The roughly 50 members elected to the House two years ago have been a challenge for the more moderate House Speaker John Boehner since they took office. Perhaps most memorably, many of them refused last year to support a debt-ceiling bill because they said it didn’t reduce federal spending enough.

Just last week they squashed Boehner’s fiscal plan by refusing to compromise and vote on a tax increase for any American, despite the House speaker — in his so-called “Plan B” — having suggested extending tax cuts only for those making more than $1 million annually.

And their most powerful vote might be yet to come, should Tea Party-backed House members reject a possible Senate proposal over the next two days to extend tax cuts and perhaps avert massive federal spending cuts that start January 1.

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