Congressional GOP leaders met with RNC chairman Michael Steele late last month to assert their authority when it comes to policymaking, and while those involved said the get-together in House Minority Leader John Boehner’s office was routine, Politico's sources described it as heated. Of particular concern was Steele’s “health care bill of rights,” an attack on Democratic health care reform apparently issued without consultation.
Steele backers, of course, say Republican legislators were in on the RNC offensive, and that it was a good idea: “I would defy anyone that it wasn’t politically smart,” one says. But others say the acrimonious meeting was evidence of the GOP’s continued uneasiness with Steele and his flamboyant ways. They'd like him to stick to fundraising and helping Republicans get elected. “He’s on a short leash here,” an aide says.