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FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR

The Members Behind the Purge of Conservatives

Yesterday, we noted that not only did House leadership select moderates to fill vacant spots on the top congressional committees, they made the unprecedented decision to banish conservatives already sitting on some important committees.  All of the decisions related to committee assignments are decided by a Steering Committee.  At present, the Steering Committee is comprised of 31 members, most of who are either members of leadership or pushed onto the committee by leadership.  These are the men and women behind the decision to throw conservatives under the bus.

It’s important to note that Boehner gave himself 5 votes and Cantor 2 votes on the committee, so there are actually a total of 36 votes on each committee assignment decision.  Here is the list of the committee members:

John Boehner                                      Speaker

Eric Cantor                                          Republican Leader

Kevin McCarthy                                  Republican Whip

Peter Roskam                                     Chief Deputy Whip

Cathy McMorris-Rodgers                  Republican Conference Chair

James Lankford                                   Policy Chair

Lynn Jenkins                                        Conference Vice-Chair

Virginia Foxx                                       Conference Secretary

Greg Walden                                      NRCC Chairman

Tom Cole                                             NRCC Chairman (former)

Hal Rogers                                          Chairman Appropriations Committee

Fred Upton                                         Chairman Energy & Commerce Committee

Jeb Hensarling                                   Chairman Financial Services

Pete Sessions                                     Rules Committee

Dave Camp                                         Chairman Ways & Means Committee

Paul Ryan                                            Chairman Budget Committee

Lamar Smith                                       Texas Representative

Doc Hastings                                      Region I Representative

Tom Latham                                       Region II Representative

John Shimkus                                     Region III Representative

Mike Rogers                                       Region IV Representative

Bill Shuster                                         Region V Representative

Pat Tiberi                                            Region VI Representative

Steve Scalise                                      Region VII Representative

Lynn Westmoreland                        Region VIII Representative

Bob Goodlatte                                   Region IX Representative

Ken Calvert                                        Region X Representative

Jeff Miller                                           Region XI Representative

Cynthia Lummis                                Small State Representative

Joe Heck                                            112th Class Representative

Richard Hudson                               113th Class Representative

As you can see, more than half the votes are already selected by leadership.  As such, conservatives see no purpose in running for the 11-12 regional representative spots because they will inevitably be outnumbered.  Also, in past years, when conservatives tried to run for regional rep slots, leadership shifted around the regions to preclude them from getting on the committee.

It’s interesting to note that the representative from the class of 2010 is Joe Heck, one of the most liberal members.  The representative for the incoming freshman class is…..Cantor’s altar boy, representative-elect Richard Hudson (NC-8).

The other peculiar thing is that Steve Scalise is on the committee.  In past years, leadership has refused to put the RSC chairman on the committee, even though he commands the largest caucus in the House.  Yet this year, Scalise, the incoming chairman, made his way onto the committee.

Folks, this is just the beginning, and these people need to hear from all of us.  Please call these members and ask them how they feel about conservative Reps. Schweikert, Amash, and Huelskamp being thrown off their committees.  Ask them if they were a part of the decision.  Steve Scalise, as the incoming leader of conservatives, should be leading the charge on the committee against the purge.  It would be interesting to get his take on yesterday’s developments.

This is just the opening salvo in a long war.  House leaders have made it clear that they will punish conservatives for standing by their election promises.  All conservatives in the House need to band together on this because anyone could be next.

Ultimately, there’s only one way to win this.  We must overwhelm them with greater numbers in congressional primaries.

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