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Republicans Hand Boehner Embarassing Defeat

It's a setback for speaker as Democrats show rare unity
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2011 7:24 AM CDT

(Newser) – The House’s failure to pass a Republican spending bill to keep the government running last night was an embarrassing defeat for John Boehner, underscoring that he can’t count on his own caucus, Politico observes—and can't move if Democrats are united against him. “He can’t pass this bill with his own members,” says one Democrat. “He has basically 30-40 members in his caucus that are so extreme that they wouldn’t vote for this bill.”

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The defeat came despite heavy lobbying from Boehner himself, including threats to strip committee posts from those who defied him. Now aides say Boehner may have to make an example of someone to preserve his authority. Publicly, Republicans blamed Democrats for opposing the bill, with Eric Cantor accusing them of “playing politics.” But anonymously one veteran Republican lawmaker acknowledged that the defeat was a black eye for leadership. “DeLay would never have lost this vote,” he said. (Read more John Boehner stories.)

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