Fox News
December 06, 2012

Conservative House members being punished by GOP leadership?

Guests: Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kas.; Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich.

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," December 6, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: My next two guests say they were ousted by Speaker John Boehner from key committee posts in the House for their conservative views and votes against the party leadership. Now, the speaker's office is in fact denying this was an act of retaliation, saying their conservatism has nothing do with it and that the decision was based on, quote, "a range of factors."

Here to explain what exactly they think are going on and why, Kansas Congressman Tim Huelskamp is with us and from Michigan, we have Congressman Justin Amash is here.

All right, Congressman Huelskamp, let me start with you. Because you were quoted saying, in fact, you believe this was directly related to votes you had given. You brought this up in conference yesterday, what were you told in conference?

REP. TIM HUELSKAMPM, R-KAN.: Well, we were ignored. I asked for a list of the votes by which they used to make this decision and indeed there was a list, a litmus test, and it wasn't provided yet. I think many of my colleagues are outraged because the vote is sacred. I mean, we don't turn that over to anybody in Washington and clearly I voted against the debt deal. I voted against a number of these budgets, I voted against these bills that didn't solve our spending problem.

And that's where I've been most critical, where we are headed in Washington, but that's why I ran. My folks sent me up to change Washington before it changes me, and now we get punished by getting taken off committees that are very important to Kansas.

HANNITY: So you are basically saying that this is a result of your conservatism and this is only happening -- I also read tonight the speaker said, there might be more of this. We are going to be watching your votes closely. Was that said?

HUELSKAMP: Yes, that was said, Sean. I was very disappointed in that. It was pretty clear there may be more, and that's not the way to run the House. And frankly, usually voting gets leadership is when they do things that were not conservative.

We can disagree on strategy and tactics, but we can't disagree on the fact we are spending too much money in Washington, we are about to jump over a fiscal cliff and we have the $16.3 trillion debt and they are focused on a few people that pointed out the problem.

HANNITY: Congressman Amash, what is your interpretation of this is what do you say to the speaker who is denying the votes have anything do with this?

REP. JUSTIN AMASH, R-MICH.: Thanks for having me on, Sean. It was pretty clear there was a scorecard. They haven't denied that, but they continue to insist that wasn't the reason. It doesn't make any sense to me. If there was scorecard, and we've heard there is, then show it to us. Let us see what the scorecard says.

And I will bet that the reason they don't want to show it, I think it's pretty obvious, that if you were fiscally responsible, you were docked on the scorecard. You were actually marked down in the Republican conference for being fiscally responsible. And we were sent here to represent the American people. The vast majority of Americans want us to come here and work together to balance the budget.

HANNITY: Congressman Huelskamp, I'm a conservative, I'm even registered conservative in New York. I'm not a registered Republican. And I believe with the Tea Party and limited government, I think the argument ought not be about which revenues we are going to raise, but it ought to be about cutting spending in Washington.

So as a conservative and the other conservatives in the country, what should they be thinking at this point in terms of are conservatives being punished in the House because if they are, I have a big problem with that.

HUELSKAMP: Sean, here's what I think is going to happen. I think the effort is underway. We have had members of leadership talk about tax increases. Friday I released a video. I meant it and reaffirmed my pledge not to raise tax. And less than one business day later is when I received word I had been removed from the committee. I this there's an effort and desire to raise tax necessary Washington D.C. and I expect that out of the president of the United States and Harry Reid, but I expect Republicans to reaffirm and hold to the pledge and 238 of us said don't raise taxes. I fear that's where they are headed.

HANNITY: But 16 Republican congressmen can hold up the speakership of Congressman Boehner. Is there a growing movement, Congressman Amash, in the Republican caucus?

AMASH: Well, I think there's a lot of unrest right now, a lot of unease, the speaker may have miscalculated here thinking it is just going to be a few of us concerned about it, but it's clear he made a threat to the rest of the conference.

And people aren't taking that very well. I've heard from people high up in the ranks who are saying, look, this is not the right way to run a conference. I think this is going to backfire on Speaker Boehner. And people who run a conference like this have to be very careful.

HANNITY: All right, gentlemen, both of you, thank you. We will continue to watch the story and we will reach out to the leadership and see if they will come on and answer some questions about this.

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