Night Of The Dull Knives [Updated]
Maybe it’s because he’s intent on repealing Dodd-Frank. Maybe it’s because he wants to use his committee assignment to advocate winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Perhaps it’s because of his opposition to the $1 trillion farm bill. Maybe it’s because he’s just too darn conservative to sit on an important committee.
Earlier today, we provided a list of those who made it onto the Super A committees. Well, Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ) is a conservative freshman member who was actually kicked off the Financial Services Committee. Members are rarely kicked off committees unless there is a scandal.
David Schweikert is one of those 2010 freshmen who is actually a Tea Partier in deed as well as rhetoric. While many freshmen folded under the pressure from leadership, Schweikert was actually removed from the Whip team because of his conservative dissent during the budget battles.
And who is replacing him on the committee? Our good buddy, Richard Hudson (NC-8), who was handpicked by leadership to run. Hmmm, I can’t remember the last time a sophomore member was replaced by an incoming freshman for no good reason.
Moreover, there are at least seven vacancies on this committee. It’s not like there were too many qualified candidates. Cantor and McCarthy went out of their way to banish Schweikert from the committee, even though he is one of the few remaining freshmen who were reelected. It’s pretty sad they are willing to let their personal vendetta lead their decision to knock off one of the most knowledgeable members on issues pertaining to GSEs and monetary policy from the committee.
Then there’s the case of Tim Huelskamp (R-KS). He is one of the most conservative members of the House. He was told today that his service on the Budget Committee would no longer be appreciated. Maybe it’s because of statements like this.
Update: Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) was also tossed off the Budget Committee.
-In a report by Matthew Boyle today, we learn:
…The Speaker also removed conservative Republican…[Rep.] Walter Jones of North Carolina from the House Financial Services Committee.The members believe they were pulled from those committee assignments – from which they would be able to influence fiscal policy – because they have solid conservative voting records.
Boehner spokesman Kevin Smith scoffed at the concerns Monday night in a statement to Breitbart News, saying: “The Steering Committee makes decisions based on a range of factors.”
But in a story on the matter, Roll Call quoted an anonymous GOP leadership aide who said the moves were indeed retaliation for member not being in lockstep with Boehner. “You want good things in Congress and to have a good career? Better play along nicely,” the aide said.
Roll Call also quoted another anonymous GOP leadership aide who suggested that the committee chairmen requested the changes. “Changes are made for a variety of reasons, most often at the request of committee chairs,” the aide said.
A spokesman for House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan – the Republican Party’s recent vice presidential candidate – didn’t immediately respond to a request from Breitbart News about whether Ryan agrees with Boehner’s move. Huelskamp and Amash both voted against the Ryan budget in committee and on the House floor, arguing it didn’t cut spending fast enough.
A spokesman for the House Financial Services committee didn’t respond to a request for comment on where its chairman stands with regards to this purge.
Why the silence Paul? Busy reading Ayn Rand as you workout, Mr. Keating?
-In another posting yesterday, Mr. Horowitz published the rankings of the House Republican Committee members by four conservative organizations. He summarizes:
It’s not enough to merely elect conservatives to the House as rank-and-file members. As we’ve seen the past few weeks, it’s all about getting the right people into leadership and important committee assignments. Unfortunately, the roster of major committee chairmen is quite dismal, to say the least. Worse yet, it appears that the top 3 ‘Super A’ domestic policy committees will once again be filled with squishes.
In 2011, the 3 most important committees – Ways and Means, Appropriations, and Energy & Commerce – had the lowest ratings from conservative organizations.
While Boehner lied to our faces, his Wormtongued little sniveling minions, like Eric Cantor, plotted to betray us.
Matt Kibbe spoke with Matthew Boyle yesterday:
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.”
It would seem that Cryin’ John Boehner is so out of touch that he has no clue – no friggin’ clue – that this will spark a conservative rebellion.
…We send good conservatives to D.C. to fulfill the promises they made to the electorate, and yet when they stay true to their word the permanent political class in their own party punishes them. This won’t be forgotten come 2014. Right now the GOP establishment is more concerned about the opinion of the media and the Georgetown cocktail circuit than they are “we the people” who hired them. For all this new talk of how the GOP needs a “populist movement,” it would do them good to remember they already have one; it’s called the Tea Party movement, and it won for them the majority they now enjoy in the House.
One of the true conservatives in the House must challenge Boehner in January. Paging Mrs. Bachmann.
The GOP Leadership Delenda Est!
UPDATE at 1955…
-Zilla has the right idea:
— Zilla Stevenson (@ZillaStevenson) December 4, 2012
-Matthew Boyle has filed another report:
House Republican leaders used a secret criteria list to decide which conservatives to purge from powerful House committees, Breitbart News has learned. As this time, it appears they will keep the criteria list hidden from the public, too. Spokespeople for members of House GOP leadership have refused to discuss details about the list on the record with press.
Because GOP Leadership won’t discuss the list, it’s unclear what specific criteria the list contained and how much of a role it played in the conservative purge. It’s also unclear which member of House Republican leadership initiated this process.
In remarks to the Heritage Foundation’s Bloggers Briefing on Tuesday, Kansas Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp confirmed the existence of such a list.
“We’ve heard from multiple sources that someone walked in with a list of votes and said if you didn’t reach a particular scorecard of what was considered the right vote – which by the way, in most cases, was not the conservative position – then [they said] ‘we’re going to have to remove you from the committee,’” Huelskamp said.
“All that took place behind closed doors, which is again a problem with Washington, D.C. – whether it’s the budget negotiations, whether it’s everything else, it’s usually done behind closed doors,” he explained. “I think, as conservatives, this is where we can win: We’ve got to be willing and able to talk about things in public instead of being afraid of actual public scrutiny.”
Huelskamp later told Breitbart News he thinks House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Whip Kevin McCarthy owe it to the American people to be transparent about this decision making process – and that they should publicly release the list.
This is #WAR.