John Boehner was elected Thursday to a second term as House speaker, despite misgivings by some conservatives about his handling of the fiscal crisis negotiations.
The Ohio congressman, now in his 12th term in the House, was re-elected with 220 votes. He endured nine defections from the Republican ranks, but was able to just clear the 214-vote threshold he needed to avoid a second round of balloting.
Boehner, whose election marks the start of the 113th Congress, will lead a chamber that looks a lot like it did two years ago, with Republicans holding a comfortable majority -- but divisions within the GOP caucus remain.
Those divisions were on full display in the final weeks of the lame-duck session.
Conservatives were disappointed that Boehner, early on in talks over the fiscal crisis, agreed to new revenue. Boehner suffered another blow two weeks ago when his "Plan B" fiscal bill failed to garner enough Republican backers. But the final fiscal-crisis bill, which arrived from the Senate early Tuesday morning, ultimately garnered thin support from the GOP ranks.
Boehner then drew the ire of New York-area lawmakers on both sides of the aisle after a decision to postpone a vote on aid for Superstorm Sandy victims -- he assuaged the concerns of his colleagues late Wednesday with a commitment to bring the aid up for a vote in two installments over the next couple weeks.
Amid the angst, a draft plan had supposedly been circulating on Capitol Hill laying out a possible path for challenging Boehner. And Fox News learned at least 25 House members were expressing reservations.
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