In a speech to the House of Representatives in January 2011, then newly-elected Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) vowed that he would “renew focus on the Constitution.” Then, on Tuesday, Boehner demonstrated his lack of fidelity to that promise by politically ostracizing two of the most staunch constitutionalists in the House.
Representatives Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) and Justin Amash (R-Mich.) were booted from the Budget Committee — likely a result of the two congressmen’s record of opposing the Speaker on key fiscal issues. Last year, for example, Huelskamp and Amash voted against raising the debt ceiling and are adamantly opposed to any tax increases.
And earlier this year, Huelskamp and Amash cast the only House Budget Committee votes against Paul Ryan’s budget plan that was the darling of Republicans, including Boehner.
For his part, self-described “conservative” John Boehner not only voted to increase the federal debt limit, but has now embraced tax hikes as a means of avoiding falling off the “fiscal cliff.”
Huelskamp released a statementfollowing Boehner’s decision to remove him from the House Budget Committee:
It is little wonder why Congress has a 16 percent approval rating: Americans send principled representatives to change Washington and get punished in return.
The GOP leadership might think they have silenced conservatives, but removing me and others from key committees only confirms our conservative convictions. This is clearly a vindictive move, and a sure sign that the GOP Establishment cannot handle disagreement.
Huelskamp added that he “is not ashamed” of his staunch conservative stance on the issues.
Amash described Boehner’s action as a “slap in the face” to the libertarian wing of the Republican Party. “For a party that’s trying to expand its base and make sure it reaches out to young people and new groups, I think it’s pretty outrageous,” Amash said during a speech at the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday.
Party Over Principle: Boehner Boots Conservatives off Budget Committee