Boehner re-elected House speaker, over small protest

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WASHINGTON -- John Boehner was re-elected as U.S. House speaker Thursday with the support of 220 of his 233 newly elected caucus members, while about a dozen Republicans lodged symbolic protests against the Ohio Republican.

"Public service was never meant to be an easy living; extraordinary challenges demand extraordinary leadership," said an emotional Boehner while addressing the House chamber. "So if you have come here to see your name in the lights or to pass off a political victory as accomplishment, you have come to the wrong place. The door is right behind you."

Boehner, 63, will lead the 113th Congress as the 53rd speaker of the House, according to the House historian website. While receiving support from a solid majority of his caucus, he is facing a backlash from some lawmakers aligned with the anti-tax tea party movement.

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In a show of their dissatisfaction, nine Republicans shouted out the names of other members -- or party leaders no longer in office -- to replace the speaker. Among those receiving protest votes was former Rep. Allen West of Florida, a tea party favorite who was defeated in last year's election. The Constitution does not require the speaker to be a member of the House.

Disillusionment with Boehner largely stems from his agreement this week to advance the compromise measure that raised taxes on top earners without forcing significant budget cuts. The legislation averted more than $600 billion in automatic spending cuts and broad-based tax increases, or the "fiscal cliff," which were set to begin in January.

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