As the nation approaches the fiscal cliff, House Speaker John Boehner finds himself in a familiarly uncomfortable spot, our colleagues in National Journal magazine report.
"The conservative ideologues in Boehner's party--and their mirror images across the political aisle--are already baiting for all-or-nothing fights after Nov. 6, when lame-duck battles loom over $502 billion worth of scheduled tax increases and budget reductions that could damage the fragile economic recovery," Billy House writes.
But you know what they say about the past being prologue.
The speaker has struggled before with the tea party wing of his caucus, having to rely on Democratic colleagues to avoid a government shutdown, for instance.
He's also had to face an ambitious majority leader in Eric Cantor, "as he gauged whether the best tack was to take a harder line with his own members or find new ways to pacify the dissidents in their ranks," House writes.
What's all this mean, then? House explains.
The upshot is that some Republicans have been second-guessing the agreements Boehner has reached with Democrats--notably, the last-second compromise on the August 2011 deal that helped set the clock ticking on the looming defense and other budget sequestrations set to kick in next year.