Boehner Facing Unrest in Caucus Over Payroll Tax Cut Deal

House Speaker John Boehner is facing the ire of his caucus after striking a deal over their heads to extend the payroll tax cut for two months.

But whether those complaints could imperil his speakership remains to be seen, as the veteran lawmaker and GOP leader projects the message that he did the best he could in tough political circumstances.

In striking the deal with Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, Boehner effectively acknowledged that House Republicans were in danger of taking the fall for a tax hike on Jan. 1. Ron Bonjean, a former top aide to ex-Speaker Dennis Hastert, credited Boehner with giving his members a chance to make their case but said he had to strike a balance.

"When their position became unsustainable, the speaker took a leadership position," Bonjean said.

Whether Boehner's members will see it that way is another matter.

After Boehner unveiled the last-minute deal with Republican rank-and-file late Thursday in a curt conference call, members were incensed.

"He may have a hard time keeping his speakership after this," one GOP lawmaker said. "He's got a big problem when he comes back."


I believe that Boehner did make a leadership decision. He made a choice that prolonged the tax cuts. Sure it's only two months. But it's better than being at a stalemate over the issue.

At least he got something done. And further tax cuts can still be talked about.
Lou B. contributor for TWAU BLOG

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