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GOP civil war? Ousted conservatives not going quietly


Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) lost his seat on the House Financial Services Committee last week, part of a move by GOP leaders to push out far-right conservatives from positions of influence.  But the Arizona Republican and his allies say they aren't done fighting.

“I’m not happy, but this is also big boy politics,” Schweikert said on Monday’s Morning Joe. “There’s always a friction, even in your party, between your conservatives and moderates. Those of us on the conservative side took the hit this time.”

“As a conservative, you never give up the fight,” he continued. “There’s no question that a number of conservative members have been sent to the woodshed, but that’s no reason to stop the fight.”

Schweikert's statement echoes a larger response from the party's far right that they aren't going to back down easily: National Review reports that Rep. Tom Price, who last week was ousted from his post as the House Republican Conference Chairman is considering challenging for Speaker John Boehner's job in order to give a voice to House conservatives in the negotiations over the fiscal cliff.

“My concern is that within our conference, conservatives, who are a majority, don’t have a proper platform,” Price told the magazine's Robert Costa, who was on the show last week. “That’s true at the leadership table and on the steering committee.”

Meanwhile, the Tea Party Patriots declared "war" on Boehner and the GOP leadership over the purges, writing in an email to supporters:

Now, we find ourselves in a two-front war to defend America’s founding principles: against the left – and now against the so-called right. Our second opponent is the Republican Party establishment and their pundit-class enablers in Washington DC.In just a few short weeks since the Republican establishment’s hand-picked candidate led the Republican Party to defeat, the establishment has turned its sights on you – to blame you for their loss and for the weakness they have shown since their loss.

Rep. John Amash of Michigan, who was removed from the House Budget Committee, also isn't taking it lying down. He told reporters: “It’s a slap in the face to all young people out there who want to be Republicans, who are told if you disagree with leadership a couple times, we’re sending you home, you’re off the committee, you don’t get to participate."

Schweikert, Amash, and another ousted conservative, Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas, sent Boehner a letter asking for "a full and complete written explanation of the rationale for removing us from our current committee assignments, including any 'scorecards' presented to the Steering Committee to justify our removals."