Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives
House Speaker John Boehner’s job might be the second-toughest in Washington. The biggest challenge for the Ohio Republican (whose 12th term begins next year) isn’t wrestling with President Barack Obama in fiscal cliff negotiations but trying to keep the 234-member GOP caucus pointed in the same direction — or at least enough of them to reach a 218-vote majority.
Mr. Boehner, 63, faces such a cliffhanger in talks on how to avert nearly $600 billion in spending cuts and tax increases set to take effect Jan. 1. Finding middle ground with Mr. Obama while wrangling those members dead set against any income tax increases is testing the speaker’s formidable political skills. Financial advisers will watch Mr. Boehner closely during budget discussions and potentially broader tax reform next year. Any resolutions are likely to have a direct impact on their clients’ bottom lines and their ability to plan for clients’ long-term goals.—Mark Schoeff Jr.