December 8th, 2012
12:19 PM ET
10 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. Siara

    The answer is:

    your party has been taken over by a bunch of extremists who think more about dogma than they do about real life. If you don't conform 100% with their dogma your performance in real life makes no difference. You know that 20 years when you tried to be a good public servant? Those years are irrelevant.

    December 8, 2012 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  2. Steve

    This is what a dieing political party looks like. Enjoy it, you will not see another in your lifetime.

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

    At first I was disappointed but then I read one from Arizona claiming it's not about working with the other side. That's why they're always in gridlock, it's long past time they are removed and Arizona of all places, those republicans are the lowest of the low.

    December 8, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  4. Patrish

    I guess the Republican freshmen are learning what the real Washington is all about. It makes me smile!

    December 8, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  5. See You Next Tuesday

    The beginning of the attritioning out of the Tea Party asshats by the grownups in the Republican party.

    December 8, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  6. Mark R.

    Political re-arrangement to meet agendas. Our government is in a lame duck stage where they do not accomplish anything (as those who are pulling the strings wish it), instead they bicker, demand, and do anything but fix problems. The wheel is broken, it is just that Americans have not gotten tired enough of the bumpy ride yet to where they want to change the wheel.

    December 8, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  7. Bookldy209

    So there it is for all the world to see. Vote the party or else – no matter the state of the budget and the American people.

    December 8, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  8. Dyna Hog

    Mess with the Speaker in your own Party, and it's BYE BYE.

    December 8, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  9. DENNA

    Say what? The GOP used to be an organized, respected party. What happended to it? President Eisenhower would be stunned. What? You don't know the name? Google him. He was the last decent Republican in office. Today he couldn't even get on the GOP ticket. The Tea Party Terror Organization would tear him apart.

    December 8, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  10. steve harnack

    If Boehner is honest he will tell them that the reason is the same one that they have used for the last two years; Because we can.

    December 8, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  11. RobertOKUSA

    Sounds like these three angry white guys weren't angry enough. Close-mined Republicans needed to replace them with someone even more close-minded. For the rest of us...move along...nothing to see here.

    December 8, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  12. mdreader

    They where teaparty troublemakers...good riddance.

    December 8, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  13. DKS

    Maybe you shouldn't be returning home for the holidays at the beginning of December when there's still critical work to be done that will affect the entire country.

    December 8, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  14. MIke G

    It looks like the Rep leaders are sending the House tea baggers a message. A) We are no longer allowing you to hijack the party platform or it's future; B) You better cool your heals and falll in line when the Bush tax cuts for the top 2% are repealed.

    December 8, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  15. 111Dave111

    Justin Amash barely defeated Steve Pestka (former prosecutor) in a very conservative West Michigan district near Grand Rapids. Things can be pretty strange in this Dutch Reformed area with Blackwater founder Erik Prince, and the Amway founders Richard DeVos and Jay Van Andel. Betsy Prince, sister of Erik Prince, is married to Dick DeVos, the son of Richard DeVos.

    December 8, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  16. Marc Florida

    I love to see the Rs falling on their own sword. If Boehner expects the Republicans to remain a solid block against anything Obama proposes, I do believe we will see the end of the Republicn party. I would suspect that the defections will be an issue for many to survive re-election. The question is where will they defect?I smell a split.

    December 8, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  17. Organic1

    The GOP leaders just can't see the road signs, and the only way they are going to start doing things like the American people want, is to take the sign down and swat them with it.

    December 8, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  18. Chooch0253

    Stop bucking the system and co-operate with your own party and maybe, just maybe something will get done to the benefit of a majority of Americans instead of to the Tea Party caucus. It's not hard to grasp. Fight the battles you can win or have a chance to win..... duhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    December 8, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  19. Cam

    Boehner needs to be replaced with a conservative. He is just another career politician.

    December 8, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  20. Melissa

    Throw out anybody not willing to compromise!!!! That is ridiculous that those people think is ok to hijack government to their ideologies. If you are not willing to work together for the good of the country you have nI business in government!!

    December 8, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  21. Keith

    They can just blame it on Obama, like they do everything else.

    December 8, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  22. nanners

    I have no idea what these party members are trying to stir up now, or what you are trying to get at by publishing this article, but I can assure you ... no one cares. These guys have out stayed their welcome. Boehner is the next to go. they have all shown their true colors and it isn't red, white, and blue.

    December 8, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  23. Dan

    I guess the baggers in congress are learning that even their own party does not like them, mess with a bull and you end up getting the horns. Next time do as your leader wants and don't run off to have a press conference and tell the country how wrong he is.

    December 8, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    Boehner needs to be wise and stand strong against the evil agenda of Obama and the Democrats. He should agree to a slight increase in taxes on the wealthy, but it has to come with some very serious cuts in Government waste and unnecessary spending. Boehner should have done this the last time.

    December 8, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  25. Realist

    The road to hell is paved with republicans

    December 8, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
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