Thursday, December 06, 2012

Justin Amash (R-MI) Rages Against The Machine... For Real, Not The Phony Paul Ryan Way


Not really-- unless they meant Justin Amash's & Tim Huelskamp's jobs

Soon after Alan Grayson was reelected I mentioned to him that now that his bipartisan pal Ron Paul was retiring, he might look up a young, independent-minded libertarian congressman from western Michigan, Justin Amash. Earlier this year we saw that Amash, who was reelected, was perhaps the only Republican running anywhere who was actually better than his Democratic opponent. But that isn't why I was suggesting Grayson look him up. Amash is wrong on a lot of basic stuff-- as Ron Paul was-- but, like Paul, he's a guy with principles and is also correct on a lot of stuff, including some of the issues that seem most important to Grayson. Let's face it, if you're a basically conciliatory guy the way Grayson is, and you want to work across the aisle-- the way Grayson did with Ron Paul when they decided to audit the Fed, where do you turn? Certainly not to the corporate whores who run the GOP.

I don't know if Grayson ever reached Amash or not but he's probably been reading a lot about him this week or, more to the point, about how Boehner, Cantor and Ryan, have decided to make an example of him by kicking him off his committee for being too independent, just what people most admire him for! In a report by Molly Hooper in Wednesday's Hill, there is confirmation that Boehner kicked Amash and 3 other conservatives off their committees as a warning to the GOP zombies that Big Brother is watching and that if they step out of line, they'll be dealt with harshly:
According to Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.), one of the lawmakers denied a spot on his current committee in the next Congress, Boehner "did note that 'we [leadership] have punished four members,' he claimed that it had nothing to do with their conservative ideology, but had to do with their voting patterns."

Also removed from committee spots were Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Walter Jones (R-N.C.) and David Schweikert (Ariz.).

Huelskamp added that Boehner warned GOP lawmakers that "there may be more folks that will be targeted ... 'we're watching all your votes'."

"It was a message to the Republican conference in general, especially the comment today that there may be more punishment coming if you don’t vote the right way,” Huelskamp said

...Huelskamp addressed the conference, receiving, he said, a "warm reception from some and silence from others," and requested that leaders provide "that list of votes used in the Steering Committee to reward or punish members."

Huelskamp said his request for committee votes was met by “stony silence” from leadership, and said Boehner’s refusal to release the votes was akin to stabbing him in the back.

“Where I come from in Kansas if you want to stab a guy you look him in the eye,” he said. “You don’t go behind a closed door.”

Huelskamp declined to say if he would vote for Boehner to retain his Speakership in January.

“The Fiesta Bowl with K-State is the same day,” he said, indicating that he may abstain.
Meanwhile Amash took to his very popular Facebook page and let it all hang out:
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.

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.
Sounds like young Justin isn't waiting for Fiesta Bowl to tell Boehner to stuff it.

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At 11:09 AM, Blogger Minnesota Central said...

Walter Jones is only a surprise because he is well established (working across party lines for years -- heck, I remember watching him testify on behalf of Tim Walz's STOCK Act which must have just angered Eric Cantor no end) but the freshman are interesting.

Representative Amash has been a wealth of knowledge with his Facebook postings explaining his reasoning behind his votes ... his core was consistent.

The reaction is not one that Speaker Boehner may like ... “I think it actually enhances my platform,” Amash said. “I think it gives me the opportunity to go out and, frankly, speak more freely about some of these issues where I’ve been more cautious because I’m a member of the Budget Committee.”

“It’s clear that this leadership team wants to tighten its grip on power,” he said. “They’re concerned that they have reasonable people on the committee, like me, doing what we were elected to do, which is fight the debt problem in this country and do it in a bipartisan way.”

Amash said he has received an outpouring of support following news of his removal.

“The calls in our office have been positive, positive toward me, that is, and angry over leadership’s decision,” Amash said.

“But we would expect that,” he added. “I’m independent, that’s why I’m elected, and I’m doing what I promised to do, which is work with both parties to deal with our debt crisis.”


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