None of those changes were officially proposed before Stephens had lawmakers vote on the rules in a short and fast session. Merrin's supporters accused Stephens of wrongly denying them a chance to offer their proposals. GOP Rep. Josh Williams, of Oregon, later suggested he might consider suing Stephens because he didn't get to introduce amendments as he'd intended.
Stephens said that as speaker, he has the power under the Ohio Constitution to decide what comes before the House.
“I’m the speaker of the House, the head of the Republican caucus, and I’m excited for us to get ready and move forward," Stephens said. "We now have our House in order.”
Among House Republicans, though, “there’s a lot of people right now who don’t feel like they have a voice,” Merrin said. “Because the Democrats elected the speaker of the House.”
The speaker will continue to control which bills are put to a vote under the House rules passed by Democrats and a minority of the Republicans.
Democrats mostly stayed out of the fray.
"As Democrats, we are used to working across the aisle and working with people that we disagree with to get things done," said the House minority leader, Rep. Allison Russo. "And we will just continue with business as usual and being effective in terms of working with people, because at the end of the day, the people sent us here to do their work, not to have these partisan fights."
AP reporter Julie Carr Smyth in Cincinnati contributed to this report.
Samantha Hendrickson is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.