House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) have taken swift retribution against House members who dared to break ranks with “the team” on a rule vote for Trade Promotion Authority (Fast Track). On Monday, June 15, Scalise booted GOP Reps. Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.), Steve Pearce (N.M.) and Trent Franks (Ariz.) — all members of the House Freedom Caucus (HFC) — from the whip team.
Reps. Lummis and Franks both issued conciliatory statements saying they completely “respect” Chairman Scalise’s decision — perhaps to avoid further retribution. Rep. Pearce was less tilted toward appeasement. “Not much has changed in the House. I came here to represent the people of the Second Congressional District of New Mexico. That means considering each vote on its merits and striving to do the right thing for them,” Pearce said in a statement. “Sometimes that demands casting hard votes, as I did last week. I always strive to vote on principle and that won’t change.”
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told Congressional Quarterly Roll Call that it was “unfortunate” HFC members were getting booted from the whip team. “I think it’s wrong,” he said.
Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) is another HFC member who was among the 34 House Republicans voting against the TPA rule. He sees the Boehner-Scalise revenge going deeper and attacking their donor base. “Because voting against the rule is almost like a capital crime here, and we know what’s going to happen to us,” Labrador told Congressional Quarterly Roll Call. “We know that the leadership is going to come against us, we know that they’re already telling our donors not to give money to us, which, by the way, I think is unethical. We know exactly what they’re doing.”
According to Labrador, there is mounting dissatisfaction with the current House GOP leadership’s iron-fisted rule. “That’s not leadership,” Labrador said. “That’s tyranny.”
On Tuesday, in his weekly conference with House Republicans, Speaker John Boehner gave a tongue lashing to those who had voted against the trade rule the previous Thursday. “I made it pretty clear to the members today I was not very happy about it,” Boehner told reporters after the closed-door meeting at the Capitol Hill Club. “You know, we’re a team. And we’ve worked hard to get the majority; we’ve worked hard to stay in the majority.”
“And I expect our team to act like a team, and frankly, I made it pretty clear I wasn’t very happy,” he added.
In the meeting, Boehner told his fellow Republicans it was “nonsense” that some of them had voted against leadership, according to The Hill, which quoted an unnamed GOP lawmaker who was in the room.
Team Obama-Boehner-Wall Street
But, to which “team” is Speaker Boehner referring? Quite obviously he, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the other GOP Congressional leaders have teamed up with the Obama White House, Goldman Sachs and other corporate globalists to foist the secret, sovereignty-destroying TPP/TTIP/TISA treaties on the American people before they find out about them and develop widespread organized opposition. However, the outrageous lengths to which Team Obama-Boehner-McConnell has gone to keep these agreements secret and to rush them through Congress has, in the end, worked to stir public anger and unify resistance across the political spectrum. The defeat of the Trade Promotion Authority/Trade Adjustment Assistance package in the House last week, and the failure of Obama, Boehner, Scalise, and company to twist enough arms or bribe enough support for a revote on Tuesday is a hopeful sign that more members of Congress are Choosing Team America over Team Obama-Boehner-McConnell.
Photo of Rep. John Boehner: AP