Unfortunately for Congress, the victims were among the most well-rounded conservatives in the House: champions like Reps. David Schweikert (Ariz.), Walter Jones (N.C.), Justin Amash (Mich.), and Tim Huelskamp (Kans.).
For members like Huelskamp, who have consistently held the line on taxes and spending, the penalty was particularly severe. Not only did he lose his spot on the House Budget Committee, but the GOP robbed him of his post on Agriculture, a purely punitive decision given Huelskamp’s farm-filled Kansas district.
Like the other targets, Huelskamp is being marginalized for choosing voters over the party line. By taking members like Huelskamp to the woodshed, the Steering Committee is also showing other conservatives what’s in store if they buck leadership.