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Boiling over

"Boiling over" Continued...

Huelskamp said Republican leaders removed him from the committee assignments to send a message to the rest of the Republicans that they better get in line. Huelskamp pledged to his constituents that he would not raise taxes, and he confirmed on Wednesday that he would not back off that pledge.

“I would say there’s a lot of folks up here that it’s not necessarily about principles,” he said. “It is about politics. It is about personalities, and it’s oftentimes about partisanship.”

Still, Huelskamp would not answer questions about supporting any challenge to Boehner’s speakership next year. Boehner must be reelected speaker by the new Congress. In fact, none of the vocal conservatives were willing to call outright for removing the speaker’s gavel from Boehner.

“I don’t have faith in too many people in Washington, D.C., because there is not much courage in Washington, D.C.,” said Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho. “But I think that Speaker Boehner is doing the best he can with the hand that he has been dealt.”

Despite all the verbal bombs being lobbed, any conservative faction in the House likely will not be able to amass the votes necessary to knock Boehner out of the speaker’s chair. But at the end of their first two-year terms on Capitol Hill some of the initially heralded 87 GOP freshmen class are beginning to publicly reveal their long simmering frustrations over business as usual in Washington. The growing tensions within the Republican Party will be a key story line heading into the next congressional session.

Edward Lee Pitts
Edward Lee Pitts

Lee teaches journalism at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, and is the associate dean of the World Journalism Institute.

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