In the mid-1990s, Gingrich, then the speaker, enthusiastically charged into a budget face-off with President Clinton that led to not one but two government shutdowns. (One lasted five days; the other, 21.) Gingrich emerged wounded from the battle -- which had been waged over the GOP's calls for deep spending cuts -- and Clinton went on to win reelection in 1996; his Democrats netted nine seats in the House. The politerati's consensus since then has been that this fight was Gingrich's Waterloo, the beginning of the end for him. Now Boehner is heading into a similar tussle.
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