In addition to waving various white flags to signal their willingness to negotiate a surrender on tax increases, the House Republican leadership has decided to hang a few conservative heads from the battlements of its crumbling political fortress. According to what an unnamed GOP leadership aide told NBC News,this was done because the four representatives in question are “not team players.” That’s indisputably true, if we’re talking about Team Tax Hike:
The decision made Monday during a meeting of the Republican Steering Committee strips Reps. David Schweikert (R-AZ) and Walter Jones (R-NC) of their seats on the Financial Services Committee, and Reps. Justin Amash (R-MI) and Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) of their seats on the House Budget Committee.
The decision to take the committee seats away from Schweikert, Amash and Huelskamp has transformed into a mini-battle between conservatives and the Republican leadership establishment, with Schweikert’s office saying his removal was a result of his “voting based on principle.”
“This morning Congressman Schweikert learned there was a price to be paid for voting based on principle. That price was the removal from the House Financial Services Committee,” Schweikert’s Communications Director Rachel Semmel told NBC News in a statement, “We are obviously disappointed that Leadership chose to take this course, but Rep. Schweikert remains committed to fighting for the conservative principles that brought him here.”
Huelskamp issued an angry statement after he learned he would no longer sit on the House Budget Committee: “It is little wonder why Congress has a 16 percent approval rating: Americans send principled representatives to change Washington and get punished in return. The GOP leadership might think they have silenced conservatives, but removing me and others from key committees only confirms our conservative convictions. This is clearly a vindictive move, and a sure sign that the GOP Establishment cannot handle disagreement.”