Why one GOP freshman exited the House whip team

posted at 7:40 pm on July 22, 2011 by Tina Korbe

This morning, Politico reported in its mass “Huddle” e-mail that House Republican leadership kicked one freshman Congressman — Arizona Rep. David Schweikert — off the whip team for supposedly switching his vote on an unspecified piece of legislation. Actually, a source close to Schweikert’s office says, that’s not quite accurate.

This is what the Politico e-mail said:

HUDDLE SCOOP: FROSH KICKED OFF WHIP TEAM – Rep. David Schweikert, a freshman from Arizona, was removed from the Republican whip team — the group of lawmakers who help round up votes for the leadership — for what sources say is a violation of the first rule of the whip club. The rule: Don’t promise to vote one way and then vote the other way. Sources declined to specify which vote cost Schweikert his seat at the table, but he did vote ‘no’ on the Energy and Water Appropriations bill last Friday. Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam pointed Huddle to Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy’s office when asked about the episode. ‘This is a whip team family issue,” McCarthy spokeswoman Erica Elliott said.

It’s true Schweikert — ranked one of the most conservative freshmen in the House — has disagreed with leadership on various issues. And he did feel unwelcome on the whip team, the source says, but the decision to leave was ultimately his.

“He’s been pretty clear and pretty adamant that nobody can buy his vote, so he was a little frustrated with the way leadership asked him to vote on certain occasions,” the source said. “So, he decided it would be best for him to step out and leave the whip team because he couldn’t align with them in certain areas. In no way, shape or form did leadership kick him out, but they made it a pretty inhospitable environment for him to actually vote his conscience and not buy his vote on the whip team. He still supports top leadership.”

Schweikert will also still remain an involved freshman. He’s the vice chairman of the Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee of Financial Services and he’s been “working night and day on reforming GNCs,” as well as on efforts to reform the Dodd-Frank financial regulation legislation (itself supposedly a reform bill!).

He’s also focused on ensuring the best possible outcome of the debt negotiations. Even after the Senate failed Cut, Cap and Balance, Schweikert supports it as the House plan.

“He is focused solely on Cut, Cap and Balance,” the source said. “He hopes he can still play a role in working with leadership and other freshmen that want to get the message out that the Democrats have misled the American people and the president has no plan for the country.”


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Can we clone more of this “renegade”?

honsy on July 22, 2011 at 7:43 PM

Establishment RINO House Leadership in a tiff again because their time is at an end.

Nothing to see here – just more death throes from the same old fat politicians.

Who won’t be there anyway after 2012 when we primary their asses out.

HondaV65 on July 22, 2011 at 7:44 PM

Stick to your principles so you can keep your soul.

ajacksonian on July 22, 2011 at 7:45 PM

And we send representatives to DC to represent our ideals…riiiight?

katy on July 22, 2011 at 7:48 PM

You know what I’d like to know… I’d like to know who Rep Schweikertis supporting for POTUS.

JohnGalt23 on July 22, 2011 at 7:59 PM

Tina, Ed, et al.

I have already been counseled twice at work for laughing out loud (loudly) at my work station. Please inform the commenter’s that my job is on the line and tell them to knock it off. Aside from my sides hurting all the time when I’m reading the (most awesome) comments at Hot Air, my productivity has really suffered. Please help.

obleo on July 22, 2011 at 8:01 PM

…I admit, I was a little bit skeptical of him when I voted for him (though just about anyone would have been better than Harry Mitchell). I’m feeling much better about electing him now.

Jinxed on July 22, 2011 at 8:16 PM

“The first rule of Fight Club…”

Dandapani on July 22, 2011 at 9:31 PM

He’s gone rogue. Good for him!

SilentWatcher on July 22, 2011 at 9:52 PM

McCarthy is a RINO turd. This incident showers praise on Schweikert.

rcl on July 22, 2011 at 10:11 PM

What, exactly, is it about “whip team” that Rep. Schweikert did not understand before he accepted the position?

HTL on July 22, 2011 at 10:39 PM

Good for him, we need to elect more like him!

IowaWoman on July 22, 2011 at 10:51 PM

David Schweikert future POTUS. Good job sir.

JustJP on July 22, 2011 at 11:12 PM

Dear Senator McCain,

This is what a ‘Maverick’ looks like, and how one acts.

Left Coast Right Mind on July 23, 2011 at 12:32 AM

Schweikert for Speaker!

leftnomore on July 23, 2011 at 12:41 AM

It’s becoming more evident every day that the “Old RINO’s” are as much in the tank for big government as the Democrats. Cocktail parties and Lobbyist (bribe) money rules the day.

RADIOONE on July 23, 2011 at 7:23 AM

Flush the RINOs 2012.

volsense on July 23, 2011 at 8:49 AM

If he can get rid of Dodd-Frank, especially that new bureaucracy implementing it, I don’t care where he sits.

Kissmygrits on July 23, 2011 at 9:08 AM

What, exactly, is it about “whip team” that Rep. Schweikert did not understand before he accepted the position?

He didn’t realize that he was supposed to whip them into voting for laws that were wrong for the country, I’m guessing.

jtdavies on July 23, 2011 at 11:11 AM

Before we attend his coronation, I’d like a few more details. For example, has he gone rogue-conservative or rogue-liberal? If the guy turns out to me another closet liberal (David Souter comes to mind), then premature kudos are not in order.

MaiDee on July 23, 2011 at 11:26 AM

He’s gone rogue. Good for him!

SilentWatcher on July 22, 2011 at 9:52 PM

Yes, Going Rogue is the right thing to do these days, if you want your integrity intact.

Before we attend his coronation, I’d like a few more details. For example, has he gone rogue-conservative or rogue-liberal? If the guy turns out to me another closet liberal (David Souter comes to mind), then premature kudos are not in order.

MaiDee on July 23, 2011 at 11:26 AM

He is pro-Israel, pro-2nd Amendment, pro-life. He declares repeatedly to end ALL entitlements and subsidies, rather than raise a dime in taxes. If you want details, they are insanely easy to find. Do yourself five minutes’ work, don’t take my word for it, or anyone else’s. Then do as this fine Representative has done, and vote your conscience.

Freelancer on July 24, 2011 at 2:44 AM

Schweikert is a patriot, something many Republicans are not, and something that describes no democrat, all of whom are traitors to the country.

proconstitution on July 24, 2011 at 1:49 PM