After a crushing primary defeat last month, Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) is as disenchanted as ever with his party's leadership in Congress.
Huelskamp, a member of the uber-conservative House Freedom Caucus, has had a strained relationship, to put it mildly, with House GOP leaders for years. He was on the outs under then-Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), and his relationship with Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has been frosty.
With his seat already lost and his term wrapping up in January, Huelskamp did not hold back in a Wednesday interview with TPM in the Capitol. In particular, he had some harsh words for Ryan over how the appropriations process has played out in Congress.
"It's leadership's fault. They decided not to move appropriations bills through so here we are in September having to do a CR. Why? Don't forget it's because they didn't do the full appropriations," Huelskamp said. "It's what Boehner did. What's the difference?"
As Republicans return from a seven-week recess, Congress now is grappling with keeping the government funded through the election. Originally, Republican leaders in both the House and Senate had pledged to get back to "regular order" and pass spending bills through committee before bringing them to the floor.
Disagreements within GOP ranks as well as controversial amendments over LGBT rights halted that process and has brought members to the point where they may have to pass a continuing resolution.
Huelskamp lost his election earlier this summer in part because of his hardline conservative votes against items like the farm bill, which was of great importance to his district. He had also been thrown off of the Agriculture Committee under Boehner's reign and begged Ryan to publicly promise to restore him to the post, which Ryan said was up to the House Steering Committee.
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