House Republican leaders used a secret criteria list to decide which conservatives to purge from powerful House committees, Breitbart News has learned. As this time, it appears they will keep the criteria list hidden from the public, too. Spokespeople for members of House GOP leadership have refused to discuss details about the list on the record with press. Because GOP Leadership won't discuss the list, it’s unclear what specific criteria the list contained and how much of a role it played in the conservative purge. It’s also unclear which member of House Republican leadership initiated this process.
In remarks to the Heritage Foundation’s Bloggers Briefing on Tuesday, Kansas Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp confirmed the existence of such a list.
“We’ve heard from multiple sources that someone walked in with a list of votes and said if you didn’t reach a particular scorecard of what was considered the right vote – which by the way, in most cases, was not the conservative position – then [they said] ‘we’re going to have to remove you from the committee,’” Huelskamp said.
“All that took place behind closed doors, which is again a problem with Washington, D.C. – whether it’s the budget negotiations, whether it’s everything else, it’s usually done behind closed doors," he explained. "I think, as conservatives, this is where we can win: We’ve got to be willing and able to talk about things in public instead of being afraid of actual public scrutiny.”
Huelskamp later told Breitbart News he thinks House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Whip Kevin McCarthy owe it to the American people to be transparent about this decision making process – and that they should publicly release the list.
“In the name of transparency and openness, they most certainly should release the criteria,” Huelskamp said in an email. “Republican leadership promised America a new era of transparency – they should deliver on it.”
Huelskamp was one of four conservative Republicans that GOP leadership removed from committees on which they’d have the ability to affect fiscal policy. He and Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash were pulled from the House Budget Committee and Reps. David Schweikert of Arizona and Walter Jones of North Carolina got yanked off the House Financial Services Committee.
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