Boggs also said he's met with Armstead throughout the session, in an effort to find common ground around the session's bigger issues. Boggs questioned whether other Republican delegates have tried that approach.
"I'm not really sure who they're going to. They certainly haven't come to me, many of them," Boggs said. "It's important on the committee level that they sit down, cooperatively, with the chairs."
The failed GOP agenda proposals highlighted at the press conference included a long-sought bid to require drug tests for adults who apply for or receive Temporary Assistance For Needy Families benefits. Its demise reflected some of the partisan tensions in the House this session. Republicans tried to force the measure from the Judiciary Committee, where it had idled. A 52-46 vote along party lines narrowly blocked that from being considered.
The parties also clashed after the defeat of GOP attempts to amend the Democratic governor's education bill. Republican Delegates Eric Householder of Berkeley County, Cindy Frich of Monongalia County and Joshua Nelson of Boone County objected when Majority Leader Mike Caputo of Marion County sought to have their remarks during the floor debate printed in the House Journal. And House Minority Leader Daryl Cowles of Morgan County snubbed Caputo by refusing to field a question from the majority leader, something typically agreed to as a courtesy.
But the close margins in House committees have at times helped the GOP amend or even defeat measures they oppose. Just hours after their press conference, Republicans on the House roads committee derailed a proposed study of highway funding alternatives through a 12-12 tie vote. Party-line votes later revived and advanced the measure, however.
"I believe we have seen some bills not brought to the floor because of the numbers, and some other bills that have been brought to the floor because of those numbers," Armstead said.
The House GOP may have influenced the session in other ways as well. Several proposals on their wish list have been borrowed by Democrats this session. Tomblin, for instance, included in his agenda a proposal allowing economic impact statements to accompany pending legislation. GOP delegates have long sought such a measure. The governor's version unanimously passed the Senate late last month and awaits House Judiciary review.
"To the extent that good policy is the result of our session, or good policy is the result of the election, I personally don't care who gets credit," said Delegate Patrick Lane, a Kanawha County Republican. "If it's a good idea, I think it's a good idea. ... I think it's a good [byproduct] because the policy is moving regardless of whose name is attached to it. That's the most important thing."