Minority Leader John Boehner is confident that as Speaker he could manage a rambunctious conservative majority in the next Congress. But some GOP backbenchers are already warning that they expect Boehner to sign a blood oath to stand up for their issues.
Uniting the party is always challenging for a leader, Rep. Patrick Tiberi said. But the Ohio Republican said GOP leaders understand that they have a diverse Conference and that Republicans need moderates and conservatives alike in their coalition.
Republicans also have split over what to do with earmarks, with some advocating an end to them entirely and others, particularly appropriators, eyeing a return to business as usual.
Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who has in the past criticized the Minority Leader for not being tough enough on earmarks, is hoping Boehner puts an end to what Flake calls the earmark favor factory.
Boehner prevailed this year on Members to abide by a one-year moratorium, but that wasnt particularly hard given there was little expectation that spending bills would be passed anyway, Flake said.
The real test is to come, but there are positive signs, he said.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.