Talk of conflict between House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor represented a major distraction for GOP House members last year. But now the duo is getting along swimmingly, making their Republican colleagues much happier.
“I think that they’ve worked together as Speaker and leader now, in a way that they hadn’t before,” Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., told The Hill
. “I think you learn how to work with one another a little better over time.”
President Barack Obama’s conduct during this election cycle also has made unity easier, Cole said. “Nothing unifies Republicans like the president.”
The Oklahoma congressman doled out harsh criticism to Boehner and Cantor last December, when talk of squabbles between them complicated the battle with the White House and Senate Democrats to extend the payroll tax cut. But now, “I just like the way things are coming together here,” Cole said.
The improved relationship between Boehner and Cantor has shown up in their smooth division of labor. For example, Cantor spearheaded the effort to ban insider trading for Congressmen, while Boehner was in charge of the highway bill.
“They are both in their lanes and operating in their lanes, and neither one is interfering with the other,” Cole said.
Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, agrees. “They are on the same page as to what’s going on, what we’re bringing to the floor,” he told The Hill. “I think they are just working well together, and they’ve got their staffs working well together, which is always the key. The principals can typically get along pretty well. It’s just making sure your staffs can maintain working relationships.”
Sources close to Boehner and Cantor seconded that notion.
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