House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), at the urging of some of his rank and file members, will punish Republican House members who rebelled on trade resolutions, removing four conservatives from their leadership positions.
"The fact is, we've got more than 200 rank-and-file members who are royally pissed off at those guys for voting against the rule," a top leadership aide told the Washington Examiner. "There's plenty of anger to go around, but the large majority of it is from members who believe much more punishment should be doled out. This is member driven, not leadership driven."
On June 12, 33 House Republicans voted against rules for bringing the Trade Promotion Authority, also known as “fast track," to a vote. TPA allows the president to submit trade bills to Congress for an up or down vote, bypassing the amendment process. The measure was largely supported by GOP lawmakers and opposed by Democrats. But it took eight Democratic votes to pass.
"I think it just got to the point where an awful lot of people were saying, geez, they go out and they openly vote against the leadership and the rest of the Republicans, and nothing ever happens to them," Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), a close Boehner ally, told the Washington Examiner. "I think it was a lot of us pounding on leadership, saying you have to put some discipline back in our conference."
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) was removed from his House Oversight subcommittee chairmanship overseeing government operations. Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) was reportedly set to be ousted from his post as GOP freshman class president. However, he will maintain his position, The Hill newspaper reported.
"This was a vote by a lot of people that was trying to say to leadership, open this process up and let Democrats and Republicans come up with some ideas for this," Buck told the Examiner.
This post was updated to report that Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) will maintain his position as GOP freshman class president.