Discuss as:

Congress: Can the GOP corral the Tea Party?

“House Republicans will be dealing with spending issues as they scramble to put together a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government beyond March 4. An original CR had to be shelved last week, after freshman Republicans argued the cuts did not go deep enough. Republicans are hoping to vote on a new package, containing $100 billion in cuts, towards the end of the week,” The Hill writes.

This is a nice Roll Call headline for the GOP House leadership to wake up to: “Ethics Is No Joke for GOP.” Boehner “didn’t admit to having a hand in [Christopher] Lee’s departure, but GOP sources say the new Speaker has shown little patience for ethical lapses and scandals. In an incident last May, Boehner wasted no time dealing with then-Rep. Mark Souder after he learned of the Indiana Republican’s affair with a part-time aide. Boehner spoke on the phone with Souder. A day after Boehner, then the Minority Leader, reported his conversation with the House Ethics Committee, Souder resigned.”

But there’s the lingering issue of Rep. David Rivera (R-FL): As Roll Call writes, “Several Republican strategists, however, noted that it’s not always an easy call when it comes to handling the ethics of Members. Boehner has already given some leeway to embattled freshman Rep. David Rivera. The Florida Republican is under investigation by local law enforcement for allegations that he failed to report $130,000 in loans from a company owned by his mother. Rivera has said that he has since repaid the loans. Boehner said at a press conference in late January that the allegations against Rivera did not involve his Congressional service and that ‘we need to see how this plays out.’” As ethics professor James Thurber told First Read last month: "If they’re interested in shining a light on how much more ethical they are, unlike the Democrats, then it sends the wrong message."

What has been a remarkably cohesive and collegial Senate Republican leadership team threatens to be torn asunder over the next 18 months by a potentially divisive race for Whip and additional jockeying for other top Conference posts,” Roll Call reports. “Aides to Sens. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) and John Cornyn (Texas) insist that the close personal friendship shared by the two Republican leaders will prevent their competition to succeed Sen. Jon Kyl (Ariz.) as Whip from becoming bitter.” And if John Thune doesn’t run for president, which is looking less likely, he could run for Whip as well.

On Meet the Press, John Boehner again would not definitively correct those that believe President Obama is not a Christian with his “I accept him at his word” line: "It's not my job to tell the American people what to think. Our job in Washington is to listen," Boehner said. "The president says he's a Christian. I accept him at his word."