership. Mr. Boehner's strategy, and his future as speaker, will get tested between now and year-end as Washington wrestles with negotiations designed to avert tax increases and spending cuts due to begin in early January."

"Boehner has used both carrot and stick to unify his ranks, lawmakers said. Rep. Steve Southerland, a voluble freshman, got a job managing a transportation bill. Three freshmen who continued to defy the House leadership on key votes got booted from plum committees. Others learned the limits of their power by watching bills the House passed disappear in the Senate."

"Boehner mended fences with his No. 2, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), after the two repeatedly clashed over various budget negotiations, aides to both men said. He has made an overt effort to cultivate Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House budget committee and Mitt Romney's running mate. Mr. Ryan didn't embrace Mr. Boehner's efforts to negotiate a deficit deal in 2011. This year, he is sitting in on Mr. Boehner's daily strategy session and has endorsed the speaker's plan to raise fresh tax revenue."


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