After his fellow Republicans resisted, the speaker had no choice but to push a bill the Senate is sure to reject
After much arm-twisting and palace intrigue, House Speaker John Boehner finally managed to pass his proposal to raise the debt ceiling.
"I stuck my neck out a mile to try to get an agreement with the president of the United States," Boehner said forcefully in a speech before the House voted, over boos presumably issued by Democratic lawmakers. "A lot of people in this town can never say yes."
His debt-limit bill narrowly passed by a 218-210 margin. Among his fellow Republicans, 17 voted against it; no Democrats voted in favor.
Boehner suffered a surprise defeat on Thursday night, as conservative House Republicans rejected his plan even as Boehner had seemed poised to pass it earlier in the day. After a night of arm-twisting, Boehner finally called off the vote.
According to the direst of pundit estimations, Boehner could have found his speakership in jeopardy, as tea partiers and conservative interest groups blasted emails to reporters and pressured House Republicans to vote against Boehner's bill.
To appease them, Boehner morphed his bill into something that probably will not end up anywhere near Obama's desk. On Friday, he added a key provision: a requirement for a balanced-budget amendment.