The House Republican freshman class is a bunch of bomb-throwing conservatives intent on stymying leadership, shunning bipartisanship and shutting down the government, right?
Here are five freshmen who have become favorites of leadership or leaders in their own right, who have reached across the aisle to get practical results, or who break the mold in which the freshman class is often framed.
They represent the new institutionalists, those who might one day be the chamber’s top leaders, committee chairmen and messengers.
Rep. Patrick Meehan (Pa.)
The Pennsylvanian has staked out a name as one of the chamber’s top freshman moderates. The former U.S. attorney and one-time district attorney said he spurns contentious bills in favor of legislation he thinks can pass the Senate as well.
“I get frustrated because I think that we sometimes put ourselves into positions where we know what the end result is going to be, that it’s simply going to go to the other side and die,” he said.
He convinced leadership to bring two of his bipartisan bills to the floor, one to prevent counterfeit drug production and another, coming from the Homeland Security subcommittee he is chairman of, to increase intelligence sharing on weapons of mass destruction.
He has also encouraged leadership to make a big, balanced deficit reduction deal and was one of the few votes for the Bowles-Simpson budget on the House floor.
Still, he received an early endorsement from his peers and leaders with a slot on the Republican Steering Committee.
A former statewide political operative, Meehan is also a formidable fundraiser.