House Republicans Will Get More Involved In Primaries

House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) unveiled a series of changes at his party's campaign committee on Wednesday, including a declaration to be avoid bitter primary fights and the launch of an internal audit of three special election losses that have cast a dark cloud over the party this spring.

The Republican leader introduced these changes to his rank-and-file members during a closed-door caucus meeting, according to an outline of his remarks provided to Politico. NRCC Chairman Tom Cole was also expected to outline some of his own tweaks during a meeting of House Republicans on Wednesday at the Capitol Hill Club.

The two leaders have been negotiating the final package since a Friday meeting in which Cole first suggested bringing in an outside adviser to help with strategy and member outreach, according to sources familiar with those discussions.

Boehner wanted his chairman to go a little further, these sources said, and some of the changes announced Wednesday clearly impede Cole's sole authority to run the committee. For example, the audit will dissect the committee's decision-making during special election losses in Illinois, Louisiana and Mississippi earlier this year, and the leader's declaration to become more involved in primaries clearly refutes Cole's own determination not to meddle in these local internecine conflicts.

But Cole was allowed to keep his top two aides - a point of conflict between the two Republicans since Boehner first suggested the chairman should dismiss them last fall.
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