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Tags: tim huelskamp | john boehner | republicans | house | speaker

Rep. Huelskamp: I Was Retaliated Against for Opposing Boehner

By    |   Thursday, 08 January 2015 07:35 PM

Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas says he has been retaliated against for being one of 24 Republicans to vote against John Boehner as House Speaker.

Boehner survived the attempt to yank him from the position he has held since the GOP took over the House in the 2010 midterms.

Huelskamp told Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto" on Thursday that he was not allowed a chairmanship he was expecting to get. He didn't elaborate, and The Hill on Tuesday said he wouldn't give specifics.

But The Hill reported that Rep. Jeff Miller of California, who chairs the Veterans Affairs Committee, delivered the news to Huelskamp that he would not be appointed to head one of his subcommittees.

The Hill quoted an unidentified aide as saying Miller told Huelskamp, "We pushed really hard for you, but leadership decided that they're not going to let you have it."

Boehner's office denied the story was true.

Twenty-four Republicans voted for someone other than Boehner as speaker, and one voted "present." Huelskamp and others who sought to defeat Boehner say he is cozying up to President Barack Obama and other Democrats rather than listening to wishes of the public.

"The House is more closed under John Boehner's leadership than it was under Nancy Pelosi, which means if you're a conservative, you're out in the cold. If you're a Democrat, you don't have access to the floor either," Huelskamp told Cavuto.

Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas told radio host Sean Hannity after Tuesday's vote that there actually were enough votes to have defeated Boehner, but most House members feared retribution.

Huelskamp didn't go that far, but did say that he knows that more of his conservative colleagues would have voted against Boehner if not for fear of losing perks. Gohmert said phone calls flooded into the Capitol switchboard Tuesday from people asking their member of Congress to vote against Boehner.

"Constituents wanted change," Huelskamp said, saying that those who voted for Boehner voted against the American people.

"All we're only looking for is an open and honest debate," he said. "We're just asking, let's fight for conservative values and principles instead of taking our time, beating up on conservatives like myself."

It wasn't Huelskamp's first time to suffer for his vote. He also went against party leadership in 2012, voting against Boehner and losing a committee seat. He spoke to Newsmax at the time, calling the move "petty, vindictive politics."

Other defectors also say they have been punished.

Rep. Randy Weber of Texas told The Hill he was removed as a sponsor of a bill by the Science, Space and Technology Committee. Rep. Randy Hultgren of Illinois is now the sponsor. Hultgren voted for Boehner.

The Christian Science Monitor reported Thursday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took a different approach to defectors, reassigning two tea party members to their committees.

He also appointed tea party conservative Sen. Mike Lee of Utah to the Senate Steering Committee. 

But that is attributable more to the way the two chambers function than to the personalities of Boehner and McConnell, Rutgers University congressional expert Ross Baker told the paper.

"Alienating a single House member is far less consequential than alienating a single senator," Baker said, partly because a House member can't bring legislation to a halt on his or her own like a senator can.

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Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas says he has been retaliated against for being one of 24 Republicans to vote against John Boehner as House Speaker.
tim huelskamp, john boehner, republicans, house, speaker
Thursday, 08 January 2015 07:35 PM
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