Referring to his plan to preemptively send the Senate a House-passed bill, Speaker John Boehner told his conference this morning that he’d “rather throw a grenade than catch a grenade.” But with his right-wing troops abandoning him again, it was the speaker who was left holding the bomb.

After a day of furious negotiating with fellow Republicans over how to tweak a bill he had unveiled in the morning, it was left to stunned members of his leadership team to confirm to reporters that the vote had been canceled.

“They’re trying to work it out,” said Representative Greg Walden, the National Republican Congressional Committee chairman.

Pete Sessions, chairman of the Rules Committee, kept in character and put a positive spin on an obvious disaster for the GOP.

Boehner “made a decision that what we’re going to do is allow us to take the night and make sure all of our members know what’s going on. We’re trying to make sure that what we’re doing, people know about and they can prepare and study for,” Sessions said, going on to pin the lack of action on the Senate. “You know what? We’re waiting for the Senate to get their work done. We had no reason to necessarily have to do anything,” he added, when I asked him what it says about the House GOP that Boehner couldn’t bring the bill to the floor.

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