Rep. Justin Amash ousted from House Budget Committee

Dec 4, 2012

U.S. Representative Justin Amash of Cascade Township was one of four Republican congressman removed from prominent committees Monday by House Speaker John Boehner.

This “purge” of rebellious lawmakers is part of Boehner’s attempts to close ranks before looming negotiations on the fiscal cliff, Roll Call reports.

Amash told the Detroit Free Press that the ouster was a “slap in the face” to libertarians in the Republican Party:

“For a party that’s trying to expand its base and make sure it reaches out to young people and new groups, I think it’s pretty outrageous,” Amash said.

Amash begins a second term in Congress in January, having established a reputation as an independent whose focus was cutting spending and limiting the role of government.

A New York Times profile from April 2011 called Amash the “most contrarian” freshman lawmaker in Congress, citing a voting record that often clashed with Republican leadership.

The Times reports that it is a habit Amash developed in the Michigan Legislature, where he became known as “Mr. No.”

Amash has drawn particular criticism for voting against the budget proposed by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, and against the continuing resolution that is currently funding government activities through March 27.

Other lawmakers ousted include Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas from the Budget Committee, and Reps. David Schweikert of Arizona and Walter Jones of North Carolina from the Financial Services Committee.

- Jordan Wyant, Michigan Radio Newsroom