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Boehner Turns to Democrats to Pass CR After 59 GOP Defections

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Rep. Jack Kingston described the three-day rule as a “double-edged sword.”

“I think the three-day layover has gotten a lot of people able to read it out front, which is one of our goals, but you also suffer from it a little bit because you look at the reasons to vote ‘no’ and people can always find one if given enough time,” the Georgia Republican said.

A Congressional Budget Office report circulated Wednesday posed the second problem. It indicated that the agreement would have virtually no effect on this year’s deficit, and conservatives latched onto the report as proof that Boehner had negotiated a bad deal.

Those attacks clearly concerned Boehner, who, in a rare move, took to the floor Thursday before the vote to defend the agreement.

“There are some who claim the spending cuts in this bill aren’t ‘real,’ that the bill is full of ‘gimmicks.’ That’s nonsense. A cut is a cut. ... Every dime of cuts in this bill is a dime that Washington will spend if we leave it on the table. And if you vote ‘no’ on this bill, you’re voting to do exactly that,” the Ohio Republican said.

In fact, in a show of just how important the agreement is, Boehner cast just his second vote of the year Thursday. He previously voted in favor of a bill that would repeal Obama’s health care overhaul law.

“The Speaker knows some Members are going to take heat for this vote,” Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said Thursday after the vote. “He wanted to be clear that he’s right there with them.”

In the weeks before Boehner cut the deal, members of his leadership team had become increasingly wary of how the negotiations with Democrats were going, arguing it would be difficult to muster enough Republican votes unless deeper cuts were made.

Still, several House Republicans backed Boehner’s decision to move forward on the package despite having to look to House Democrats to pass the bill.

“He’s said repeatedly the House needs to work its will, so we’ve gone back to having open rules and structured open rules where we get lots and lots of amendments, votes,” Kline said.

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