So apparently Justin Amash, a Congressman from Michigan with fairly strict libertarian budget views, was kicked off the House Budget Committee last night by the GOP Leadership. He's not very happy.
(emphasis is mine).
Rumor has it that I’ve been removed from the House Committee on the Budget. Remarkably, I still have not received a single call, e-mail, or text from Republican leadership confirming this story. In fact, I wouldn’t even have learned about it if not for the news reports. I look forward to hearing from my party’s leadership about why my principled, conservative voting record offends them. That’s sure to be a lively and entertaining conversation.I actually respect principled libertarian views (as much as I disagree with them) more than I do the blatant corporatism that plagues 90% of the GOP. But watching the GOP implode is fun, and something tells me there will be a lot more of this in the coming year. Grab the popcorn.
In the meantime, I can only speculate as to what specifically would make Republican leadership punish several of its party’s most principled members. Rep. Tim Huelskamp, who was kicked off of both Budget and the Committee on Agriculture, voted with me against the 2013 House budget resolution because it does not sufficiently address the federal government’s debt crisis. That was one of only three times during this Congress that I voted against the Chairman’s recommendations in committee. In fact, I voted with the Republican Chairman more than 95% of the time, and I have voted with my party’s leadership more than three-quarters of the time on the House floor.
What message does leadership’s heavy-handedness send? It says that independent thinking won’t be tolerated, not even 5% of the time. It says that voting your conscience won’t be respected. It says that fulfilling your commitment to your constituents to work with both Republicans and Democrats to reduce our debt takes a back seat to the desires of corporate special interests. And, most troubling for our party, it says to the growing number of young believers in liberty that their views are not welcome here.
I’ll miss working with my colleagues on Budget. I don’t relish this situation, but if one thing is clear based on the response from the grassroots, it’s that leadership’s actions will backfire. If they think kicking me off of a committee will lead me to abandon my principles or stifle my bipartisan work toward a balanced budget, I have a message for them: You’re dead wrong.
Oh yeah, in case you haven't seen yet: Rep: Tim Huelskamp yesterday:
“No good deed goes unpunished,” Huelskamp said at a Heritage Foundation event. “We were not notified about what might occur but it confirms in my mind the deepest suspicions that most Americans have about Washington D.C: it’s petty, it’s vindictive, and if you have conservative principles you will be punished.”They are imploding. Now is the time for progressive Democrats to really stand up and fight for issues that haven't been fought aggressively: universal healthcare, an end to the drug war, the environment, etc.