Washington (CNN) - House Speaker John Boehner is in a tough position: between a rock and a hard place, wedged squarely into a corner.
On one side, he has President Obama painting him as a stubborn teenager who is unwilling to meet halfway on the debt ceiling.
On the other side, he has the small but powerful tea party freshman class in the House, many of whom are unapologetic in their desire not to give an inch on tax increases and are quite willing to push the negotiations to - and possibly over - the edge.
Then, he has his No. 2, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who has been at his side through the crisis but has also been seen as the aggressive, rising leader of the new, young, conservative minority in Congress.
And then there are his constituents in Ohio and fans across the country, many of whom are flooding his office with calls of support, overwhelming the number of calls against the congressman.
"It comes down to the willingness (of Republicans) to stand together," Boehner said. "This is the path to victory for the American people."
Boehner, meanwhile, is trying to get his party through this crisis politically intact, corralling a group of House Republicans and tamping down criticism from tea party groups squarely opposed to his proposal to tackle the country's debt crisis.
His plan - roughly $3 trillion in cuts and raises to the debt ceiling in two stages - is being attacked from the right by Republicans who don't think it goes far enough in reforming government spending. And he has been unable to secure enough support from Democrats by sweetening the bill with enough of what they want to offset the tea party conservatives he's sure to lose.
He needs 217 votes to pass the bill. According to congressional watchers, he doesn't have it.
"The debt limit vote sucks," Cantor said during a House GOP conference meeting Tuesday, according to two sources behind the closed doors.
The measure is expected to come up for a vote Wednesday.
The nearly 100 House tea party caucus members - including many of the 87 Republican freshmen - have seemingly painted Boehner into a corner. Any deal, they say, must include nearly $4 trillion in spending and absolutely no tax increases, something Obama has publicly advocated.FULL STORY
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