A new poll shows a shocking 23 percent of Republicans surveyed are comfortable with socialism. No wonder our country is in such a mess when the party of “fiscal accountability” is in such disarray. Beltway, country club, mushy moderate, unprincipled Republicans blame conservatives for losing the election, though they always get the presidential candidate they want. If their ideas resonated with enough people, they would dominate the party and it would not feature a conservative platform. So conservatives are the bulwark of the party and its platform, but they get punished sometimes for insisting on Republican principles. One of those punished just recently with his removal from a key finance committee is Arizona Congressman David Schweikert, who writes about putting principle over power.
In Washington, principle is a frequent casualty of the unrelenting pursuit of power. In order to climb the ranks, to get appointed to the plush committees, to advance a bill or to just get a seat at the table, you have to be a loyal foot soldier.
For conservative Republicans, this means a choice: stifle our beliefs in support of allegedly more palatable positions, or stick to our guns.
We are courted, coaxed, pressured and when all else fails, we are threatened.
Inside the Beltway, they call this “being a team player.”
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am a proud Republican, and I want to support my party. I am a firm believer in the Republican principles of smaller government, low taxes and economic freedom. I have spent my time in government service fighting for these principles.
I ran and was elected to Congress on a platform of shrinking the size and cost of a federal government that has ballooned out of control. I promised my constituents that I would fight for them — for their hard-earned tax dollars, their small businesses, their jobs and their
I respect my leadership and colleagues, but when the required position deviates from the promise I made to my constituents, I will pick my
constituents every time.
For me, that promise trumps politics.
Last week, I learned the harsh truth: There is a price to be paid for being principled in Washington. Three of my colleagues and I were kicked off the high-profile budget and financial services committees for bucking our party’s leaders on key votes.
Most of these votes were crucial spending votes over the course of my freshman term in Congress. The largest of these was the debt-ceiling deal hammered out by Republican leaders and President Obama during the summer of 2011. The deal raised our debt ceiling by $900 billion initially with the potential for an additional trillion-dollar increase, allowing our government to continue borrowing and spending. In exchange, Republicans received $900 billion in spending cuts over a 10-year period, $21 billion of which occurred in the fiscal year 2012.
At the time, I listened to the arguments my colleagues made and I respected their reasons for choosing a different path, but I could not
support a deal that ignored our country’s spending addiction. I could not support a bill that mortgaged our grandchildren’s future in exchange for the convenience of avoiding the tough choices.
The Budget Control Act, as the final deal was called, did what Washington does best — kick the can down the road. The most substantial spending cuts were postponed for future years and future Congresses.
More than a year later, the super committee has failed, Washington is scrambling to undo many of the spending cuts mandated by the
Budget Control Act, our deficits continue to top $1 trillion a year, and we are staring down the ravine of a potentially devastating fiscal cliff.
Throughout the 112th Congress, we were asked to quietly swallow spending bills that exacerbated our skyrocketing deficits. I was told to take one for the team, to go along to get along. I was told there would be other opportunities to cut spending, other fights to stand our ground.
But these were not small votes.
Our government’s unsustainable debt and the debilitating effect on our economy is perhaps, the most pressing problem facing our country today. If we don’t act now, we may not have other opportunities. There may not be other fights.
I promised my constituents I would do everything I could to bring fiscal responsibility to Washington, and that is what I did. Because it’s all about the numbers and they simply do not add up.
I am proud of these votes, even though they cost me a seat on the Financial Services Committee. I am proud to vote my conscience and to stand up for the conservative principles I campaigned on.
Given a choice, I would do it all over again.
I didn’t come to Washington to fight against my Republican colleagues, or even against my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. I came to Washington to fight for the values that make our country unique — for the economic freedom that gives life to the American Dream. I came to fight for the people back home who still can’t find a job, for the families who worry about their children and grandchildren’s futures.
No matter the price, that is what I intend to do.
Principled small government constitutional conservative Representatives Tim Huelskamp, Justin Amash, Walter Jones and David Schweikert — who were all ousted from their Committee posts because they voted and spoke against Speaker Boehner’s constant abandonment of conservative principles — are now treading the hard path of standing for their principles in today’s insider dominated Republican Party.
To these four relative newcomers to Washington’s ways, it probably seems like a lonely and unforgiving road. But it is a road conservatives have traveled to victory before.
Congressman – and soon to be Senator – Jeff Flake “never sought a special bridge, courthouse, parking lot, or teapot museum for his district. Republican leaders were so incensed at his role in exposing GOP earmarks in 2006 that they booted him off the Judiciary Committee,” The Wall Street Journal reminds us.
In 2006, in the aftermath of the wipeout of Speaker Dennis Hastert’s Big Government Republicans, principled small government constitutional conservative Congressman – and soon to be Governor of Indiana – Mike Pence challenged establishment Republican John
Boehner for the House Minority Leader’s position saying:
Only by making a dramatic turn in the direction of the agenda of the Republican Revolution can we hope to attain majority status again….. We must again embrace the notion the Republicans seek power not simply to govern but change government. We are the agents of change and we must return to that reformist vision….
“I believe we must confront this moment with new leadership and new voices. We must take a page from the playbook of President Ronald Reagan who taught us that it is not enough to believe great things, we must effectively communicate great things to the American people…
Pence lost out to Boehner, but two years later he was elected House Republican Conference Chairman and helped steer the House Republicans in a more conservative direction in the run-up to the 2010 Tea Party wave election that returned the GOP to the majority
in the House.
Huelskamp, Amash, Jones and Schwikert will no doubt have a steady line of Capitol Hill insiders whispering in their ear telling them that
standing for their principles is a career ending road to political oblivion.
The record is quite the opposite.
The 2010 Tea Party wave election and the Tea Party rebellion were as much a rebellion against the principle-free establishment Republican leadership as they were a rebellion against the excesses of the Obama, Pelosi, Reid triumvirate that passed Obamacare and ran-up multi-trillion dollar deficits in 2009 and 2010.
On the spending side, little has changed since John Boehner was elected Speaker. For all the brave talk from establishment Republicans, they have posted trillion-dollar plus deficits every year since Boehner was elected Speaker and Boehner’s spending is not that far off from Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s spending.
Huelskamp, Amash, Jones and Schwikert have been right to question the leadership of a Republican Speaker with that kind of record and
demand that Republicans do better.
Jeff Flake, Mike Pence and other principled small government constitutional conservatives have shown that the road of following your principles may sometimes be lonely, but in the long run, it is a lot more likely to bring about political success than caving in ever has.
John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
This week the Michigan legislature passed a “right-to-work” law making the state the 24th to allow workers to abstain from joining a union without losing their jobs. Opponents of the new law are incensed.
Jimmy Hoffa, Jr., president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, predicted “civil war.” “What we have here is a betrayal of democracy,” Hoffa claimed. “This law will allow workers to decline becoming members of a union even if the majority of their fellow employees vote that they should join the union. It puts individual rights ahead of the collective right to compel everyone to participate.”
Hoffa denied that the democratically elected legislature and governor might be carrying out the will of the people. “I don’t think those that voted for these Republicans knew that they could be forfeiting their freedom to force others to join a company union,” Hoffa argued.
Michigan state Representative Douglas Geiss (D-Taylor) agreed with Hoffa’s assessment saying “there will be blood. There will be repercussions! The right of unions to take action to protect their interests is sanctioned by our laws.” Geiss is believed to have been referring to the 1973 Supreme Court finding in United States v. Enmons that violent acts in pursuit of a legitimate union objective are immune from federal prosecution.
President Obama did his best to stoke the fires of resentment by miscasting the legislation as “taking away the right to bargain for better wages.” Press Secretary Jay Carney explained that “right-to-work laws undermine the united front image that gives unions extra muscle when it comes to negotiating with management. Granting individual workers the freedom to not join a union negates the freedom of the majority of workers to coerce the minority into joining. The President feels that when there are disagreements the freedom of the majority trumps the freedom of the minority. That’s what democracy is all about.”
Intoxicated Auto Workers Reinstated
Chrysler was forced to reinstate 13 assembly line workers fired two years ago when a TV news crew caught them drinking and smoking pot on the job at the company’s Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit.
“First of all, the filming was an invasion of these employees’ privacy,” arbitrator Justin Moran ruled. “Second, since the film showed no evidence that the accused were actually working on assembling vehicles at the time, the company’s prohibition against ‘drinking on the job’ could not be proved to have been violated. Consequently, the company’s argument that the firing was justified because intoxicated employees could compromise the quality of the product and the safety of the work environment must be rejected.”
Reinstated 20-year veteran employee William Leech was especially appreciative of the ruling. “My lawyer tells me that we can now go forward with my disability claim for the injury I suffered at the plant that day,” Leech bragged. “I’m hoping that I will finally be relieved of the drudgery of punching a time clock five days a week. Some of the other guys are jealous. They call me lucky. But I like to think of myself as smart.”
Leech is reported to be under consideration for a Presidential Medal of Freedom Award. White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew explained that “Leech is an exemplar of the type of transformation President Obama is striving to bring to this country. His story is one that can inspire others who are also trapped in wage slavery to believe that they too, by dint of their own ingenuity, can achieve true freedom.”
Bureaucrats Disdain Hard Work Because They Are “Unselfish”
A report written by Andrew Biggs of the American Enterprise Institute and Jason Richwine of the Heritage Foundation revealed that public sector employees work less yet get paid more than their private sector counterparts. The study found that during a typical workweek, private-sector employees worked 41.4 hours, while federal workers put in 38.7 hours and state and local government employees 38.1 hours. Critics of government are apt to view the study as a confirmation of the relative inefficiency of government.
“Any suggestion that this demonstrates there is government waste is totally off base,” insisted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev). “Those that suggest this think every person on the job ought to go all out. What they overlook is the egregious selfishness that would represent. If one person does more than the average output that means there is less opportunity for another person to be hired. By constraining their individual effort government workers are saving work for others to do, in effect, they are creating more jobs. All this study has proven is that government workers have a greater social conscience.”
Reid didn’t dispute that federal bureaucrats took home more pay per hour than similarly employed private sector workers, but declared that “its only logical that those employed by the biggest organization would get bigger paychecks. Let’s not forget that the federal government has over 300 million people who depend on it. The tasks associated with ruling them and tending to their needs are inherently more important than the tasks performed by any private company in the world. Those doing these tasks deserve to be paid more.”
The Senator contended that “high salaries also act as a deterrent to theft. The temptations that government employees face are enormous. Billions of dollars are at risk. If employees feel they are under compensated they’ll be more likely to help themselves to some of this money. I mean, heaven knows there’s no way we can properly oversee all this spending. Adequately compensating them is our best bet for keeping them honest.”
Congresswoman Hopeful that Connecticut School Massacre Will Lead to Gun Control
Friday’s murder spree at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut took the lives of 28 people and has already sparked calls for tighter gun control.
Representative Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) characterized the slayings as “a very fortuitous event for those of us determined to disarm the general public. The fact that so many of the victims were young children should go a long way toward softening up the opposition of the right wing gun nuts who have blocked constructive measures against this much needed action.”
The ineffectiveness of current laws banning weapons in public schools failed to stem McCarthy’s hopes. “Just because existing laws haven’t proved sufficient doesn’t mean we don’t need more of them,” McCarthy argued. “At the very least adding another illegal weapons possession charge to the indictment of the perpetrators of these heinous crimes has got to have some deterrent effect.”
“It’s long past the time that we recognize that the ancient rationale for private gun ownership is no longer relevant,” the Representative said. “People don’t need to personally hunt for food. There are no Indians on the rampage in our towns. The skills our ancestors had with firearms have atrophied in our modern world.”
“America would be a much safer place if only government personnel were allowed to carry guns,” McCarthy maintained. “As history has shown in other countries, concentrating the firepower in the hands of well trained police and military personnel is more conducive to securing a peaceful environment for everyone to enjoy.”
NBC News Anchor Wishes Obama Were Dictator
During an interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook, NBC News anchorman Brian Williams opined that “the country might be better off if President Obama could simply order businesses to carry out his economic vision.”
“The market system is so chaotic and uncoordinated,” Williams complained. “Every firm, every decision-maker is left free to do as he deems best. Wouldn’t it make more sense to have one person issue the marching orders for all? That way they’d all be working on the same plan rather than wasting resources clashing with each other.”
Citing the Affordable Health Care Act as an example of what he has in mind, Williams asked “If the government can force everyone to purchase health insurance why can’t it force every business to manufacture all of its products in America? Think of the money that could be saved on transportation from not having to import anything, the time saved from not having to make decisions, and the jobs created.”
Williams assured that he personally wouldn’t have any trouble following dictates from Obama because “I can’t imagine that he would ever lead us astray. In the four years he’s been President I don’t think he’s made a single misstep. I am supremely confident of his leadership.”
Senator Questions Homeland Security Spending
Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla) charged that the Department of Homeland Security has squandered huge sums in its Urban Area Security Initiative grant program. Included in his list of dubious outlays were funds used to buy sno-cone machines in Michigan, a video produced by the City of Jacksonville, Florida warning residents to be wary of people with above average intelligence, and travel to posh resorts for “security training” conferences.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano defended her agency and maintained that “the Senator’s understanding of security matters is deficient. We carefully consider each grant request. We wouldn’t approve any spending that wasn’t warranted.”
“Considering the specific items he cited, it is our opinion that the sno-cone machines contributed to boosting morale among the state’s law enforcement officials,” she contended. “Jacksonville’s warning was apt since highly intelligent criminals can plan large and complex terror operations. And holding training sessions at five-star resorts encourages higher attendance.”
When in the course of political events it becomes necessary for the Conservative base to temporarily dissolve the bonds which connect them to the Republican Party and to assume the wisdom of the party platform and principles, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation of one week’s time.
We hold these truths to be self-evident that Conservatives represent the heart of and the majority of the Republican Party. That whenever any form of party leadership becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the Conservative base to institute demands for full respect and adherence to fiscal AND social soundness. That without the Conservative majority, the Republican Party is unviable and non-competitive.
When a long train of abuses and usurpations becomes pattern, Conservatives will not and cannot comply.
Party leadership has punished and demoted principled Conservative members from committees of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Party leadership is threatening to compromise with the opposition, putting life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness at risk for all Americans.
Party leadership indicates it is unwilling to do the job for which it was given majority power in the U.S. House of Representatives. That being to fight socialists and those standing in opposition to the social underpinnings of America’s founding principles – life, marriage, and liberty – and to the commonsense principles of fiscal responsibility. To reduce spending and impose a reasonable ceiling on the currently insane level of debt resting on the head of citizens living and yet unborn.
Party leadership is demonstrating weakness at a time when strength is needed to exert sensible and correct counter positions to the flawed and destructive policies of the radical Left.
Party leadership exhibits a willingness to comply with the radical left-stream media’s destructive demands for compliance with harmful principles preferred by Democrats.
Party leaders insist on nominating presidential candidates who are unwilling to fight for and model Conservative principles which have stood the test of time and which have enabled the greatest times of prosperity in American history. These candidates are repeatedly unable to defeat flawed, corrupt Democrat incumbents who are substantially damaging America’s culture and committing generations of citizens to unsustainable debt while condemning millions of preborn children to death.
All the while, party leaders insist that those willing to compromise with the extreme demands of the Left are the answer to America’s most severe problems. This is not in the best interest of Americans.
We Conservatives therefore resolve to separate from the Republican Party, to demonstrate the seriousness of the problems existing within the party, for the period of January 1 to January 7 of the year 2013. If party leaders respond in good faith and restore a genuine, healthy respect to the Conservative base and the accompanying principles, relations will be fully restored. If not … a longer period of independence shall be declared until the leaders of the Republican Party come to restoration of good senses. For without the good will and full participation by the Conservative base the Republican Party cannot continue to pursue its questionable course, let alone compete with the opposing party.
John Semmens: Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News
Data from a Congressional Research Service report reveals that the amount the government spends on welfare per family below the poverty line exceeds the median earned income. The median for earned income in the United States is about $50,000 per year. The amount spent per family on welfare exceeds $60,000 per year. Assuming a 40-hour work week, welfare equates to an after-tax wage of over $30 per hour.
Congressional Democrats used these figures to make the case against prospective cuts to the government’s entitlement spending. “The GOP’s notion that we ought to be pushing people to get jobs is completely refuted by these numbers,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) contended. “Any person who can qualify for welfare payments would be harming her family by leaving the shelter of government benefits for the uncertainties of the marketplace.”
Over in the Senate Charles Schumer (D-NY) claimed that “cutting welfare benefits would devastate our economy. As the research shows, families on welfare contribute more spending to stimulate the economy than those who work for a living. Rather than foolishly trying to reduce the number of persons who qualify for welfare as the Republicans want us to do, we ought to be adding to and extending the benefits we bestow on this economically vibrant segment of our society.”
The New York Senator averred that “the President’s bid to raise taxes on the wealthy is a small step in the right direction, but it doesn’t go far enough. The number of these people who will be encouraged to leave the workforce is small. A much bigger impact would be achieved if we could, like former Governor Howard Dean advises, raise everyone’s taxes. That way a lot more could join this crucial economic cohort.”
In related news, disability is now America’s fastest growing career choice among persons aged 18-64. In 1960 less than 1% of these persons were receiving disability payments. Last year more than 5% were. Disability due to “mood disorders” was credited with “making substantial inroads into the workforce over the last 50 years.” “Given the plasticity of this designation we see no reason why the vast majority of the population shouldn’t qualify for benefits for this cause over the next few decades,” boasted Health and Human Service Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “We are within sight of creating a society where the majority can be relieved of the burdens of toil.”
Homeless Bill of Rights Pushed in California
Assembly member Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) says he will introduce legislation aimed at establishing what he termed “a homeless bill of rights.”
“As it stands right now, a homeless person can be prosecuted for breaking into and occupying a vacant house,” Ammiano complained. “This places the property rights of an absentee home owner ahead of the human rights of the poor and impoverished. That’s not fair.”
While the details of the bill are still sketchy, the gist of the proposed legislation would exempt the deprived from being punished for helping themselves to any unused and inadequately secured private property. In addition to allowing them to occupy vacant homes they would also be permitted to pretty much walk off with anything that is not locked up.
“It is a blot on our society that some people have so much while others have so little,” Ammiano said. “Just because you are lucky enough to be able to afford to buy something shouldn’t serve as an impediment to someone else in need from making use of this property when it is idle. I’ll bet there are clothes in your closet that you haven’t worn in years. Why shouldn’t a poor person wear them if he can get his hands on them?”
“It’s time that we put need ahead of greed when it comes to how society’s resources are used,” Ammiano insisted. “My bill aims to make a modest stride toward accomplishing this.”
Unemployment Rate for Government Workers Half that of Private Sector
While the national rate of unemployment for private sector workers exceeds 8%, the rate for government workers is under 4%. US Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis argued that “this is just one more piece of evidence bolstering the President’s economic plan.”
“The President’s critics are fond of alleging that a tax increase will hurt the economy,” Solis said. “But let’s take President Obama’s advice and ‘look at the numbers.’ The private sector appears to be relatively inefficient when it comes to job creation. Despite being allowed to keep more than half of the money they earn, private sector businesses still can’t get unemployment below 8%. Contrast this with the under 4% unemployment rate in the public sector and I think you’ll see where we ought to be putting the nation’s resources for maximum growth.”
Solis maintained that “as we can see, the private sector is a major drag on the economy. If more people would see that funds are lying sterile in the hands of private sector businesses when they could be more effectively deployed by government the Republican opposition to the President’s proposed tax increases would be regarded as a criminal expropriation of what should be community property.”
The Secretary expressed her hope that “the American public will rise up against the capitalist despoilers of the nation’s wealth and demand that their congressional representatives support the President’s efforts to reclaim the nation’s wealth for the benefit of the people.”
In related news, at the same time that the Great Recession was reducing householder net wealth by 39%, members of congress saw their net wealth increase by 14%–greatly relieving the anxieties of Americans worried that those who govern them might have faced unspeakable hardships during the past few years.
House Speaker Grabs for More Power
House Speaker, Representative John Boehner (R-Ohio) undertook moves meant to consolidate his authority this past week. First he executed a purge of House committee members he deemed “not team players.” Later he blocked all others from participating in the negotiations with President Obama on the so-called “fiscal cliff.”
“My leverage with the President is diluted when Republican members of the House cannot be counted on to back my play,” Boehner complained. “He persistently taunts me with gibes about whether I truly have the authority to speak for the majority. It’s humiliating. The GOP needs to speak with one voice. That voice is mine.”
Not everyone in the GOP is comfortable with Boehner’s stance. In the Senate, Jeff Sessions (R-Ala) has questioned the “secret negotiations” being conducted between Boehner and Obama. “The President should be laying out his plan for us all to see,” Sessions contended. “Maybe Boehner is satisfied to be the only one privy to whatever the President may be proposing, but I don’t think that serves the country well.”
The Speaker belittled Sessions’ concerns as “an outsider’s uninformed babblings. I am standing toe-to-toe with President Obama. I am the one who’s carrying the ball for our side. The sooner everyone comes to terms with that the better off they’ll all be.”
Boehner discounted suggestions that he might be replaced as Speaker as “rumblings of a disorganized and impotent gang of malcontents. Even in the unlikely event that they looked like they might succeed in their quest to remove me they still won’t get what they want. If forced to do so, I and my loyal lieutenants would always have the option of caucusing with the Democrats. Do those who oppose me really want to bring back Pelosi as Speaker?”
In related news, President Obama insisted that “raising taxes on the rich is my number one priority” and vowed to “destroy this country if that’s what it takes to achieve a greater equality among the mass of common people.”
Governor Strongly Backs “Assisted Suicide”
Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin (D) says it’s imperative that the state enact an “assisted suicide” bill calling it “a crucial element of a successful implementation of Obamacare.”
“Study after study has shown that a disproportionate share of what this nation spends on health care goes for the treatment of persons who are desperately ill,” Shumlin observed. “One way of overcoming this disparity is to channel more of these persons onto a path toward death with dignity.”
“For the amount it costs to treat one late stage cancer patient we could provide thousands of others with condoms or abortions,” Shumlin pointed out. “The benefits of the many shouldn’t be sacrificed to the selfishness of the few. Those near the end of their lives should be given the added help they need to efficiently end it. This assisted suicide bill would go a long way toward making that happen.”
Obama Administration Pondering How to Overturn Pot Legalization in States
On November 6 voters in Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana. Use of marijuana still remains illegal under federal law. A federal task force composed of representatives from the Justice Department, the DEA, the State Department, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy is considering how to respond.
Attorney General Eric Holder brushed aside all substantive debate over the merits of legalization saying that “it’s not up to us to prove that marijuana is harmful in order for us to enforce the federal ban on its use. The simple fact that federal law trumps state law is sufficient grounds for us to suppress this drug.”
Whether federal law trumps state law on this issue may not be a “simple fact.” Legalization of marijuana would appear to be within the purview of states under the 10th Amendment to the US Constitution. This Amendment reserves powers not expressly delegated to the federal government in the Constitution to the states.
Holder, however, rejected this argument. “Essentially, the 10th Amendment is a dead letter,” Holder said. “As the Civil War demonstrated no power asserted by any state can stand against the might of the federal government. The idea that we would stand aside while states seek to profit from legalizing pot is mistaken. We will arrest anyone caught producing, selling, or using this substance. Any funds earned or taxes collected from the production, distribution, or use of marijuana will be seized. This drug is not legal until we say it is.”
WASHINGTON – Today Congressman David Schweikert, Congressman Tim Huelskamp, and Congressman Justin Amash released a letter that was sent to GOP House Leadership asking for written explanation for why they were kicked off their respective committees. They also requested the scorecard used to judge their votes. Below is the text of the letter:
December 7, 2012
The Honorable John Boehner
Speaker of the House of Representatives
232 The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Speaker Boehner,
We write to request a full and complete written explanation of the rationale for removing us from our current committee assignments, including any “scorecards” presented to the Steering Committee to justify our removals.
On Monday, we learned that we had been removed from our committee assignments. Some of us learned of this news from a member of the Steering Committee; others never were officially informed and heard of the action from press accounts citing anonymous leadership staffers. To this date, no formal explanation has been given for the removal.
After learning of our removal, it came to our attention that a scorecard was presented to the Steering Committee to make the case for our removal from those committees. On Wednesday morning, Mr. Huelskamp stood before the House Republican Conference and asked to see a copy of the scorecard used to remove us.
Through this past term, we were not aware that any such scorecard existed, nor that the scores would cause us to be removed from committee assignments. We believe this would be valuable information for the entire Republican Conference to know, so that each Member can make a full and complete decision when casting votes in the future. It would also allow us to communicate to our constituents which votes caused us to be removed.
Please provide a full and complete written explanation for our removal, including a copy of the scorecard presented to the Steering Committee meeting, by close of business Monday, December 10th.
David Schweikert Tim Huelskamp, Justin Amash
U.S. Representative U.S. Representative U.S. Representative
Arizona Kansas Michigan
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.