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.