Boehner Steadies GOP Team, Reframes Deficit Debate

John Boehner, Paul Ryan, Dave Camp

House Speaker John Boehner has shored up his political clout after a shaky month, persuading his Republican caucus to pick its fights with Democrats more strategically.

His impressive rebound, aided by face-the-facts confrontations with colleagues, helped the government avoid a potential default on its financial obligations _ for three months, at least.

It also reassured establishment Republicans who feared the House majority was becoming so unpredictable that it endangered the party.

But the patched-up GOP solidarity and Boehner’s ability to pass bills without Democrats’ help are certain to be tested again.

Surprising news this past week about a late-2012 economic slump might re-energize arguments over tax increases and impending spending cuts. An even bigger challenge will be the immigration overhaul proposals headed toward Congress.

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