US House Speaker John Boehner was re-elected
Thursday to lead the lower chamber, despite unrest in his
conservative Republican majority after this week's passage of the
unpopular fiscal cliff deal.
The legislation, which President Barack Obama signed late Wednesday, fended off across-the-board income tax increases and postponed major spending cuts for two months. The measure allowed income taxes to rise on households earning more than 450,000 dollars a year, a concession by conservative Republicans who argued that an hikes could harm the still-fragile economic recovery.
After receiving a strong, bipartisan majority in the Senate, the legislation passed the House 257-167, with only 85 Republicans supporting it while 151 Republicans voting no.
The second-ranking House Republican, Eric Cantor, considered a potential rival to Boehner, sided with the hard-line, anti-tax Republicans, voting against the fiscal cliff deal supported by the speaker.
The House vote followed the swearing in of the new Congress for 2013-14, after the November elections in which Obama's left-leaning Democrats expanded their Senate majority to 55-45, while the opposition Republicans remained in a slightly smaller House majority, 235-200.
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