What's At Stake In The House: Hostility 'On Nitroglycerin'

"With an incoming freshman class of conservative and Tea Party Republicans skewing the GOP conference to the right, there will be little mood for compromise or bipartisan legislation on any major issues in the House, most observers say.

Ron Bonjean, a Republican strategist who worked for the last Republican House speaker, Dennis Hastert, put it bluntly:"" It's been a hostile atmosphere, but it will be hostile on nitroglycerin.""

While Ohio Republican Rep. John Boehner, who would be the next speaker should Republicans regain control of the House, plans reforms that he says will make the chamber work better, he's already signaled he's not planning to negotiate with the White House or congressional Democrats on his party's top priorities.

Asked last week by talk show host Sean Hannity about a fellow Republican's suggestion to hold off on repealing health care, Boehner said, ""This is not a time for compromise, and I can tell you that we will not compromise on our principles.""

Boehner plans a new way of doing business

Boehner promises his style would be a sharp contrast to the way Democratic leaders have run the House.

The GOP leader says Republicans will be more transparent and inclusive. Boehner accuses Democrats of doing business ""in the dark of night"" without ""fair debate,"" and he points to the way Democrats handled massive health care and energy bills -- both of which fueled Tea Party outrage about Congress' inner workings -- as exactly what Republicans won't do.

Boehner has proposed a number of reforms to change the way the House works. He says he intends to take up smaller, more incremental bills and give rank-and-file members more say over legislation.

As a former chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee, Boehner has pledged to return the House to ""regular order"" -- allowing bills to be written through the committee process. Under Democratic Speaker Nanc