Conservative lawmakers, all fiscal conservatives who voted against rampant federal spending, are being stripped of key committee positions for not toeing the party line on votes.
The decisions reportedly came from a Republican steering committee tasked with making committee assignments. The panel stripped Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., and Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., from the House Budget Committee. Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., and Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., were given the boot from the House Financial Services Committee. Their specific transgressions aren’t clear, but all four members voted against the 2011 deal to raise the debt ceiling, and three of them voted against the House GOP budget authored by Paul Ryan because they didn’t think it brought the nation’s finances into balance quickly enough. [snip]
A further sign that these moves serve as a message to the rest of the conference to obey orders is the cryptic message from Boehner that he “hopes” more decisions like this will not have to be made.
“Clearly the removal was seen as a punishment, and then when the leadership says ‘others may be at risk,’ it’s clearly meant as a warning,” said Huelskamp. “You’ve got 240 votes currently in the Republican House – a good strong majority. Three or four votes does not make a difference, but you can use those three or four folks to warn the remainder of the conference.” [snip]
Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan.:
“The deal that the speaker intends to negotiate and finally present to Republicans is going to be one that’s likely to violate the principle of not raising taxes,” he said. “On Friday, I released a video. I meant it. On YouTube, you can find that where I reiterated my pledge to not raise taxes. Less than a business day later is when I got the phone call that ‘you’re off of the budget committee.’”
Huelskamp said the decision of the steering committee is not final and must be ratified by the full GOP delegation. He is also among the conservatives not pleased with the role of incoming Republican Study Committee Chairman Steve Scalise on the steering committee. The RSC is the coalition of House conservatives, and includes more than 50 percent of the Republicans in the House.
“Frankly, the steering committee that makes these decisions, Mr. Scalise is on there,” said Huelskamp. “They had a litmus test. They had a list of key votes they used to make their decision. We are asking them to release that list of votes to the public and to the membership. So far they refuse to do that. They’re apparently not courageous enough to indicate exactly how they made that decision. Actually, I haven’t seen a member of leadership that’s actually indicated what the reasons were and they haven’t told me, either.”(continue reading at WND)
So, if the Republican leadership cannot sway Conservatives to vote their way, they will remove them from any leadership positions, purge them.