Rep. Schweikert booted from financial panel

By JOHN BRESNAHAN and JAKE SHERMAN | Politico

Rep. David Schweikert has been removed from his seat on the House Financial Services Committee, and aides to the Arizona Republican claim the move was retaliation for voting against House GOP leaders too often.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other top Republicans were huddled in a Steering Committee meeting on Monday. That panel, which is controlled in large part by Boehner, decides who sits on the various House committees.

“This morning Congressman Schweikert learned there was a price to be paid for voting based on principle. That price was the removal from the House Financial Services Committee,” said Rachel Semmel, Schweikert’s spokesman in a statement to POLITICO.

“We are obviously disappointed that Leadership chose to take this course, but Rep. Schweikert remains committed to fighting for the conservative principles that brought him here.”

Schweikert — who was en route from Arizona to Capitol Hill on Monday — will now serve on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.

Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) will replace Schweikert on the Financial Services Committee.

Michael Steel, a Boehner spokesman, said a member’s voting record isn’t the sole determinant of his or her committee assignments. “The Steering Committee makes decisions based on a range of factors,” Steel said.

A House GOP leadership aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said changes most often are made “at the request of committee chairs.”

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), who had served as House GOP Conference chairman, will take over the gavel at the Financial Services Committee in the next Congress.

 

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Posted on December 4, 2012, in America, Arizona, Conservatism, Economy. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Breitbart.com’s Matthew Boyle reports today:

    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.

    “In the name of transparency and openness, they most certainly should release the criteria,” Huelskamp said in an email. “Republican leadership promised America a new era of transparency – they should deliver on it.”

    Huelskamp was one of four conservative Republicans that GOP leadership removed from committees on which they’d have the ability to affect fiscal policy. He and Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash were pulled from the House Budget Committee and Reps. David Schweikert of Arizona and Walter Jones of North Carolina got yanked off the House Financial Services Committee.

    Amash, who joined Huelskamp at the Heritage Foundation event on Tuesday, said nobody in leadership even informed him of the move. “We haven’t even been told officially that I’ve been removed from the Budget Committee,” Amash said. “I’ve had to read it in the newspapers. So, actually, I’ve received not a single call from anyone in leadership. Not a single email. I’ve received no messages about it. I’ve been not told about what committees I will be on, if in fact I have been removed from Budget – which I have to assume is true.”
    Amash added that, like Republican Study Committee chairman Rep. Jim Jordan, he thinks this type of behavior from GOP leadership is dangerous for the party.

    “For a party that’s trying to expand its base and make sure that it reaches out to young people and new groups, I think it’s pretty outrageous frankly,” Amash said. “It’s pretty clear I come from a more libertarian wing of the party – this is the growing portion of the Republican Party. And, really, it’s a slap in the face of all young people who are out there thinking about being Republicans, want to be part of this party and are being told ‘well, if you disagree with leadership just a couple times, we’re going to send you home and we’re going to tell you you’re off the committee and you don’t get to participate.’”

    Amash said, too, that he voted with Budget Committee Republicans “95 percent of the time” over the past two years. “On the 5 percent of disagreements, those were on some big issues at times and I think that we didn’t take a strong enough approach in dealing with our debt – which is why we’re all here,” he said. “It’s not acceptable to have budgets that are unbalanced until the year 2040.”

  2. Breitbart’s Tony Lee reports on reaction to Speaker Boehner’s fiscal proposal:

    Analysts from the Heritage Foundation, a center-right think tank, on Tuesday said the House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) counteroffer to President Barack Obama’s proposal to avert the fiscal cliff was a “dud,” “beyond disappointing,” “bad policy,” and blistered the House Republican leadership for not even wanting to fight for permanent reforms to entitlements even in private, behind-the-scenes negotiations.

    They said Boehner’s offer was a sign that the “Republican leadership caved on raising taxes and first steps toward fundamental entitlement reforms that are desperately needed to keep Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid going.”

    In his letter to Obama, Boehner said it would be counterproductive to “publicly or privately propose entitlement reforms that you and the leaders of your party appear unwilling to support in the near-term,” which means the Republican leadership caved on reforming entitlements without even trying.

    “When President Obama put forth his first offer on the fiscal cliff, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said, “’You can’t be serious.’ We could say the same thing to the Speaker after his counteroffer yesterday,” Amy Payne, of Heritage, wrote.

    Heritage’s Alison Fraser, director of the Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, and J.D. Foster, the Norman B. Ture Senior Fellow in the Economics of Fiscal Policy, said, ” … the Republican counteroffer, to the extent it can be interpreted from the hazy details now available, is a dud. It is utterly unacceptable. It is bad policy, bad economics.”

    As Heritage noted, House Republican leadership, including Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), signed Boehner’s letter in which the House Speaker offered to “raise taxes by $800 billion and cut spending by $1.4 trillion, with no substantive reforms to the entitlement programs that are driving U.S. spending and debt.”

    Fraser and Foster emphasized that the proposal was “beyond disappointing.”

    ” … The House Republican counteroffer appears at best to suggest incremental tweaks to these programs. Without real entitlement reform—not just spending cuts—we will never fix the underlying problem,” they wrote.

    Payne, of Heritage, wrote that while “this is precisely the time for laying out bold reforms, showing the nation the principles, vision and policies conservatives share to dig out of this budget mess,” the House Republican leadership “pointed to a plan they said was suggested by Erskine Bowles, the co-chair of President Obama’s debt commission and formerly Bill Clinton’s White House Chief of Staff.”

    “It raises taxes, but not by raising tax rates—instead, by lowering the amount or number of tax deductions or exemptions available,” Payne wrote.

  3. U.S. Senator Jim Jordan, Ohio: “It’s unfortunate and unhealthy for our party that principled conservatives are being punished for voting their consciences and keeping the promises they made to their constituents.”

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