WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner decided to take plum committee assignments away from four conservative Republican lawmakers after they bucked party leaders on key votes.
The move is underscoring a divide in the Republican Party between tea party-supported conservatives and the House GOP leadership.
All four lawmakers had voted against the summer 2011 deal negotiated between Republican leaders and President Barack Obama for extending the government's ability to borrow money in exchange for $1 trillion in spending cuts and the promise of another $1 trillion in reduced deficits. Three of the four, the exception being Schweikert, voted against the Ryan-written GOP budget blueprint that the House passed last March.
Their removal from key committees with jurisdiction over the two issues was viewed by some as a signal to other Republican lawmakers to look favorably on whatever final deal Boehner and Obama put together to avert a "fiscal cliff" combination of automatic tax increases and spending cuts in January.