John Boehner got the budget deal he negotiated through the House yesterday, but it wound up feeling a bit like a defeat for the House speaker, the New York Times observes. Fifty-nine Republicans—roughly a quarter of his caucus—rejected the bill, sending a message to Boehner that they were going to stick hard and fast to their fiscal ideals. “I think my leadership needs to probably sit down and have a come-to-Jesus with themselves,” said Rep. Allen West, who derided the budget cuts as a “raindrop in an ocean.”
Indeed, some of the dissenters seemed to be swayed by a CBO estimate showing that the cuts would have little short-term impact. The revolt bodes ill for future spending battles, and maybe even for Boehner’s political future, though even harsh critics say he’s in no immediate danger of losing the speaker gig. One leading opponent of the bill, Mike Pence, said he blamed the Senate and White House, not Boehner. “I can’t criticize a basketball player who faces two-on-one all night,” he said.