Conservative outsider elected to powerful House panel

A House political outsider is now an insider.

Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., whose brand of conservatism put him at odds with he leadership and got him kicked off key panels, is now a member of the powerful House Steering Committee.

Republicans elected Huelskamp to join the committee on Thursday, his office announced. He will fill one of six at-large positions on the committee, which helps decide who will serve as committee chairs.

"With these changes to the influential Steering Committee, my colleagues have sent a strong message that they're listening to the conservative heart of the party," Huelskamp said.