December 8th, 2012
12:19 PM ET
1 year 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.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

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. Meh

    Seems easy. These are 3 guys who haven't completely committed themselves to the devil who reigns the current political landscape with greater and greater numbers of foot soldiers in suits claiming to be leaders for the people of this country.

    I'd expect there to be more of these types of things in the future. Bow to your Antichrist corporate governance, or you'll not be given a fair hand any longer in this country's gov.

    December 8, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  2. Journeyone

    Listen to Crazy Gnarls Barkley that is the GOP

    December 8, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  3. Dave

    Good job boehner! I applaud your actions to remove extremists in position of power who work against the country and the people. No one doubts the spending is out of whack with revenue. That doesn't mean you only tackle spending and not revenue. It is foolish of these elected members to work against the well being of the country.

    December 8, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  4. LMC

    The usual Republican "our way or the highway" approach.

    December 8, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  5. Fredd Fezzo

    It's fun to watch the GOP self-destruct from within. These people just don't get it. They need no help from the other side of the aisle. They're doin' it all on their own, thank you very much.

    December 8, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  6. Russ

    I'm a Democrat, but I'm on Boehner's side. These rebels and Tea Party members have to realize they have to play ball with the leadership or suffer the consequences. They will learn the hard way if they don't. Maybe when Boehner gets them to fall in line, business can again be accomplished in the House.

    December 8, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  7. teabaggersliketogotdeltwith

    sounds like the real republican party is trying to slap the tea party in the face. not sure if these two are tea party members or not. this is just a simple dolts opinion at a glance. i dont agree with not telling these guys directly but if you act like a jack wagon, you will eventually get treated like a jack wagon.

    December 8, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  8. Reddog9500

    If you don't play the game the way the bosses expect you to, you're outa there.

    December 8, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  9. SAR

    Anyone notice that everybody had a, ehr, ‘tone’ with Rep. Amash? Seems like they already made up their minds about the situation before this interview..

    December 8, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  10. Rob

    Typical GOP fashion: Kick out the conservatives, you know, the ones who think that our Government spends too much money.

    December 8, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  11. Franco

    Do they think this is a Democracy?

    December 8, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  12. David

    It just keeps getting better. I couldn't write a more comedic script. Here are 3 republican legislative officials that have demonstrated willingness to compromise and they are "removed". No agenda there is there?

    December 8, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  13. EE

    Now do the other half who didn't vote for Obama see what their party is doing not only to this country but to themselves?! They are going to implode and take with them middle class America. I almost never agree with the tea party's representatives, but this gentleman makes me believe that we have a chance, with his "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." If everyone in Washington thought this rationally, we might have a fighting chance!

    December 8, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  14. JOE B

    This infighting among Republicans will continue until they are able to get away their addiction of lobbyists Norquist and Rove. Until this party gets behind the people that vote you are going to see this party continue its demise. It's sad because I am a Republican but believe in the principles set forth by Lincoln.

    December 8, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  15. Dave

    A fracture in the GOP. How fun. Guess Boehner's not the one crying now, is he?

    December 8, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Since when are committee seats assigned by "The American People?" Come on, cry baby.

    December 8, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  17. barbarianofgor

    Time to switch party to Democratic...

    Denounce the Republican party as sellouts, failures, etc.

    Say "I worked to save YOU $2000 in taxes and make Joe Rich boy hire an AMERICAN instead of a Chinaman! Hard to be more conservative than that! And I'll protect you from the New World Order, for if the Democrats get a proposal from the Zionists to take children to drain them of blood I WILL Filibuster it!"

    December 8, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  18. Penny Wright

    The Tea Party is going to destroy the Republican Party.

    December 8, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  19. Work together or get the f*#k out

    Conservatives are not about moving forward or progress they are for keeping the status quo or returning to the archaic ways of yester-year. Help move our country forward are get out of the way OR.... GET RUN OVER.

    December 8, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  20. Indyswimmer66

    With the changing demographics of America, these guys had better learn the word "compromise" or, find a new line of work... or political party.

    December 8, 2012 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  21. sisterchef

    Since when were committee seats/assignments controlled by "The American People"? Come on, cry babies.

    December 8, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  22. NameGoose

    I say fire everyone in Washington, DC.... Senators, congressmen, etc., and that includes the friggin "do nothing" President.

    December 8, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  23. Ramon F. Herrera

    Hey, baggers: What part of "You Are Fired!" don't you understand?

    December 8, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  24. roadkilled

    There seems to bee a lot of glee, by the Democrats, over the turmoil in the GOP. Understandably.

    December 8, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  25. gwats

    You fools were elected as Republicans, the only political animal that eats it's own kind for no good reason. What the hell did you expect?

    December 8, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10