But on the day of the vote, RSC staff compiled a laundry list of complaints against the bill, targeting in particular spending on a worker retraining program, and fired off a bulletin urging members to oppose the bill.
The pressure worked. Freshmen and other conservatives threatened to vote the bill down, and Cantor was forced to pull it from the floor.
That backdrop, and growing complaints within leadership that Jordan was using the RSC as a way to build his own power within the Conference, set the stage for last week's fight and the demand for change.
But what direction those changes will take remains unclear.
The concerns of some rank-and-file RSC members were summed up in a draft "Dear Colleague" letter written by Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.). Rooney, who circulated the letter among colleagues last week, argued that "the recent actions taken by RSC staff under your leadership, with or without your approval, represent a dangerous expansion of RSC activities that threaten not only the future of the RSC itself, but that of our hard-fought majority."
"Sadly, these activities serve only to showcase the intolerant, short-sighted perspective we believe has become pervasive within the RSC and its staff," Rooney added.
The letter also called on Jordan to halt any RSC whip efforts, to help protect RSC members "voting their conscience against attacks by RSC-affiliated groups" and to require a majority endorsement of RSC budgets, vote recommendations and other papers before official release.
Although Rooney hasn't sent the letter, "Congressman Rooney has spoken with Congressman Jordan about some of his concerns," Rooney spokesman Mike Mahaffey said Wednesday.
But even if Rooney had sent the letter, those changes aren't likely to occur anytime soon.
Although Jordan was forced to apologize for Teller's whipping, hard-right conservatives in the House did not believe he was engaged in anything outside the RSC's normal activities. A GOP aide said the organization was simply trying to live up to its stated goal of being the conscience of the GOP, and "that's what it's going to continue to do."
Jordan and Teller also have support from conservatives. Activists set up a Web page selling "Save Paul Teller" T-shirts. Russ Vought, political director for Heritage Action for America and a former RSC staffer who is an influential voice in tea party and conservative circles, also came to the defense of the RSC and Teller.
In a blog post on RedState.com titled "Message to RSC Members: Get In or Get Out," Vought defended Jordan, writing, "Jim Jordan is proving to be one of the most effective [chairmen] in the history of the RSC. ... Instead of being raked over the coals, he should be honored as a patriot."
Vought also took aim at RSC members who are unhappy that they were targeted. "A lot of — let's be generous here — casually conservative Members of Congress like to join the RSC in order to be perceived back home as a 100% winger," Vought wrote.
"But in reality, these Members are in the 'Just Happy to Be Here' Caucus," he added.
Vought concluded his blog with, "Message to RSC Members who don't like how the RSC is being managed: Get out."
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