Obama congratulates Boehner on reelection

President Obama phoned Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday to congratulate his frequent political foe on retaining the House gavel.

The call came a day after an aide to the Speaker told The Hill that Boehner would no longer conduct private one-on-one negotiations with Obama. The pair's relationship was strained during last month's contentious "fiscal cliff" negotiations.

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According to a senior administration official, the president phoned Boehner in the afternoon to congratulate him on his reelection. Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck confirmed the call on Twitter.

Boehner narrowly won reelection on the first ballot in a dramatic vote that saw nine GOP members vote for other members of the House and several others abstain. Conservative Republicans complained that Boehner had given too much ground in the "fiscal cliff" negotiations, and was unable to garner enough support even within the party for his own plan. Other dissenters were angered by Boehner's decision to strip some members of their preferred committee assignments.

Boehner's bare majority vote stood in marked contrast to his election two years ago, when he won all 241 available Republican votes.

The call with Boehner came after Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) phoned the president earlier in the afternoon to inform him of the results of the election. 

"The House leaders relayed that a quorum of the House has been assembled, a Speaker and clerk have been elected and that the 113th Congress is ready to receive any communication that he will make," said a senior administration official. "The president thanked the two leaders, congratulated them and extended well wishes to all members of the new Congress.”

Cantor tweeted a photo of his call with the president, who is vacationing in Hawaii.