One of the nine House conservatives who voted to replace John Boehner as speaker – only to see the rebellion fail on the House floor – is pleading for supporters to send “emergency” contributions to his campaign committee, saying “Washington insiders are coming after me.”
“The moderate wing of the Republican Party is outraged – and they are swiftly retaliating against conservatives like me. But I will not be intimidated,” said Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kansas, in a fundraising appeal sent out Monday.
There was no immediate response from Boehner’s office.
Huelskamp, who arrived in Congress last session as part of the Tea Party wave, went on to insist that “millions of Americans from around our country are angry with the direction of the Congress under Speaker Boehner.”
“Like you,” he told his supporters, “I'm tired of Republicans who compromise with (President) Obama – and actually help pass tax increases with (House Minority Leader) Nancy Pelosi and (Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid.”
“Republicans must not settle for weak leadership,” he wrote, adding that “only a strong conservative Republican Party can stop the worst of (President) Obama's policies and turn our nation around.”
Huelskamp said his vote against a sitting Speaker of the House represented “a great risk,” and “they will punish me in every way they can.”
“But America is too important to be lost to overspending, high taxes, and big government. I refuse to stand by and allow our country to be destroyed,” Huelskamp wrote. “Leadership means you must take risks that aren't always so comfortable.”
Huelskamp does not note that even before Thursday’s vote he had been a target of a harsh line taken by Boehner and his leadership team. Huelskamp was one of four House Republicans – at least three of whom are conservatives – who were kicked off coveted committee posts in early December after butting heads with Boehner and other House GOP leaders over government spending and the federal deficit.