Seeing Threat, Boehner Tries Tougher Tack
“I didn’t put my neck on the line and go toe to toe with Obama to not have an army behind me,” Mr. Boehner declared at a private party meeting, according to some House members. He demanded the fealty of conservatives who were threatening to sink his budget proposal and deny him the chance to confront the Senate with a take-it-or-leave offer on a debt ceiling increase.
Mr. Boehner really had no choice but to go all out. A defeat of that plan — which seemed likely Tuesday night before its prospects improved Wednesday — would have been a disastrous repudiation, in effect a stinging vote of no confidence in him.
Since taking over what some people now describe as the worst job in Washington, Mr. Boehner has found himself caught between two imperatives: to lead his majority, bolstered by Tea Party newcomers, in its crusade to cut spending and the size of government, while serving as responsible partner in governing with a Democratic White House and Senate.