Boehner's bucket list: Find a speaker, solve fiscal train wreck

It's increasingly likely that House Speaker John Boehner will be stuck one last time playing the lead role in negotiating a major budget deal and debt ceiling increase in the coming weeks, despite his hopes of retiring on Oct. 30.

Congress returns to work on Oct. 19, leaving lawmakers six weeks to find an agreement to fund the government, two weeks to strike a deal to raise the nation's debt limit, and 11 days to find a way to pay for federal highway projects.

With Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's abrupt withdrawal from the race to replace Boehner, and indecision from Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan about whether he wants the job, Boehner is in no position to ease himself out of the role of speaker as Congress hurtles toward three critical deadlines.

"He's going to stay on until we elect a new speaker." House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., said, when asked about Boehner's plans to retire. "It does make it more difficult to deal with these issues. A lot of important issues are coming through at the same time, so time is of the essence."

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