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Presumed Speaker John Boehner publicly buried the hatchet Tuesday with Rep. Tom Cole during a closed-door meeting of the House Republican Conference.
Boehner’s comments to Cole came after the Ohio Republican singled out each member of his leadership team, thanking them for their role in helping the GOP win the House, according to GOP sources inside the meeting.
The sources said Boehner then acknowledged Cole, saying although he had supported National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) for that job over Cole two years ago, the Oklahoma Republican continued to work hard for the House Republican Conference.
Cole then received a standing ovation, the sources said.
Boehner cautioned Members against celebrating their new power in the House and instead advised them to focus on the tasks Republicans had in front of them as the new majority.
Rep. Eric Cantor (Va.), the presumed choice for Majority Leader, said Republicans have “a great opportunity to establish a new GOP majority” and a responsibility to deliver on their promises to reduce spending, return to a limited government and job creation, sources inside the meeting said.
Outgoing Conference Chairman Mike Pence (Ind.) addressed Republicans about his decision to abdicate his leadership position. GOP sources said he told Members he could not commit to serving a full second term. He did not detail what his plans are, saying only that he is “considering opportunities to serve Indiana and country.”
Like Boehner, Pence addressed the leadership elections of two years ago and thanked Rep. Jeb Hensarling (Texas) for dropping out of the race in 2008 to endorse Pence.
Hensarling is likely to succeed Pence in Wednesday’s leadership elections.