When Republicans were pushed into the minority in 2006, leaders ignored their Democratic equals, moving instead to fight Speaker Nancy Pelosi on most issues.
But now, with a pocketful of victories in fights to stall or stop some Democratic initiatives, the GOP is finding that working with Pelosi on select issues is a winner.
"At the beginning, [House Minority Leader John] Boehner didn't talk to Pelosi. But now they are and it's starting to work," said a Boehner associate. The leader this week in fact described to a group of lawyers and lobbyists one example of cooperation: the stimulus bill. While the House GOP leadership fought Pelosi's efforts to fatten the legislation up, the House did finally come to an agreement on the package, which Pelosi then fought for in negotiations with the Senate. And with the GOP's support, she won most of what the House had approved.
"We held together," a Boehner ally quoted him telling the group. And he also had praise for Pelosi, calling her "strong" in the talks with Senate negotiators.