Prairie Politics

Tim Huelskamp seeks his own fresh start in the U.S. House


New House speaker Paul Ryan made it clear Thursday that he wants a fresh start.

“I am not interested in laying blame. We are not settling scores,” he said in his address to the House after becoming speaker. “We are wiping the slate clean.”

Apparently Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp wants a fresh start, too.

Huelskamp, a conservative Freedom Caucus member from Kansas’ vast 1st District, announced Thursday morning that he had switched his allegiance from Daniel Webster, the conservative favorite for speaker, to Ryan. Huelskamp had backed Webster of Florida during the GOP Conference vote Wednesday.

In a statement, Huelskamp, who feuded famously with former Speaker John Boehner and was booted from the House Ag Committee, commended Webster and insisted Ryan had addressed his concerns.

“His (Webster’s) reform principles have been embraced by Paul Ryan,” Huelskamp said in a statement.

“Among other things, Ryan has promised to keep the 'motion to vacate' and democratize the House with new decentralization rules by Thanksgiving, to abide by the new 'Ryan Rule' requiring a majority of the Republican majority to move major issues to the floor, to reject last-minute deals, and to stop the culture of retribution and intimidation against fellow Republicans.

“Now Paul Ryan has 14 months to prove he can be a Speaker for the future, not of the past.”