A conversation with one of the purged, Rep. Justin Amash.
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Q: Justin, how did this whole story develop for you?
JA: On Monday morning, I heard about Schweikert being removed from his committee. A couple of hours later, I heard the same from Huelskamp, directly from him. I then started to wonder “Who else are they going after?” That’s when I saw a news report saying that I was being removed from the Budget Committee. But the entire day I didn’t get a call from anyone about what my committee assignments would be or why I might have been removed from the Budget Committee.
By Tuesday afternoon, I still hadn’t received any word from leadership. Wednesday was the first day I spoke with leadership about my committee assignments, and I approached them.
Q: What was their explanation for why you were removed from the committee?
JA: You get conflicting stories. They insist that it’s not because of the votes, and not because of my philosophy. But there is no clear, consistent message about why I was removed from Budget.
Q: What’s your guess?
JA: I think it’s my votes, in general, when it comes to fiscal issues.
(As of this interview, Amash does not believe anyone but Huelskamp and he were removed from the Budget Committee. News stories say that only four Republicans were moved off of committees they wanted to be on, and Huelskamp and Amash are the only two in those stories who are on Budget.)
Q: What do you believe is leadership’s motivation?
JA: By going after a couple of us, they send a message to all of us: Watch out!
Q: What has been the response from your constituents and your fellow House Republicans?
JA: My constituents have been extremely supportive. We’ve been receiving calls, as well as Facebook and Twitter messages around the clock. Virtually all of them are supportive. It’s no surprise because I ran as an independent thinker who would work to reduce our debt.
From my colleagues, I’ve heard very encouraging words of support. It’s pretty clear to me that leadership has upset quite a few members of the Republican conference with their actions.
Q: So what is really going on here?
JA: Unbeknownst to us, leadership has been keeping some kind of scorecard. We don’t know the details of it. We don’t know which votes they’re including. It seems to me that voting in a conservative way is marked as a negative score, and voting in a big-government way is marked as a positive score. You don’t see people being targeted who are a problem from the left flank of the party.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?