Congress’ Republican leaders face stark tests as they fight to keep the government open past month’s end.
For House Speaker John Boehner, any wrong move could throw his very future into question. It could open him to a threatened showdown vote on the floor of the House over whether he can remain in his job.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell must contend with the ambitions of several GOP presidential candidates. One of them, Ted Cruz of Texas, has made it his business to oppose McConnell at every turn.
Now Cruz is again goading on a group of House tea partyers. They are demanding that must-pass spending legislation cut off all money for Planned Parenthood. But such a bill could not pass the Senate and would face a certain veto.