Boehner to Republicans: Play Ball This Time House speaker gets on the phone with his colleagues By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff Posted Nov 11, 2012 2:53 PM CST 111 comments Comments In this Nov. 7, 2012, photo, John Boehner speaks at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (Newser) – John Boehner gave fellow congressional Republicans the news in a conference call this week: No more bitter, tooth-and-nail battles with President Obama. And, unlike last year, several voices supported the House speaker—even if those voices were "subdued and dark," reports the New York Times. After Republicans lost ground in the House while Democrats strengthened their Senate hold and retained the White House this election season, at least some of Boehner's colleagues appeared ready to play ball. But others stuck to their guns—like not letting tax cuts for the rich expire—despite America's looming "fiscal cliff." And some groused about Boehner's history of striking deals with Obama and expecting his party to simply fall in line. But Boehner has options, the Times notes, like effectively "taxing" the rich by nixing or reducing tax deductions and credits, and replacing lost GOP votes with Democratic support. "When the president and I have been able to come to an agreement, there has been no problem getting it passed here in the House," he said, referring to their deal to extend payroll tax cuts.