Tags: Paul Ryan | Tim Huelskamp | Freedom Caucus | Push | Paul Ryan | Reinstate

Politico: Freedom Caucus Pushing Ryan to Reinstate Boehner Foe

Image: Politico: Freedom Caucus Pushing Ryan to Reinstate Boehner Foe
Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskam. (AP Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 12 Jul 2016 02:39 PM

A year ago, Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp joined forces with other Congressional Freedom Caucus to push out then-House Speaker John Boehner after the Ohioan had removed him from the Agriculture Committee, but now he's lobbying to get the prized spot back.

"Speaker [Paul] Ryan many months ago said he wanted Tim Huelskamp back on the committee, and I think it's important that we recognize that that's the speaker's desire," Freedom Caucus co-founder Rep. Mark Meadows, R-North Carolina, told Politico.

"The speaker's opinion of wanting Mr. Huelskamp is extremely important, not only to us because it's what the speaker told us, but to the voters in [Huelskamp's] home state."

Huelskamp is facing a tough primary fight for his House seat, and GOP challenger Roger Marshall has been using his ouster from the committee as battle fodder, reminding voters that the incumbent does not have a voice concerning the agriculture issues that are vital to Kansas' rural residents.

Freedom Caucus members insist Ryan promised last year, while trying to secure their votes to install him as Boehner's replacement, to put Huelskamp back on the committee.

However, by pushing Ryan to reinstate the Kansas lawmaker, the conservatives are also contradicting their position that a House speaker should not become involved in same-party primary battles, and regaining his seat could give Huelskamp a boost over Marshall.

Also, the reinstatement could take away from Huelskamp's reputation as an outsider who came to Washington as part of the 2010 tea party sweep, allowing Marshall to point to him as having become an insider.

Ryan has not committed to a response, as this could lead others facing similar primary battles to seek favors, reports Politico. Thee speaker has committed to his statements that he'd start with his tenure with a "clean slate," spokeswoman AshLee Strong said, and the assignments will be decided by the House Steering Committee at the end of the year.

And even if Ryan does want him back on the Agriculture Committee, Huelskamp may have eliminated himself. Boehner did try to reinstate him to the committee, but the Steering Committee rejected the Kansas lawmaker, complaining that he had been too difficult to work with.

"If the speaker pulled out all the stops and begged, bribed and threatened the Steering Committee on Huelskamp's behalf, then he would still have zero chance of getting back on Ag," said one Steering Committee member who spoke anonymously.

"He's burned more bridges than J.E.B. Stuart."

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A year ago, Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp joined forces with other Congressional Freedom Caucus to push out then-House Speaker John Boehner after the Ohioan had removed him from the Agriculture Committee, but now he's lobbying to get the prized spot back.
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Tuesday, 12 Jul 2016 02:39 PM
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