Fiscal conservatives are being booted from House committee assignments

John Boehner

As House Speaker John Boehner and other Republican leaders try to wheel-and-deal with the White House on the “fiscal cliff” by debating how much they’re going to raise taxes, fiscal conservatives are, according to Daniel Horowitz at RedState, being booted from their committee assignments with no explanation or cause given (update at the bottom of the post that disputes part of Horowitz’s write-up):

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.

Julie Borowski reports that Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), a staunch fiscal conservative, was also removed from the House Budget Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). Borowski also notes that the three House Republicans targeted by leadership all voted against Ryan’s budget, the “Path to Prosperity,” because it didn’t cut spending enough.

This is outrageous. Unfortunately, it was also predictable. Boehner and company are doing their best, as Horowitz notes, to try to make conservatives irrelevent. We saw it in the recent elections for two important leadership spots — chair of the House Republican Conference and chair of the Republican Study Committee. Boehner’s pick won in both races as more establishment-friendly Republicans House members were elected.

What Boehner is doing is the latest example of the establishment selling out fiscally conservative principles for the sake of political expediency. They think the Freedom Movement’s voice doesn’t matter, despite riding our efforts to victory in 2010. Republicans trying to act like Democrats, through strongarming or punishing principled fiscal conservatives and making deals with the White House, will backfire. Mark my words.

[UPDATE] Rep. Richard Hudson’s office is disputing Horowitz’s report that he was placed on the House Financial Services Committee after Rep. Schweikert was removed. According to an e-mail from his office, “Hudson is not on Financial Services or any A Committee.”

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