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. Brad B

    Politics is a dirty game. But sometimes you have to play dirty to clean up a mess. And I'm sick of petty party politics. Do the right thing people.

    December 8, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  2. thatgrlinaz

    These idiots were most likely ones who caused the most obstruction to this country with their little feet stomping spoiled brat tactics. Any elected official who refuses to do the job of the people, all the people they represent should be booted out, period. And this Demint crap is a clear example that all powerful money is worth more than morals. This pig wasn't happy only being worth $65,000 and he wanted the private car driver he was denied as a congressman so he goes to that phony hack group owned by the crazies the koch brothers for a cool $1 million a year pay check. All to try and force more right wing, christian conservative bull crap on Americans. Let the rich corporate thugs pay their own way. I'm tired of supporting those 400 families who hoard more money than can be spent in a few hundred thousand lifetimes. And most of them are rich from their parents hard work not their own. Like the walton family of Walmart. That garbage dump of a store. Sam walton is turning over in his grave at the selfish, almost criminal (in some ways fully criminal I believe) actions of his lazy, self righteous, lying, cheating kids.

    December 8, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  3. krehator

    You have to put the party first, didn't you know?

    December 8, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  4. jinx88

    And the drama continues. LMAO!!

    December 8, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  5. Rickapolis

    It is, of course, 'AdviSe and Consent'. But even though I didn't check my spelling don't miss the book. It's by Allen Drury.

    December 8, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  6. Brad B

    I'm sick of petty party politics. Boot these stuborn people to clean this mess up.

    December 8, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  7. Larry

    I really try to be a republican, but the republican party sure does make it difficult. While I find some of the things the democratic party striving for, such as gay rights, disturbing, I have struggled to find even a handful of things to like about the republican party. I saw a bumper sticker that said Obama was the worst president ever and I had to disagree with that assessment. George W. Bush did more damage to our country than Obama can, has done or will do. Bush was an even more embarrassing president than Bill Clinton, and topping Clinton in that department is no easy task. We really need a third party in this country. While not specifically a two-party system, what we have is effectively a two-party system, and those two parties do not do anywhere as good of a job compromising and governing as they did 30+ years ago. When members of the minority political party come out and say their main goal is to make sure the other party loses the next election we have traded political leadership for gridlock.

    December 8, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  8. Charles

    If they can't compromise, hit the road. It's the only way to get things done. Just stop drinking the Tea.

    December 8, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  9. Tom

    You were removed because everyone is sick of you

    December 8, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  10. cja

    If they don't like what happened they can always chafe parties or be "independent".

    December 8, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  11. Where is the President

    Boehner has put revenue on the table and benched team mates that will get in the way in an attempt to reach a deal......Where is the president and his Spending Cuts???????????????????????????????????????????????????///

    December 8, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  12. SafeJourney

    They were removed because they are obstructionist

    December 8, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Typical partisan politics. If rep's won't vote party line then they have the whips remove them from their committee positions to punish them. This is the very reason why people vote party line and can't stand on their own in congress.

    December 8, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  14. Tim

    Let the games begin!

    December 8, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  15. Hackpiper

    Well...I was thinking that the GOP hasn't gone entirely down the drain. Then I read this. Not down the drain, yet...but they are certainly circling it.

    December 8, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  16. JamesTJr

    It's because guys like these three that the republicans went to an extreme and will be voted out of the office in 2 years.

    December 8, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  17. Bob

    Say it isn't so – picked on one another..

    December 8, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  18. Wise1Speak

    IT WAS LONG OVERDUE

    The young Tea Party rabble must learn order, respect, and fall in line. It is not the Wild, Wild West. They are in Congress to handle the people's business, not to act like frat boys at a college beer party. What John Boehner did was well over do and hope he doesn't stop with these young punks.

    December 8, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  19. One Truth

    Seems to me like Republican leadership has finally decided to wrestle away the tea party grip on power. Its about time someone stood up to the buffoons and got the job done they were sent there to do. And I am certain that job was not to bring congress to a halt and become dysfunctional!

    December 8, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  20. We Don't Matter

    Let me see if I have this straight, the people who we vote into office to do the job we elected them to do for the betterment of the country are blocked from doing their job by fellow members of the GOP because the job the people we elected to do isn't in the best interest of Boehner and his cronies.

    December 8, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  21. Wise1Speak

    IT WAS LONG OVERDUE

    The young Tea Party rabble must learn order, respect, and fall in line. It is not the Wild, Wild West. They are in Congress to handle the people's business, not to act like frat boys at a college beer party. What John Boehner did was well overdue and I hope he doesn't stop with these young punks.

    December 8, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  22. snowdogg

    Its payback time!

    December 8, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  23. colt45

    The Republicans lost the election, partly because they have obstructed President Obama at every turn. I am a nurse,apparently a respected profession in the eyes of Americans. I am also a Democrat, because of my values and aspirations. Republicans need to face reality and understand that compromise and accepting defeat are part of life, and theAmerican public wants most of all for gridlock to end and favors the economic agenda of the President. The three committee members lost their assignments because they are not facong political realities. It is one of the the reasons politicians are among the least respected of professions. Wake up!!!

    December 8, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  24. mike sharpe

    This sounds like someone who might have a clue. Most people are upset by the lack of effort by congress, but keep re-electing the same people expecting different results. Wake up! It's our fault we have a bunch of greedy, power hungry people running things. VOTE THEM OUT! Take back our country by electing different leaders. The ones in office now are taking us for a ride....

    December 8, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  25. lance corporal

    that big tent just keeps getting smaller and smaller and smaller...............

    December 8, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
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