by Rachel Alexander | March 29, 2015 11:53 am
It should come as no surprise to anyone that Speaker John Boehner is retaliating against one of the few conservative members of Congress who dared to stand up to him. Not only has Gohmert bucked him on compromise votes, but he dared to stand up against him when Boehner ran for reelection as Speaker. 
Roll Call reports,
According to Gohmert’s office, the Texas Republican was slated to travel with California Republican Dana Rohrabacher “to meet with their friend,” Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. “But his participation was disapproved after all arrangements were made,” his communications director, Kimberly Willingham, told CQ Roll Call.
Willingham added that Gohmert was also scheduled to travel to Africa with Sen. James M. Inhofe, R-Okla., and others on a military plane. “But the speaker’s office disapproved the trip,” Willingham said.
During his customary floor remarks Thursday after the House finished its legislative business for the week, Gohmert spoke about the unrest in the Middle East and Obama administration policies that he felt were a slap in the face for Israel and the country’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Gohmert suggested it was important to talk to foreign leaders involved in the Middle East, but he said he could no longer do that “because the speaker won’t allow me to go overseas to talk to them.”
“I’m fine with that,” Gohmert said. “Because he canceled my trip this weekend, I’m going to be on Fox News, so thank you, Mr. Speaker.”
The move isn’t unprecedented. Just a few weeks ago, Iowa Republican Steve King reported that Boehner cancelled his diplomatic trip as payback for King’s opposition to a “clean” Department of Homeland Security funding bill.
Boehner has previously maintained that retribution doesn’t work against members who frequently oppose Republican plans. But that doesn’t seem to have stopped him from making a few examples of members. In the 114th Congress alone, Boehner swiftly kicked Florida Republicans Daniel Webster and Rich Nugentoff the Rules Committee, and, even before the speaker vote had taken place in Congress, Randy Weber, R-Texas, said he had been removed as a sponsor of a bill in retaliation for supporting Gohmert for speaker.
Conservative members have also expressed frustration over recent ads against certain members by a moderate Republican group, American Action Network. That group is led, in part, by a former chief of staff to Boehner, Barry Jackson.
The old guard in Congress will do anything to protect their leadership positions. Any reformer who dares take them on is smacked down. Meanwhile, the corruption continues. The old guard is clever and so far is winning. It’s sheer greed – who would want to give up power, fame and money? Let’s hope that guys like Rep. Gohmert stick it out and don’t give up. Sadly, the greedy aristocrats make the lives of the reformers so miserable that many eventually decide not to run for reelection.
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