10 things you need to know today: January 4, 2013

Boehner wins another term as speaker, Gabbie Giffords heads to Newtown, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) holds the gavel during the first session of the 113th Congress on Jan. 3
(Image credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)


John Boehner won a second term as speaker of the House on Thursday, beating Democrat Nancy Pelosi in a 220-192 vote on the opening day of the 113th Congress. It was the narrowest margin in a speaker vote since 1997, and Boehner almost faced the embarrassment of having to go to a second round of voting to win a majority, as a dozen hardline conservatives withheld their votes in a rebuke of the Ohio Republican's leadership. The conservatives who opposed Boehner — some abstaining, others casting ballots for people who weren't in the running, including recently ousted Tea Party Rep. Allen West — were still seething over his handling of the fiscal-cliff fight, which ended with Democrats pushing through a deal that included tax hikes for the wealthy. An emotional Boehner, fighting back tears, vowed to use his second term to reduce the debt to keep it from "draining free enterprise." [Reuters]

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Harold Maass, The Week US

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at The Week. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 debut of the U.S. print edition and served as editor of TheWeek.com when it launched in 2008. Harold started his career as a newspaper reporter in South Florida and Haiti. He has previously worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, ABC News and Fox News, and for several years wrote a daily roundup of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance.