Why John Boehner's Slap on the Wrist Could Have Been Harder

GOP rebels celebrate, but they lost some votes on the way to the floor.

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, center, and U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, bottom center, wal down the aisle during the first session of the 114th Congress in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015.

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

They kept the House in suspense for the better part of an hour. They won a sort of record-books victory, denying Speaker of the House John Boehner 25 votes, shrinking his total to 216. That was two fewer than a bare majority of a full House. Sure, Boehner didn't need 218 votes, because some members were absent.

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