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GOP Leadership Retaliation Against Conservatives Continues

Rep. Alex Mooney

Conservative freshman Congressman Alex Mooney of West Virginia is the latest Member of Congress who voted against the rule for Obama’s Trade Promotion Authority bill to face retaliation from the House leadership.

Mooney, who according to The Hill worked as a legislative aide to Boehner 20 years ago, was one of 34 Republicans who voted against the Boehner-backed rule in June, a move that nearly derailed the trade package.

In a letter obtained by The Hill, Mooney accused Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) of deliberately excluding him as a co-sponsor of a bill to help Medicare-eligible diabetes patients gain coverage for glucose monitors.

“I understand that you and other supporters of the [diabetes bill] are concerned about having me as a cosponsor because I voted against … the rule on the Trade Promotion Authority legislation last month,” Mooney wrote Reed in the letter. “I think it is important that Members of Congress be allowed to vote with their conscience without it negatively impacting our ability to work together.”

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) all received copies of the letter as well.

After the letter was leaked to the media Mooney softened his claims of retaliation ever so slightly.

In a phone interview with The Hill’s Scott Wong, Mooney said it wasn't his intention to imply in his letter that leadership was retaliating against him. And he said he had a good conversation with Reed on the House floor.

“He is still considering my request,” Mooney said. “The point of the letter was to tell him why [the bill] is important to me and my district. At this point, I think he is still considering putting me on the bill.”

Wong reports that other rank-and-file Republicans have privately said they fear their bills may not see floor action if they allow Tea Party insurgents to sign on as co-sponsors. So Mooney’s suspicion that he’s been blacklisted isn’t completely unfounded. Some conservative Republicans have complained that leaders have blocked their legislation from the floor after they challenged the top brass says Wong. 

Boehner and other leaders were furious at the conservative rebels and the shot against Mooney isn’t the only documented example of leadership retaliation against conservatives who vote their conscience on bad bills. Three lawmakers were booted from the GOP whip team for voting against the rule. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) was stripped of his subcommittee gavel, though he later got it back after an outcry from conservatives.

The Hill’s Scott Wong reports that outside groups called on Boehner and his allies to end the punishment of conservative lawmakers.

“Speaker Boehner’s apparent directive to prevent conservatives from co-sponsoring bills that would help their constituents is just the latest example of a failing leadership team,” said David Bossie, president of the conservative group Citizens United. “I urge Congressman Reed to reconsider this petty act of retaliation over a vote of conscience.”

We agree with our friend David Bossie of Citizens United. The Capitol Switchboard is 1-866-220-0044; we urge you to call Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Republican Whip Steve Scalise to tell them to end the harassment of conservatives who vote their conscience. 

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GOP retailation against conservatives

I left the "Jack Ass Party" after it was taken over by Socialists, Communists,ECO-Terrorists, Unborn child killers, Rainbow People, non-breeders, malcontents and Immigrants that refuse to assimilate and or want to change our country into a fiscal and moral bankrupt entity.

I left the GOP because they don't represent the middle class or the working poor, only the residents of K Street in Washington D.C. and their selves.

I am only one of the "Silent Majority" that feel hopeless and helpless. We saw that many of these citizens did not vote in the last presidential election.

It's time for Boehner to resign

After the kerfuffle over Mark Meadows I wrote a blog post argueing that it is time for conservatives to stop demanding that Boehner stop punishing them and start demanding that he resign as Speaker. That's the only way that the punishments will end.