House Speaker John Boehner, who was recorded mocking conservative GOP lawmakers over their opposition to immigration reform, tried to smooth things over in a private meeting with Republicans.

But some left unconvinced, saying Boehner’s actions could threaten his speakership and make it even harder to pass an immigration reform bill this year.

“He’s speaking off the cuff and speaking from his heart, but he needs to realize that we are his team, we are his flock,” Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., said. “And he needs to be a good shepherd.”

Boehner told the Middletown, Ohio, Rotary Club, according to news reports, "Here's the attitude ... 'Ohhhh. Don't make me do this. Ohhhh. This is too hard.' ”

The recording went viral. It rankled House Republicans, in particular the sizable group of conservative GOP lawmakers who refuse to back a plan that would grant legal status or citizenship to the 11 million people now living here illegally.

"I think if he wants to keep our devotion and support," Salmon said, "then he needs to be a lot more disciplined."



Even though Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall is trying to fend off Rep. Cory Gardner to keep his Senate seat, he does like at least one thing about his Republican challenger — his natural gas export bill.

Udall said he would try to tie an amendment modeled on a Gardner-sponsored bill to an energy-efficiency bill that could hit the Senate floor in early May. His spokesman, Mike Saccone, said the move was designed to smooth a path for passage.

"If the House and Senate pass different bills, that does nothing to achieve Sen. Udall's ultimate goals of (i.) boosting U.S. [liquefied natural gas] exports and (ii.) leveraging Colorado's natural gas resources to create jobs and promote global stability," he told the Washington Examiner in an email.

Both lawmakers have tried to position themselves as champions of natural gas exports, which would create incentives for new drilling in gas-rich Colorado.



Another potential Republican candidate for president has waded into North Carolina's competitive Republican Senate primary with an endorsement.

Jeb Bush offered his stamp of approval for Thom Tillis, who leads his party's field heading into the May 6 primary.

“Thom Tillis is a proven conservative leader with an impressive track record of results for North Carolina businesses and families,” the former Florida governor said.

Although Tillis is favored to take on Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan in the general election — in one of this election cycle's most important Senate races — he will need to win 40 percent of the vote in the primary to avoid a run-off with the second-place Republican.

Libertarian Greg Brannon has been endorsed by Sen. Rand Paul. And Mark Harris, a Baptist pastor, is backed by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, another 2016 Republican contender who appeals to the religious right.



House Majority Leader Eric Cantor told disgraced Rep. Vance McAllister, the Louisiana Republican who was caught on camera kissing a female staffer, he should resign immediately.

McAllister, 40, who is married with children, announced he won't seek re-election this year but that he would serve out his term, which expires in early January.

"When we took the majority, I had said that I believe we ought to hold ourselves to a higher standard," Cantor, R-Va., told Politico. "And I think what has happened in his instance doesn’t meet that standard."

A political newcomer, McAllister showcased his family and Christian faith during his 2013 special election campaign. The married female staffer has since resigned.