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Boehner Finds Splintered Party Is Hard to Lead

Oct. 3 (Bloomberg) -- We’re used to brinkmanship in Washington resulting from conflict between Democrats and Republicans. But this shutdown is different. It’s a fight between Republicans and Republicans -- or, more specifically, Republicans and the Tea Party.

In 1995 and 1996, Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich proudly led Republicans into their shutdown fight with President Bill Clinton. But Speaker John Boehner didn’t want this week’s shutdown. He didn’t want to sign onto Republican Senator Ted Cruz’s doomed effort to defund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Boehner’s strategy was to pass a clean bill to fund the government at or near current sequestration levels - - a major victory for Republicans, by the way -- and then secure additional spending cuts in negotiations over the debt ceiling.