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Boehner: Passing bills without GOP majority 'not a practice I expect to continue'

In the last three months, the GOP-dominated House of Representatives has passed three pieces of major legislation that made it to the president’s desk -- without the support of a majority of Republicans.

But House Speaker John Boehner has a message for lawmakers: Don’t get used to it.

At a press conference Tuesday, Boehner said that violating the "Hastert Rule" --  the unwritten rule that Republican leaders only bring legislation to the floor if the majority of the GOP caucus supports it  -- is "not a practice I expect to continue in the long term."

Since the beginning of the year, Boehner has had to break the GOP tenet -- first articulated by former Speaker Dennis Hastert -- three times.

The January fiscal cliff deal, a relief package for Superstorm Sandy victims and the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act all became law only after a minority of House Republicans joined Democrats to back the bills.

It’s a real world approach the speaker has used in the face of revolt from within his own conference. But it’s prompted grumbles from more conservative members who say he’s marginalizing his own party by allowing bills to pass with mostly Democratic support. 

With big-ticket issues like gun control and immigration legislation slated to hit the floor later this year, Boehner’s statement could mean a tougher path to congressional compromise for bills that don’t get a thumbs up from most Republican representatives.

Boehner hinted Tuesday that immigration reform will require broad support from both sides of the aisle in order to make it through the legislative meat-grinder.

"We need to continue to work in bipartisan fashion like we have been to make it happen,” he told reporters. 

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