Boehner To Reps: We’re Watching Your Voting Patterns

In the wake of Speaker of the House John Boehner’s purge of several Tea Party conservatives from the Budget and Finances committees, reports are coming out that the Speaker was sending mixed messages about why these men were removed, but apparently we know exactly what he means. He means anyone not falling in lock step with the moderate GOP leadership, aka RINOS, is not welcome in committee seats.

Boehner caught the wrath of the right this week after he and fellow GOP leaders, including Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan, purged four fiscally conservative representatives from the Financial Services Committee and the Budget Committee. Rep. David Scheweikert (R-AZ), Walter Jones (R-NC), Justin Amash (R-MI), and Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) were all booted from their positions on the committees. Conservatives have started to campaign for him to be deposed as Speaker in the coming Congress.

Some say that Boehner is becoming like Tom “The Hammer” Delay (R-TX) and now conservative lawmakers are demanding answers as to the “crimes committed” by those removed from their posts.

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The Speaker said that this had absolutely nothing to do with conservative ideology and specifically referenced “voting patterns.”

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However, in a response by Rep. Huelskamp, he said that Boehner had warned GOP lawmakers that ““there may be more folks that will be targeted … we’re watching all your votes.”

“It was a message to the Republican Conference in general, especially the comment today that there may be more punishment coming if you don’t vote the right way,” Huelskamp said.

I wonder if Boehner was aware that those of us watching the vote take place at the Republican National Convention were taking notice of the way he scripted the vote and dismissed the will of the delegation.

Conservative Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said that he wants the list of votes and criteria used to determine which members were removed from committees, and why leadership didn’t notify the members.

“I’m most troubled because independent voices will not be as vocal as they might as well have been … some of them are going to be intimidated,” King said.

The Hill reports,

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) told The Hill that the nearly 30-member Steering Committee made the decision to remove certain members but that doesn’t mean they are blacklisted.

“The Speaker in conference assessed what happened when he was thrown out in 1998, when he was conference chair. He was fired. He had to do good work and earn his way back and he did good work and earned his way back and I think that was a wonderful story to people,” Issa explained.

He added that “these members have a decision. They’ve been told, in a sense, that they didn’t play well in the sandbox in some way, shape or form by the Steering Committee … every one of them has the ability to earn their way back.”

It seems this is exactly what took place with the representatives in question. The only issue is they were not told the reason or even notified of the decision. Justin Amash found out through news reports!

Rep. Huelskamp said, “Where I come from in Kansas, if you want to stab a guy, you look him in the eye. You don’t go behind a closed door.”

One thing seems clear and that is when John Boehner is up for the position of Speaker of the House this time, he is not likely to get a vote from the four ousted conservative congressmen, which means that if they and just 12 members of Congress abstain from voting for Boehner, he will lose his position. That would be a very good thing for the GOP as long as they don’t fill it with more of the establishment guys, like those who aided and abetted Boehner in this week’s decisions.

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