December 8th, 2012
12:19 PM ET
2 years ago

Booted from plum committee seats, three GOP reps want answers

(CNN) - Three Republican lawmakers who say they were removed from committee assignments without explanation fired off a letter to House Speaker John Boehner on Friday demanding answers.

"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," the freshmen lawmakers wrote.

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Rep. David Schweikert of Arizona had served on the Financial Services Committee. His colleagues Reps. Justin Amash of Michigan and Tim Huelskamp of Kansas sat on the Budget Committee.

They say a scorecard of votes was used to determine whether they would return to their committee posts in the next legislative session.

"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," their letter read. "On Wednesday morning, Mr. Huelskamp stood before the House Republican Conference and asked to see a copy of the scorecard used to remove us."

Some have suggested their reassignments were in response to the members' willingness to buck party leadership.

A request for comment from Boehner's office on Saturday was not immediately returned.

Amash, Huelskamp and Schweikert also objected to the manner in which they learned of the news.

"I learned through news reports. So I started to hear the word on Monday and didn't hear anything from leadership Monday, Tuesday," Amash said Friday on CNN's "Starting Point," adding that on Wednesday he began to ask for answers.

Asked if he had been "trying to embarrass" the House Republican leadership during the past legislative session, Amash insisted "that's totally ridiculous."

"There are people like me in Congress who are out there representing the vast majority of Americans who want us to balance our budget. It's not a matter of who is willing to work with Democrats or Republicans," he said. "It's about whether people are serious about getting things done to balance our budget."

Amash wouldn't say whether he would support Boehner's re-election as House speaker.

"Well right now I'm not very happy with the speaker. So let's see what happens over the next several weeks," he said.

The three members requested that Boehner provide an explanation for their removal by Monday.

Huelskamp won the seat of a retiring Republican in 2010 and was previously in headlines in the final days of December 2011 when he considered objecting to a last-minute deal to extend the payroll tax cut. At the time, he described it as the Republican House having "caved yet again to the president and Senate Democrats."

He and many lawmakers had already returned home for the holidays, and the measure passed the House by unanimous consent. "Problem was, by the time we were notified that the unanimous consent agreement would be offered, where I come from in Kansas, I can't get to Washington quick enough on this short notice," he said on CNN.

Amash also won the seat of a retiring Republican in 2010, while Schweikert defeated an incumbent Democrat to win his seat.


Filed under: House • John Boehner
soundoff (228 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    Sounds like sour grapes !

    I did nothing for two years and now you want fire me ?

    December 8, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  2. Pete

    Boehner trying to protect his backside by making these three an example of those who don't go along with the obstructionism that republicans support..Boehner knows republicans are caving and willing to compromise so that don't become scapegoats if we do go over the fiscal cliff...Boehner also knows if a mutiny starts he's through as speaker with these three and more who'll get additional support knowing Boehners goose is cooked politically.He's speaking to an empty house if he keeps it up that's for sure,much like Gingrinch did before his ousting also as speaker years ago after his ethics violations when his credibility was shot....If compromise isn't reached much of these republicans will be gone after midterms and they all know it!!

    December 8, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  3. Marty Curran

    Sounds like a few freshman congress persons have their egos way out ahead of their status.

    December 8, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  4. Len

    Very simple why you men were removed. You are a Tea Party person who does not care about compromise and would rather see the middle calss and the poor go off the cliff. You should have never been elected. Unfortunately, 2010 election cycle showed that the 25% of Americans who voted are very unintelligent!

    December 8, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  5. Bessy

    Hmm! I guess they were not playing the game the way they should have been and so they are being taught a lesson.

    December 8, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  6. Todd in DC

    Tea baggers, meet Exit. Exit? Tea baggers.

    Talk amongst yourselves...

    December 8, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  7. Mac

    Tea party treachery is finally given the backhand.

    Good.

    December 8, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  8. skyler

    What a mess.

    December 8, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  9. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Finally,they have the the guts to get rid of the tea potty. It took a landslide loss in Nov to do it.

    December 8, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  10. sparky

    I love a circular firing squad.

    December 8, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  11. doug

    There is no working with Obama, Obama, as he said on Univision in 2010, every American who doesn't vote Democrat and supports that National Socialist parties hate, lies, and division is the enemy and must be punished for having views that Obama and his National Socialist ilk disagree with.

    Reading the hate and lies, spewed by the programmed little Eichmann Obama bots here on CNN is a start but you really need to go to the most Democrat districts of this country and witness the libness. The most rude, hateful, dishonest people with a total disregard for the lives of others.

    December 8, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  12. blake

    Boehner's scorecard has come in. It is well past time for him to booted out of the speaker role. We need a solid conservative not a RINO in this role.

    December 8, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  13. JohnParryJones

    Hilarious. Bucked the leadership? Don't know why they were removed? Duh. These congressmen need to man up. Stop whining.

    December 8, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  14. 2012liberal

    U represent no one but yr own self intrest. Boehner is tired as is the prez 2 have 2 put up with childlike behavior. U dont deserve any seat on any commitee much less chair!

    December 8, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  15. Fla native

    Well, well. I think that they should go and join up with Charlie Crist. While no party is perfect, the right seems to be intent on putting their manifesto over the good of this country.

    December 8, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  16. Mitchell Wellington

    We need more republicans to speak out against compromise with those who wish to destroy the United States of America through Socialism.

    December 8, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  17. keithet

    You mess with the bull and you get the horn! Stay in Washington over the holidays and get something done.

    December 8, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  18. dduty

    The 2013 Tea Partiers are already eating their young. It's a beautiful thing!

    December 8, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  19. GOP-PROGRESS(backwards)

    All GOP should be booted out. Then the country can actually move forward and prosper. Well, the rest of us I mean. The GOP puppeteers are doing just fine.

    December 8, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  20. livingston

    So the republicans are beginning to eat their own. Bring on the popcorn because this is going to be good.

    December 8, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  21. dduty

    The 2013 Tea Partiers are already eating their young. It's a beautiful thing.

    December 8, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  22. Anony

    Stop whining... this is how it's been for the past 2 and a half decades.

    You can't just sit in a committee assignment and open your mouth to whatever you say. Once you enter political battlegrounds, you lose individuality and become a whole. That is how the game is played and that's the Truth...

    So please, to everyone who doesn't know any better, just follow the rules and you should be fine. Happy Holidays ~^_^

    December 8, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  23. Rememberwhatbushdid

    They were probably removed because they are uncompromising extremists who think the role of government is primarily to promote business and not primarily life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness through public service.

    December 8, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  24. 2012liberal

    Guess u should hv never gone home. And why did u go home? Wha wha wha nothings getting done but we r getting paid 2 sit at home? Really?!

    December 8, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  25. Pritka

    Well, what did they expect? Boehner has to be able to offer a consensus from his party in order to compromise on issues so legislation can go forward. If he can't get you to vote with him and you further block his efforts to move forward, the American people cannot get the benefits of a compromise and nothing gets done. Voters want congress to address the issues and come to a compromise and the Republicans are getting the blame for not doing so. Boehner has to do something so there you go.

    December 8, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
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