When the infrastructure package finally arrived on the House floor for a vote on Friday night, it cleared the chamber with bipartisan support: The final tally was 228 to 206, with 13 Republicans siding with the vast majority of House Democrats.
The fact that roughly 6 percent of the House GOP conference supported the popular, bipartisan package isn't sitting well with the other 94 percent, but it was widely expected that the grumbling would fade, especially as the governing majority moved on to other business.
For some Republicans, however, that's apparently not good enough.
Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, for example, demanded that the party "hold these fake Republicans accountable," and Punchbowl News reported this morning that there are growing fears among party leaders about an intensifying intra-party dispute.
The GOP leadership is bracing for rank-and-file lawmakers to attempt to strip committee assignments from the 13 Republican lawmakers who voted for the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. Several of these lawmakers are also ranking members — top Republicans on committees — and those could be at risk, too.
The article highlighted a tweet from the House Republican Conference, which has "been the subject of lots of chatter inside GOP circles during the last few days," and which read, "A vote for the Democrats' 'infrastructure' bill is a vote for their socialist wish list. Americans won't forget."
That's quite a message for a bipartisan bill, which several Senate Republicans helped craft, which received 19 GOP votes in the upper chamber, and which ultimately passed thanks to 13 Republican votes in the lower chamber.
The party took the tweet down on Friday night, but it did not go unnoticed by members.
The Punchbowl News report added that Republican Rep. John Katko of New York, the ranking member on the Homeland Security Committee, has been on the receiving end of "much of the anger" from his colleagues — in part because he voted for the infrastructure compromise, but also because he reached a bipartisan deal to create an independent 9/11 commission, voted to impeach Donald Trump in January, and more recently backed a criminal contempt referral against Steve Bannon for failing to comply with a congressional subpoena.
Time will tell what, if anything, comes of this. The House members aren't scheduled to return to Capitol Hill until next week, and whether the partisan pressures will intensify or dissipate remains to be seen. Republicans are apparently facing some disarray this week, but next week is unpredictable.
But what's striking about all of this is what constitutes outrage among GOP lawmakers. Wyoming's Liz Cheney denounced anti-election lies, so Republicans kicked her out of the party's leadership. Illinois' Adam Kinzinger joined a bipartisan investigation into the Jan. 6 attack, and he became persona non grata in his party. Thirteen members voted for a bipartisan infrastructure package, and now there's talk of partisan retaliation against them, too.
In the meantime, those same House Republicans who demand consequences for perceived transgressions have a whole lot less to say about Arizona's Paul Gosar, Georgia's Marjorie Taylor Greene, Colorado's Lauren Boebert, and other far-right members who actually deserve to be seen as scandalous extremists.
This isn't a situation in which GOP members refuse to go against one of their own because of partisan loyalty. On the contrary, House Republicans are only too pleased to turn on their ostensible allies in response to ideological heresies that are considered unforgivable.