UPDATE: Boehner Spokesman Kevin Smith responds- “The Steering Committee makes decisions based on a range of factors.”
House Speaker John Boehner and GOP leadership have removed several conservative House members from their respective powerful committee positions, Breitbart News has learned.
Effective next Congress, leadership pulled Kansas Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp, Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash and Arizona Republican Rep. David Schweikert off committees from which they could exert conservative pressure on fiscal matters. Amash and Huelskamp were pulled from the Budget Committee and Schweikert from the Financial Services Committee.
Huelskamp, a freshman elected during the 2010 tea party wave, thinks the leadership move to pull him from the powerful committee is revenge for him standing up for conservatism. “It is little wonder why Congress has a 16 percent approval rating: Americans send principled representatives to change Washington and get punished in return,” Huelskamp said in a Monday night statement. “The GOP leadership might think they have silenced conservatives, but removing me and others from key committees only confirms our conservative convictions. This is clearly a vindictive move, and a sure sign that the GOP Establishment cannot handle disagreement.”
Earlier on Monday in an interview with Breitbart News, Huelskamp again reaffirmed his support for the Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) anti-tax pledge. He’s encouraging his colleagues in the House to come out publicly against potential tax increases and asking citizens across the country to help.
Huelskamp thinks his most recent challenge to his GOP colleagues – asking them to reaffirm their pledges – is hardly the only conservative thing he’s done to spark leadership retaliation. In his Monday night statement, he listed out a number of other conservative things he’s done that he thinks caused leadership to turn their fire on him.
Schweikert spokeswoman Rachel Semmel told Breitbart News that her boss also thinks Boehner’s move was because he fights for fiscal conservatism.
“This morning Congressman Schweikert learned there was a price to be paid for voting based on principle,” Semmel said in an email. “That price was the removal from the House Financial Services Committee. We are obviously disappointed that Leadership chose to take this course, but Rep. Schweikert remains committed to fighting for the conservative principles that brought him here.”
FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe bashed the move, too, saying in a statement that “[t]his is a clear attempt on the part of Republican leadership to punish those in Washington who vote the way they promised their constituents they would – on principle – instead of mindlessly rubber-stamping trillion dollar deficits and the bankrupting of America. This is establishment thinking, circling the wagons around yes-men and punishing anyone that dares to take a stand for good public policy.”
A spokesman for Amash didn’t immediately respond to Breitbart News’ request for comment.