In spite of republican defections and misgivings by many conservatives, John Boehner,now in his 12th term as an Ohio congressman, was re-elected today with 220 votes. He endured nine defections from the Republican ranks, but was able to just clear the 214-vote threshold he needed to avoid a second round of balloting.
Conservatives were disappointed that Boehner, early on in talks over the fiscal crisis, agreed to new revenue. Boehner suffered another blow two weeks ago when his “Plan B” fiscal bill failed to garner enough Republican backers. But the final fiscal-crisis bill, which arrived from the Senate early Tuesday morning, ultimately garnered thin support from the GOP ranks.
Boehner, will now lead a chamber that looks a lot like it did two years ago, with Republicans holding a comfortable majority — but divisions showing within the GOP caucus. On the Senate side, majority Democrats start the session with two additional seats.