Teller Firing Splits GOP Factions

Thursday, 12 Dec 2013 07:37 AM

By Melissa Clyne

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A group of influential conservatives are squaring off against  GOP House leaders following the firing of revered Republican Study Committee Executive Director Paul Teller, Politico reports.

Teller is said to have committed political treason by divulging private RSC conversations to conservative groups working against RSC initiatives.

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“We are saddened and outraged that an organization that purports to represent conservatives in Congress would dismiss a staff member for advancing conservatism and working with conservatives outside of Congress,” reads a statement signed by 50 high-profile members of the Conservative Action Project, including Ed Meese, former attorney general under President Ronald Reagan, and Mike Needham, CEO of Heritage Action for America.

The statement goes on to hail Teller as a “guiding light of Conservatism on Capitol Hill.”

Louisiana Republican Rep. Steve Scalise, chairman of the RSC, announced Teller’s dismissal during an RSC meeting on Capitol Hill, explaining that “trust between senior staff and RSC members is paramount. No staffer is above a member.”

Scalise learned this week that Teller had been undermining a two-year budget deal unveiled Tuesday by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, and Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington, according to The Washington Post.

Conservative lawmakers are divided on the Ryan-Murray proposal, which increases the spending limit for federal agencies by about $63 billion over the next two years, offset by spending cuts and increased fees of $85 billion over the next 10 years.

Teller also went as far as working with outside conservative groups to continue the fight to defund Obamacare, an effort the RSC opted to abandon after the 16-day government shutdown, according to the Post.

Teller last came under fire two years ago during the 2011 debt ceiling crisis when he sent emails to outside groups aimed at generating pressure on conservative lawmakers to oppose a proposal crafted by Republican House Speaker John Boehner. During a Republican Conference meeting at the time, members chanted "fire him.”

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