Ag Policy Blog
Chris Clayton DTN Ag Policy Editor

Saturday 12/08/12

Huelskamp Has Lost Committee Job Before

One of the biggest stories this week among aggies in Washington was the ouster of Kansas Republican Tim Huelskamp from the House Agriculture Committee.

Huelskamp fed the story by taking a defiant stance in criticizing House leaders. All this stuff gets heavy play with the Capitol Hill press when there isn't a lot else to report on.

One of the elements not often mentioned in the Beltway articles about Huelskamp's removal is that he has been fired from committee assignments before. The Topeka Capital-Journal reported in 2010 about Huelskamp's removal from the Kansas Senate Ways and Means Committee. The issue was raised in the six-way Republican primary race that year for the Kansas 1st Congressional District. As the article reported, fellow Republicans challenged Huelskamp's claims in a political ad regarding why was kicked off the committee. Huelskamp claimed then he faced retribution for "bucking the establishment and fighting wasteful spending," the article states.

Other officeholders, however, called Huelskamp an obstructionist who wouldn't work with other lawmakers or leadership. http://cjonline.com/…

Huelskamp still won the GOP primary by 10 percentage points and 9,500 votes over the next contender. The First District in Kansas is one of the most Republican districts in the country and steeped in tradition for grooming GOP senators, including Bob Dole and both of Kansas' current Senate delegation, Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran.

Huelskamp drew no opposition for election in 2012, allowing him to spend the final weeks of the election to criticize some Obama administration initiative such as reducing calorie counts in school lunches. Students in school districts across the country have used social media to protest the changes, prompting significant criticism from some lawmakers. Huelskamp and Iowa Rep. Steve King had helped lead that push.

The congressman was vocal this week that House leaders removed him and three other GOP representatives from their committee assignments for not being obedient. Huelskamp lost his job on the Budget Committee as well. http://dld.bz/…

Ag policy wonks noted this was the first time since Kansas joined the union that the state didn't have a member on the House Ag Committee. Yet, as the High Plains Journal reported, Huelskamp still has critics at home over his style and now likely will face an election challenge in 2014. http://dld.bz/…

Perhaps it was simply coincidence or it was a message sent to Huelskamp, but when House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., issued a news release announcing seven new members of the committee this week, he left open one more seat as "vacancy" as if it said Huelskamp was removed from the committee for a player to be named later.

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Posted at 11:17AM CST 12/08/12 by Chris Clayton
Comments (1)
Do not know the details, but do know that when all on a committee or board, all vote one way or another, most of the time,, democracy is not working.
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 5:51PM CST 12/08/12
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