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In the GOP Conference, Anger All Around

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call
Boehner, right, appears unlikely to face any significant challenge to his position as speaker in the near term.

Even some ardent Boehner defenders were flummoxed by the Ohio Republican’s decision to promise the bill would pass on Wednesday without any caveats. Cantor made the same vow early Thursday, heightening the expectations even more.

Boehner’s and Cantor’s public statements put GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy of California in a difficult position, and the statements were made when Boehner was in a position to know the bill was in trouble.

Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, had given his blessing to the bill, saying it was not a tax increase, as many on the right argued it was. But in a written statement released Friday, he was deliberate in not criticizing the more aggressive approaches of other right wing groups, such as Heritage Action for America and the Club for Growth, who furiously opposed “plan B.”

“Free country (more or less),” Norquist said.

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