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Boehner faces a political cliff over budget fracas in Washington

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The stunning rebuke by his fellow Republicans was the most critical test of Boehner's leadership since he assumed control of the new Republican majority two years ago and called into question Boehner's ability to lead his GOP majority. Ray Smock, who served as the House's official historian from 1983 to 1995 and now is director of the Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies at Shepherd University, said Thursday night's non-vote, with Boehner on the verge of tears as he announced to his caucus he was canceling the vote and then stormed from the Capitol -- "It's one for the textbooks, I'll tell you that," he said.

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