In fact, those frustrations boiled over during a meeting shortly before last month’s CR vote. According to Republicans familiar with the issue, the meeting, which was originally not scheduled to be about the CR, quickly became a forum for rank-and-file Members to express their frustrations. Numerous lawmakers complained about Boehner’s process and argued that Boehner and Jackson should have held out for a deal with significantly deeper spending cuts.
Initially, it appeared Boehner was approaching the debt limit differently — tapping Cantor to lead the House Republican negotiating team. However, most lawmakers said the bipartisan group is more for show and that real negotiating will be done elsewhere, with Boehner plugged in directly.
Not everyone thinks that’s a bad idea. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said negotiating deals is the Speaker’s job.
“You have 435 egos here; we’d all like to be in the room,” the second-term lawmaker said. “The reality is we elected leadership to do that, and I think they’ve been very responsive in allowing us to express our opinions.”
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., takes a selfie with his cut-out head during the Hoops for Youth 16th annual charity basketball game held at George Washington University's Smith Center, September 8, 2014. The members of Congress team beat the lobbyist team 46-40. Buy photo here.