Contrary to initial reports that he would punish Republicans who didn't back his re-election, House Speaker John Boehner is sending signals that he plans to be magnanimous in victory, according to Politico
Boehner has told committee chairmen, such as Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Oversight and Government Reform, that they can make their own decisions about who heads subcommittees under their jurisdiction.
There are indications Rep. Richard Nugent of Florida may get to serve again on the Rules Committee. Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina and Rep. Scott Garrett of New Jersey may wind up chairing subcommittees. All three Republicans voted not to re-elect the speaker.
"We had a situation yesterday where we had to constitute the Rules Committee but because of some of the activities on the floor, two of our members weren't put back on the committee immediately," Boehner told reporters on Wednesday.
"I have not had a chance to talk to them, I have not had a chance to talk to our members. But this morning, I told the members the same thing I'm saying here. We're going to have a family conversation, which we had this morning, about bringing our team together," Politico reported.
Boehner is under pressure from his leadership team, including California Rep. Devin Nunes, to discipline those who have denigrated him as "Republican-in-name-only" or voted against him for speaker.
"We need to know why people voted against the speaker yesterday," said Nunes, who is the newly appointed chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
Referring to the anti-Boehner bloc, Rep. Peter King of New York said, "I believe if you take on the leader and you lose, you face the consequences," The Washington Post
There were signs, too, that the speaker's critics are interested in working with him.
"There is no fight," Florida's Rep. Ted Yoho told the Post. "For the next two years, our goal right now is to come together with leadership, bring in good legislation, work with leadership so that we can overcome some of the grievances we had."
Nugent on Wednesday described the speaker as a "true conservative."
Observers say that Boehner could always revisit the issue of retribution. For now, both because of temperament and expediency, he is disinclined to mete out punishment.
He wants to consolidate GOP House members behind a unified legislative agenda in tandem with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, according to Politico.
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