WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Despite a rocky few weeks during the “fiscal cliff” fight, John Boehner won re-election as speaker of the House of Representatives on Thursday and will lead Republicans as they take on the White House over federal spending.
Boehner beat Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi by 220-192 in the speakership vote on the first day of a new Congress.
A possible rebellion against Boehner from conservatives upset at his handling of the fiscal crisis never emerged and only a handful of Republicans voted against him.
Some Republicans have criticized the Ohio congressman for dragging his feet on aid for storm Sandy victims in the Northeast and for backing tax hikes on the wealthy sought by President Barack Obama to avert the “fiscal cliff” of steep tax increases and spending cuts.
New fights loom over spending cuts for military and domestic programs as well as the “debt ceiling” limit of how much the federal government can borrow.
“Being speaker today is no bargain, I tell you,” Republican Representative Peter King said on morning TV talks shows on Thursday.
King, of New York, was among those who slammed Boehner on Wednesday for postponing an anticipated vote on a $60 billion aid package for victims of Sandy.
Under pressure, Boehner, 63, agreed later in the day to vote on Friday on $9 billion in relief and on January 15 for another $51 billion in aid.