Boehner Launches New Group To Steer NRCC

Desperate to unify his splintered party before the next election, House Republican Leader John A. Boehner has organized a small group of GOP colleagues to advise the National Republican Congressional Committee.

The group includes Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole, the party's campaign chief who has sparred with the Republican leader over operations and personnel at the troubled committee.

The group of 11 Republican House members will meet regularly to plot campaign strategy, chart fundraising and coordinate member efforts as the fall elections approach.

Republicans in the House are reeling after losing two seats already this year in a pair of special elections, including one occupied by their former speaker, retired Illinois Rep. Dennis Hastert. The news could get worse for the GOP if Democrats pull out a narrow win next week in a heavily Republican seat in Mississippi.