In a sign of the internal backlash against the right wing of the House Republican Conference, Louisiana Republican Charles Boustany questioned the political allegiances and motivations of his tea party-aligned colleagues and said they had put the GOP majority at risk in the current shutdown fight.
“There are members with a different agenda,” Boustany said Wednesday in an interview in his office. “And I’m not sure they’re Republicans and I’m not sure they’re conservative.”
And a bit more…
“The speaker has said consistently unless we can put 218 votes up, and preferably more than that, our ability to negotiate is pretty much undermined and that’s the problem we’ve repeatedly found ourselves in,” said Boustany, who has served since 2005 and is a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee. “Look at payroll tax. Look at fiscal cliff. You can go on and on. There are a handful of members – the numbers sort of vary, it’s in the 20-30 range – that are enough to derail a Republican conservative agenda in the House.”
In case you haven’t seen enough…
“This could trigger a wave of discontent that could wash out our Republican majority in the House if we’re not careful – it’s getting to that level,” Boustany said.
And he pointed the blame squarely at tea party lawmakers who he said were more concerned about bolstering their conservative bona fides than governing.
“Their allegiance is not to the members in the conference. Their allegiance is not to the leadership team and to conservative values,” he said. “Their allegiance is to these outside Washington DC interest groups that raise money and go after conservative Republicans.”
Like we said, decide for yourself.