The Ohio Republican has smoothed over differences with Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), expanded his powers on the panel that doles out plum committee assignments, shot down a challenge to his earmark moratorium and worked behind the scenes to ensure that Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) would win her leadership contest.

All of Boehner’s moves are aimed at shoring up his influence over the GOP conference, which in turn maximizes the Speaker’s leverage with President Obama and the Democratic-controlled Senate…

Boehner rewards loyalty, and his power on the GOP Steering Committee — which selects panel chairmen and other committee slots — has been expanded.

Boehner now has five votes on the committee, up from four. Cantor has three and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has two, while everyone else registers one vote.