Intrigue within the House Republican Conference just got thicker this morning. Reports of Speaker John Boehner’s troubles in bringing his conference into line behind his debt plan have centered on discontent within the Republican Study Committee and put the spotlight on its leader, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.
The RSC’s membership comprises the bulk of the Conference, so any move made by its leaders or top staffers can alter the course of the debt debate. Its influence extends beyond the halls of Congress and into the conservative movement.
Politico reports that House Republicans confronted a top RSC staffer this morning in a closed-door session, after RSC staffers were “caught sending e-mails to conservative groups urging them to pressure GOP lawmakers” with language urging them to “kill the Boehner deal.”
“‘We need statements coming up to the Hill every hour of the day in mounting opposition to the plan,’ RSC staffer Wesley Goodman wrote to a Google email group called ‘CutCapBalance.’ That group included (RSC top staffer Paul) Teller,” Politico reports. Teller is well known and loved among D.C. conservatives.
Then the drama ramped up. Politico recounts that scene:
Infuriated by the e-mails from Paul Teller, the executive director of the RSC, members started chanting ‘Fire him, fire him!’ while Teller stood silently at a closed-door meetings of House Republicans.
Rep. Jordan was forced to apologize at the meeting.