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Weber, Backing Gohmert Over Boehner, Says ‘Retaliation’ Has Begun (Updated)

Weber says Boehner is punishing him. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Weber says Boehner is punishing him. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:18 p.m. | The 114th Congress is barely underway, but Randy Weber, R-Texas, says he’s already paying a price for making known his intentions to vote against another term in leadership for Speaker John A. Boehner.  

Weber, who backed the long-shot speakership bid of fellow Texan Rep. Louie Gohmert over Boehner, has been removed as the lead sponsor of a nuclear energy bill expected to brought to the floor in the 114th. During a small meeting Tuesday of about 10 members of the Texas delegation to discuss the speaker’s race,  Science, Space and Technology Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, told Weber the speaker’s office had called and said Weber could not be the sponsor of that legislation, Weber told CQ Roll Call before the speaker vote this afternoon.  

“You know, I’ve already been retaliated against. I’ve been taken off of a bill,” Weber said. “The retaliation begins.”  

The speaker’s office denied that Weber had been targeted.  

“That is not true,” Boehner spokesman Michael Steel told CQ Roll Call when informed of the story. “The speaker did not make such a call.”  

Steel also said no one from the speaker’s office had made such a call.  

Technically, Weber wasn’t taken off as sponsor, as the bill hasn’t been filed yet. Leadership often gets to determine who sponsors which bills — and it’s not uncommon for the speaker to exert some influence over who is sponsoring legislation.  

But the complaint makes clear that the mini-revolt against Boehner, even though it ultimately failed, could have real consequences for the members involved.  

After the final vote, Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., who had made it known earlier that he was going to vote against Boehner, too, said that he believed he had been passed up for a subcommittee chairmanship because he wasn’t backing the speaker.  

“The [full committee] chairman says, ‘you’re doing a good job in this particular area, we want you to, I’m gonna fight for that,'” Huelskamp, who voted for Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla., told a small group of reporters off the chamber floor, declining to name the panel in question.  

Yet after he posted an inflammatory tweet, Huelskamp said, he got a call from the chairman of the committee with the bad news: Leadership had said no.  

Huelskamp caveated, however, that the chairman did not say there was any punishment intended.  

Emma Dumain contributed to this report.

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