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House GOP Leaders In Service To Big Business Again Attack Conservatives

Boehner McCarthy Scalise

The battle over granting Obama Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and Obama’s imminent plan to agree to the disastrous Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) global governance treaty has exposed just how deeply in thrall to Big Business are Speaker John Boehner and his House leadership team.

The battle over TPA and the rules for consideration and re-consideration of the trade bill package has rent the House Republican Conference and further alienated millions of populist conservative voters from the Republican Party.

But no matter, all Boehner and his allies seem to care about is granting Big Business a free hand to globalize the U.S. economy and the American workforce and in the process drive down the standard of living for America’s hard-pressed working families.

To overcome the opposition of conservative House members to this attack on the voters they were elected to represent, Boehner has conducted a scorched earth campaign that would have been considered to be an outrageous breach of House GOP Conference comity just a few years ago.

For the “crime” of voting their conscience, and the interests of the voters who sent them to Washington, Reps. Cynthia Lummis, Steve Pearce, and Trent Franks have been removed from the whip team after they sided with populist conservatives in the House and voted against Boehner and his Big Business paymasters on the rule governing debate on the trade bill package.

Lummis, a deputy whip and a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, was perhaps the whip team's highest-ranking bridge to the House Republican Conference's conservative members. Pearce and Franks also are very close to House conservatives says National Journal’s Daniel Newhauser.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise said earlier in the year that he would not tolerate members voting against rules and had already removed two other members close to the conservative movement; Reps. Jeff Duncan and Ron DeSantis.

"I think many of the people who voted against the rule felt it was inappropriate for our leadership to continue to negotiate with Democrats without negotiating with conservatives in the House," Rep. Raul Labrador said. "That's the failure of this leadership. ... They're not even aware of what's happening around them, and they need to be very careful about that," reported National Journal’s Newhauser.

And the retribution may not be over; Boehner-allied members have pushed committee chairs to remove “disloyal” members from subcommittee chairmanships as well. On Tuesday, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy met with GOP committee chairmen and the topic came up, but as of yet, no members have been stripped of their gavels, says Newhauser.

Several of the members who voted against the rule on Friday hold gavels, including Reps. Jim Bridenstine, Louie Gohmert, Mark Meadows, and John Fleming.

In a rational world House leaders would be “first among equals” and would build consensus among the House Republican Conference for major bills, such as TPA, TAA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. And if they couldn’t find consensus they would not proceed.

But the House Republican Conference under the “leadership” of John Boehner, Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise is not a rational world. Nor is it a place where the interests of the grassroots limited government constitutional conservatives who elect the majority of House Republicans are really represented.

Rather, it is a place where a small clique of oligarchs, Boehner, McCarthy, Scalise and their henchmen, such as Paul Ryan, dictate to the rest of the House Republicans what will happen, and punish them like children if they don’t knuckle-under.

Sooner or later conservatives must make a stand against this kind of “leadership” lest standing for principle on any issue that is at variance with the Big Business agenda becomes a firing offense and the House Republican Conference is reduced to being nothing more than a collection of toadies for the axis of Wall Street – Washington – Silicon Valley billionaires who are the invisible hands behind Boehner, McCarthy, Scalise and Ryan.

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