Rep. Tim Huelskamp has released a letter, written with two other members, asking for an explanation of their ouster from several House committees.
He may or not get the explanation. But further public wrestling with leadership probably makes it much less likely Huelskamp will regain his Agriculture seat, at least as long as John Boehner is speaker.
Here's the letter:
"Dear Speaker Boehner:
"We write to request a full and complete written explanation of the rationale for removing us from our current committee assignments, including any “scorecards” presented to the Steering Committee to justify our removals.
"On Monday, we learned that we had been removed from our committee assignments. Some of us learned of this news from a member of the Steering Committee; others never were officially informed and heard of the action from press accounts citing anonymous leadership staffers. To this date, no formal explanation has been given for the removal.
"After learning of our removal, it came to our attention that a scorecard was presented to the Steering Committee to make the case for our removal from those committees. On Wednesday morning, Mr. Huelskamp stood before the House Republican Conference and asked to see a copy of the scorecard used to remove us.
"Through this past term, we were not aware that any such scorecard existed, nor that the scores would cause us to be removed from committee assignments. We believe this would be valuable information for the entire Republican Conference to know, so that each Member can make a full and complete decision when casting votes in the future. It would also allow us to communicate to our constituents which votes caused us to be removed.
"Please provide a full and complete written explanation for our removal, including a copy of the scorecard presented to the Steering Committee meeting, by close of business Monday, December 10th."
Here's Huelskamp's letter asking for reinstatement to Budget, Ag committees:
Dear Speaker Boehner,
I note that the Steering Committee has yet to fill the available seats on the Agriculture or Budget Committees. I respectfully renew my request to be appointed to a seat on each when the Steering Committee reconvenes.
The Agriculture and Budget Committees fall directly within my areas of expertise.
I am a fifth-generation farmer, earned a Ph.D. in Agriculture policy-making from American University, and represent one of the most productive agricultural districts in the country. The Big First - home to two past chairman of the Committee, including Senator Pat Roberts, as well as Senator Jerry Moran and Senator Bob Dole - will no longer be permitted a voice on the panel after more than 50 consecutive years of representation.
I served as a Budget Analyst in New Mexico, 14 years in the Kansas State Senate and two years on the House Budget Committee. I offer nearly 20 years of budget research, development, and leadership to the Budget Committee. I led efforts to reform Medicaid in Kansas and called for entitlement reform in Washington – as lead sponsor of nutrition program block grant legislation and lead co-sponsor of Medicaid block grant legislation.
Thank you for your consideration to reinstate my committee assignments.
Sincerely, Tim Huelskamp