House Speaker John Boehner continues to punish GOP members of Congress who break ranks.
Last week, 34 conservative Republicans voted against a procedural rule that would have advanced the vote on Trade Promotion Authority. President Obama has sought to re-establish so-called “fast-track” negotiation authority, which requires Congress to approve or disapprove a trade deal within a certain time frame, without amendments. The move is seen as critical for the approval of the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement later this year.
Today, Congress voted to grant that authority to the president for another six years.
Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., was among the 34 who voted against the procedural rule last week. He was chairman of the Government Operations subcommittee; however, after the vote, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, gave Meadows the option of resigning his position or being fired.
Boehner when questioned about the move said: “I think the chairman made the right decision.” He added: “I made it clear to the members I supported that decision and I don’t think I need to say a whole lot more. But I’m sure the family conversation will continue.”
“In the wake of the procedural vote on Trade Promotion Authority, Reps. Trent Franks of Arizona, Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming and Steve Pearce of New Mexico were removed from the GOP whip team. The members each defied House Republican leadership in voting against the deal,” according to the Daily Signal.
“[The speaker] signaled he has no plans ease up on lawmakers who stray on key votes,” the Washington Examiner reported. “We have a majority and when it comes to procedural votes in the House, the majority has to stick together and vote for…those procedural motions,” he said.
Boehner used the same word choice of having a “family conversation” after Reps. Justin Amash of Michigan, Tim Huelskamp of Kansas, David Schweikert of Arizona, and Walter Jones of North Carolina were kicked off their committees after they didn’t vote for him to be speaker during the 113th Congress.
The Daily Signal reports that this session, “Reps. Daniel Webster and Richard Nugent, both of Florida, were removed from the powerful Rules Committee after voting for other members during the speaker election in January.”
With regards to Nugent, “Campaign checks from corporate political action committees have all but dried up. GOP leaders have prohibited him from traveling on congressional trips overseas. Bills that Nugent has written have been snatched away and doled out to other members of the House Republican Conference,” according to Politico.
The House Freedom Caucus (made up of between 30 and 40 conservative lawmakers) met Tuesday night to discuss Meadows’ removal from his chairmanship. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, its chairman, recounted: “We had a good discussion. I’ll leave it at that,” regarding the House GOP leadership’s tactics.
The Freedom Caucus could make life difficult for Boehner when he seeks to move legislation that requires strong Republican support.
Meadows, who is a member of the caucus, said regarding his removal: “There is no honor in bowing to a bully.” He added: “There is only honor in fighting a good fight—win or lose. This is not a fight I will back down from.”
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth