John Boehner Has Started Purging Fiscal Hawks From House Committees

December 4, 2012

Three conservative House deficit hawks were stripped of their committee seats Monday for not being "team players" - a power move by House Republican John Boehner as he tries to quell dissension among rank-and-file members. 

NBC News reports that the House Republican Steering Committee has purged Reps. Justin Amash (R-MI) and Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) from their seats on the House Budget Committee, and Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ) from the Financial Services Committee. 

The ousted congressmen are all far right-wing deficit hawks, and have each butted heads with the Republican Establishment over government spending and the federal deficit. All three members were part of a small group of Republicans who voted against House Budget Chair Paul Ryan's budget proposal, which they said did not go far enough to bring down the national debt. 

The purge sends a clear warning from Boehner that the Republican leadership will not tolerate inter-GOP squabbling as the budget negotiations heat up over the fiscal cliff - but there are signs that the iron-fist approach may backfire. Conservative groups, already displeased by the GOP's initial fiscal cliff counter-offer, slammed Boehner for the move Tuesday.

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