Pressure Builds in Idaho for Replacement for Establishment Rep. Mike Simpson

Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, questions Education Secretary Miguel Cardona during the House
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), the establishment career politician who represents the eastern part of the state, has already lost the support of the Republican Party of Idaho and now there are growing calls for a credible challenger to step up and run against him.

Ric Grenell, who served as former President Donald Trump’s acting Director of National Intelligence and previously as U.S. Ambassador to Germany, said on Thursday he supports local efforts to recruit a replacement for Simpson as the longtime establishment fixture says he will seek another term.

Grenell’s post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, links to a local news story in Idaho from October that details how the state GOP in Idaho said Simpson had been in Washington in elected office for too long, as evidenced by the fact that he several times went to the U.S. House floor and voted against then-GOP conference nominee for Speaker, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH). Simpson’s intransigence, alongside his 24 other accomplices, caused significant pain to the American public at a time when the House needed a Speaker. Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy had been ousted weeks before, and these 25 intransigents had a way out of the chaos but instead chose to violate the will of the GOP conference and vote against Jordan repeatedly across three separate floor votes.

The state GOP in Idaho in its formal statement condemning the intransigence of Simpson made clear he was causing pain to the people in the district he is supposed to represent.

“We would like to express our disappointment in our Republican U.S. Congressman Mike Simpson (ID-2) for not voting with the Republican caucus for Jim Jordan for Speaker of the House today,” the Idaho Republican Party said in the statement. “Our party has always championed fair and open deliberation, and it is disheartening to see one of our own Idaho congressmen deviate from a fair process to emphasize the same message as the radical Democrat members of the House.”

The state GOP also made clear in its statement that it is time for Simpson to be retired.

“Representative Simpson has served in Congress for decades,” the Idaho GOP said. “Perhaps all this time away from Idaho has caused him to lose sight of the real work that Americans need on the important issues that impact them and their families.”

Simpson was just one of the 25 intransigents who caused the nation serious pain during the Speakership selection process. The full list of the 25 intransigents is as follows:

  1. Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE)
  2. Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL)
  3. Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-OR)
  4. Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-NY)
  5. Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL)
  6. Rep. Jake Ellzey (R-TX)
  7. Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-GA)
  8. Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-NY)
  9. Rep. Carlos Gimenez (R-FL)
  10. Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX)
  11. Rep. John James (R-MI)
  12. Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA)
  13. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA)
  14. Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX)
  15. Rep. John Rutherford (R-FL)
  16. Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID)
  17. Rep. Pete Stauber (R-MN)
  18. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO)
  19. Rep. Jen Kiggans (R-VA)
  20. Rep. Nick LaLota (R-NY)
  21. Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR)
  22. Rep. Mike Lawler (R-NY)
  23. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
  24. Rep. Thomas Kean Jr. (R-NJ)
  25. Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-NY)

For now, the newly elected Speaker Mike Johnson — as Breitbart News reported Wednesday — has been granting these 25 intransigents amnesty and clemency for their actions, and the Speaker formally declined to answer five specific questions from Breitbart News about them. The questions Speaker Johnson declined to answer are as follows:

1. Can you guarantee Americans that you will never support Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL), in your time as Speaker, becoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee?

2. Why is Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX) still the chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee? She is a lame duck who has announced she is not running for reelection after her intransigence against House Republicans. You’ve been Speaker for more than a month now, so why have you not yet acted in rectifying this wrong committed against the country by keeping her in this position?

3. An astounding total of 7 of the intransigent Republicans — Granger, and Reps. Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL), Mike Simpson (R-ID), Steve Womack (R-AR), John Rutherford (R-FL), Jake Ellzey (R-TX), and Tony Gonzales (R-TX) — serve on the House Appropriations Committee. That means these intransigent individuals have significant influence over the direction of the spending of Americans’ tax dollars, a truly horrifying thought after what they put the country through in October. Do you as Speaker support their removal from the Appropriations Committee?

4. Several others — Reps. Jen Kiggans (R-VA), Nick LaLota (R-NY), Carlos Gimenez (R-FL), and Don Bacon (R-NE) — serve on the House Armed Services Committee. Given the damage these intransigents did to the country, do you support for the sake of strengthening the United State military replacing these individuals off of the Armed Services Committee with Republicans who are not corrupted by the horrifying actions these people took in October?

5. What other consequences, if any, will befall the 25 intransigents who inflicted serious and massive pain upon the country with their actions?

Johnson’s political operation, when reached on Thursday by Breitbart News, would not say if the Speaker supports Simpson running for reelection. Billy Constangy, who was just hired in early November as Johnson’s political operation’s executive director, has not answered multiple inquiries when asked specifically if Johnson supports Simpson running for reelection given the damage and pain the Idaho congressman caused the country. Constangy simply told Breitbart News he had not yet hired a press aide, and when the Speaker does hire one he would provide that press aide’s contact information.

Beyond Simpson being one of the 25 intransigents, he has long been one of the worst establishment Republicans in the swamp in Washington. His record of doing the bidding of special interests in Washington rather than representing eastern Idaho in Congress is perhaps best exemplified by the recent “A” grade he got on a report card from a group of globalists promoting more U.S. tax dollars flowing to Ukraine. His counterpart in Idaho, by comparison, Rep. Russ Fulcher (R-ID) — who represents the western part of the state — received an “F” grade from the globalist group, a high honor for anyone in America.

“Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson earned the highest possible grade in a new report card from a Republican coalition that believes the party should support Ukraine in its ongoing war against Russia,” the Times-News in Magic Valley in Idaho wrote in September about Simpson’s embarrassing grade from the globalist group. “Republicans for Ukraine launched its ‘Ukraine Report Card’ campaign this week aimed at persuading Republican congressional members to support President Joe Biden’s proposed $40 billion supplemental aid package for Ukraine, according to a news release. Simpson received an ‘A.’ His Idaho counterpart, Rep. Russ Fulcher, meanwhile, was slapped with an ‘F.'”

Some expected Simpson, who is 73 years old and has been in the U.S. House for more than 20 years since first getting elected in 1998, to retire next year and not run for reelection, especially after he joined the other intransigents against Jordan. But instead of moving aside like fellow intransigents Reps. Ken Buck (R-CO) and Kay Granger (R-TX) — who have announced they are not running for reelection next year — Simpson told Punchbowl News he intends to, at least as it stands now, work against the Republican Party of Idaho and plow forward with seeking reelection yet again.

Republicans party-wide have long wanted to rid the nation’s lower legislative chamber of this establishment crustacean, and have tried in recent years to oust him in primaries. A tea partier challenged Simpson, for instance, in 2014 and Simpson — then a top ally of then-Speaker John Boehner — cruised to reelection. But Simpson actually faced yet another challenge last year in a primary in the 2022 midterm elections, and he failed to even get 55 percent of the vote. He did end up winning — his closest challenger Bryan Smith got just shy of 33 percent — but the fact that Simpson did so poorly and continues to slide would suggest that if Republicans are able to field a credible challenger in 2024 in the GOP primary the longtime congressman could be in trouble this time.


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