Senate Deal On Debt And Shutdown Would Put The Heat On Boehner

If the Democrat-led U.S. Senate manages to strike a deal to reopen the American government and avert a catastrophic default on its debt by Thursday's deadline, the agreement - and the U.S.economy - is likely to hinge on one man: John Boehner.

Boehner, the Republican speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, could be about to confront the most critical decision of his three decades in politics.

He could allow the House to pass a Senate deal that likely would get more support from Democrats than Republicans - a move that almost certainly would lead some conservatives to push for Boehner's removal as speaker - or he could side with rebellious Tea Party Republicans by preventing a vote and allowing America to default.

"John Boehner is caught between a rock and a hard place," said Ford O'Connell, a Republican strategist.

Read more from Tim Reid at Reuters

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