If you are a fiscal conservative in the House of Representatives, Speaker Boehner has a message for you–toe the line or else!
Today house leadership announce that some conservatives were removed from important committee assignments, and in doing so appear to have declared war on the most conservative in their ranks
“You want good things in Congress and to have a good career? Better play along nicely,” one Republican aide said when characterizing the message behind the committee assignments.
Gone from the Financial Services Committee are David Schweikert of Arizona and Walter B. Jones of North Carolina, Roll Call reported Tuesday. Justin Amash of Michigan and Tim Huelskamp of Kansas were removed from the Budget Committee. Huelskamp won’t be on the Agriculture Committee’s roster, either.
“The GOP leadership might think they have silenced conservatives, but removing me and others from key committees only confirms our conservative convictions,” Huelskamp said in a statement. “This is clearly a vindictive move, and a sure sign that the GOP establishment cannot handle disagreement.”
The Republican Steering Committee made the decisions Monday after reviewing documentation listing how often each Republican lawmaker voted with leadership, three sources told Roll Call.
Reaction was swift from conservative quarters, Roll Call said, which said the representatives, save Jones, were defiant conservatives.
“Congressmen Schweikert, Huelskamp, and Amash are now free of the last remnants of establishment leverage against them,” Club for Growth President Chris Chocola said. “The dirty little secret in Congress is that while refusing to kowtow to the wishes of party leaders can sometimes cost you some perks in Washington, the taxpayers back home are grateful.”
The purge may be Boehner’s way of preparing for an eventual fiscal cliff deal, he certainly has taken power away from many people who will object to fiscal insanity coming from any direction. It will be interesting to see what this will mean to the future of the party. Even if it helps Boehner sell a compromise fiscal cliff deal, will it open up a breach between leadership and the conservative party members?