Boehner, who lost 12 of his members in a surprisingly hairy reelection vote, took the first steps in a closed-door conference meeting Friday morning. Boehner told lawmakers he would not seek to punish the Republicans who deserted him on the House floor Thursday.

“I’m not a retribution kind of guy. I don’t hold grudges,” Boehner said in the meeting, according to several people in the room. “My door is always open, whether you voted for me, or didn’t vote for me.”…

While many lawmakers bemoaned the defections from Boehner as an embarrassment that weakens his leadership, Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) said it could help him in one respect.

“In a bizarre way, I think it strengthens Boehner’s hand,” said Griffith, a former majority leader of the Virginia House of Delegates. “It makes it clear to the president that he’s got a bunch of folks who want to do something about spending, and they’re serious.”