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GOP Kicks Three Conservatives Off Committees

From Roll Call:

GOP Steering Committee Shuffles Conservatives

By Jonathan Strong | Dec. 3, 2012

Speaker John A. Boehner initiated today a small purge of rebellious Republicans — mostly conservatives — from prominent committees; it’s the latest instance of the Ohio Republican’s clamping down on his fractious conference.

The decisions were made by the GOP Steering Committee at a Monday meeting, which reviewed a spreadsheet listing each GOP lawmaker and how often he or she had voted with leadership, three sources said.

So much for the ‘Big Tent.’ So much for diversity. So much for ‘dancing with the one who brung ya.’

Reps. David Schweikert of Arizona and Walter Jones of North Carolina were booted from the Financial Services Committee. Reps. Justin Amash of Michigan and Tim Huelskamp of Kansas were removed from the Budget Committee.

According to a source, Schweikert was told that he was ousted in part because his “votes were not in lockstep with leadership.”

Michael Steel, a spokesman for Boehner, said, “The Steering Committee makes decisions based on a range of factors.”

One GOP leadership aide said, “Changes are made for a variety of reasons, most often at the request of committee chairs.”

So what other factors could there be, besides their voting records?

Rep. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina, an outspoken conservative, was placed on the Financial Services Committee, something that a second leadership aide noted to demonstrate that voting record was not the only reason behind the changes.

Unless he is a token. A sop to the conservatives. And/or he has promised to always vote with the leadership.

All of the lawmakers other than Jones were rebellious right-wingers. Huelskamp and Amash, for instance, both voted against the budget proposed by Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin in committee and on the floor, because it did not cut spending fast enough. They also voted against the current continuing resolution that is funding the government through the end of March.

The moves sparked a quick backlash, with Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham calling Schweikert’s ouster “unthinkable.”

Schweikert defeated Rep. Ben Quayle in a contentious GOP primary and was not regarded as leadership’s first choice in that race. Schweikert’s tactics in the rough-and-tumble primary, according to several sources, rubbed leaders the wrong way…

The decisions came as a major surprise to Republican members. When first contacted about the changes, several of the lawmakers’ offices said they had not yet been notified.

The shuffling is the latest sign that Boehner is flexing his muscle with the right flank of his conference as he seeks a united front during tense fiscal cliff negotiations with President Barack Obama.

A GOP strategist said, “This is a move that the whip team has been advocating for some time. They are using all of the tools at their disposal.”

If only Mr. Boehner would flex his muscles with the other side once in a while.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, December 4th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “GOP Kicks Three Conservatives Off Committees”

  1. Petronius

    “because it did not cut spending fast enough.”

    Good grief. It is impossible to cut spending fast enough. Outrageous.

    I’ve got a bad feeling about this. Looks like the Republican leaders may have grown tired of negotiating with themselves. Worn down and defeated, they’re ready to capitulate.

    So is the Republican Party about to give itself a makeover? A new look called Republican Cool? How about this for Republican outreach: Free marijuana for the Teamsters Union!? Yes, there’s a winning issue for 2016.

    It will be interesting to see whether the Republican Party abandons its silly old principles like capitalism, private property rights, national sovereignty, and freedom.

    Constitution Fire Sale! Now available on ebay! Starting bid 10¢! Free shipping.

  2. GetBackJack

    You mean (gasp) we’ve been right all along that the Republican leadership is a pack of RINO lying weasel bovine scatologists who are happily, giddily participating in corrupting America into a socialist nightmare???

    Unexpected™

    See Scottish nobility re: William Wallace and Longshanks offer of land and titles for your background example

  3. That’s what it boils down to:

    ~There are 3 leaders in Washington, President of Senate, House, and White House..that’s it, 3 people vote on the future of our nation.

    ~Do exactly what the leaders want, or forget about committees, getting your requests / amendments / or bills passed, looked at, or voted on.

    ~Provide the carrot, then use the stick.

    ~Punish conservatives, and reward the liberals.

    I never understood how this guy was ever voted in as speaker, when there were other conservatives to choose from. Liberals control everything again. . .




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