Report: Top Conservative Congressmen Quit GOP Leadership Whip Team

DeSantis Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL)
AP/J. Scott Applewhite

Florida Congressman Ron DeSantis (R) is said to have quit the House Republican whip team because House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) has politicized the procedural vote process and has threatened to kick out those members who did not conform to the wishes and demands of House leadership, this according to a source very close to whip team itself.

DeSantis, along with South Carolina Congressman Jeff Duncan (R), told leadership that they would be stepping away from their leadership roll of “cracking the whip” to line up votes for leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Politico has reported “more than a half-dozen GOP sources” have told them about the rift on the whip team between leadership and other members, “as Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the No. 3 House Republican, told members of the whip team that they would be kicked off if they voted against procedural motions. The move was designed to solidify control of the Republican conference.”

Since DeSantis was elected in 2012, the sophomore Congressman has been one of the most outspoken critics of Speaker Boehner and the rest of House leadership, and according to the source, “wants to continue to be able to challenge leadership whenever necessary.”

The source added that DeSantis decided to leave this post because he was not willing to “hand over his voting card to leadership,” saying that DeSantis believes that he has a “responsibility to his constituents first, and not leadership.”