John Boehner Overcomes Protest Votes to Stay Speaker of the House

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US House Speaker John Boehner arrives to the US Capitol on January 1, 2013 in Washington, DC. Lawmakers in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives are considering legislation to stave off America's fiscal crisis after a last-gasp deal on taxes passed the Senate overnight. A vote was expected as early as Tuesday as Vice President Joe Biden was dispatched to Capitol Hill to win over reluctant Democrats and Boehner huddled with members of his restive caucus.
Photo: MOLLY RILEY/AFP/Getty Images

Beaten down Ohio Republican John Boehner was reelected Speaker of the House today in an uncomfortable ceremony that saw members of his own party declining to utter his name or casting statement votes for the likes of Boehner's number two Eric Cantor, defeated Florida eccentric Allen West, and former Comptroller General David Walker. Still, Boehner received 220 votes in all — a few more than the 214 he needed — and will be in for another two years of high-profile punishment.

While baseless media speculation that Boehner could resign today or be taken down in a coup proved to be unfounded, the protest votes were enough to garner murmurs from the crowd, which included the bored-looking family members of those being sworn in.

When presented with the People's Gavel by Nancy Pelosi (who herself received 192 votes, but lost four from her party, including one to Colin Powell), a typically expressive Boehner — approaching his trademark tears, at the very least — did not mention the minor insurrection. Instead, he said, "We're sent here not to be something, but to do something. Or as I like to call it, doing the right thing. It's a big job and it comes with big challenges."

This post has been updated throughout.