House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerBoehner on Afghanistan: 'It's time to pull out the troops' Boehner says he voted for Trump, didn't push back on election claims because he's retired Boehner: Trump's claims of stolen election a 'sad moment in American history' MORE’s latest volley in his petty war against conservatives in the GOP conference – while saying much more about himself than the men he’s targeting – provides a great opportunity for a discussion about Congress’ stewardship of taxpayer dollars.

In the aftermath of the failed attempt to displace him in January, BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerBoehner on Afghanistan: 'It's time to pull out the troops' Boehner says he voted for Trump, didn't push back on election claims because he's retired Boehner: Trump's claims of stolen election a 'sad moment in American history' MORE moved into recrimination mode with considerable dispatch.  For his sin of allowing colleagues to place his name in nomination for speaker, Rep. Dan Webster (R-Fla.) was bounced from the Rules Committee, along with his Sunshine State colleague, Rich Nugent (R-Fla.). Texan Randy WeberRandall (Randy) Keith WeberMcCarthy seeks shift from party's civil war READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results House rebuffs GOP lawmaker's effort to remove references to Democrats in Capitol MORE (R) had his name removed as a sponsor of legislation for casting his vote for Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertEthics panel upholds metal detector fines totaling K against Rep. Clyde Exclusive: Biggs offers bill banning federal vaccine passports Gaetz to speak at Save America summit amid sex trafficking investigation MORE (R-Texas).

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Just a few weeks after whining on 60 Minutes that conservatives were raising funds by attacking him, Boehner said nothing as his former lackey, Barry Jackson, spent $300,000 on radio ads against his House colleagues. Their crime? Opposing yet another Boehner cave to the White House, this time on executive amnesty. For Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) and Jim BridenstineJames (Jim) Frederick BridenstineBill Nelson's nomination as NASA administrator is replete with irony Biden to nominate Bill Nelson to head NASA: reports The Biden administration endorses NASA's Artemis, the Space Force MORE (R-Okla.), keeping your word to your constituents means getting trashed on your hometown airwaves.

Or, in the case of Gohmert and Iowa’s Steve King (R), your name disappears from the manifests of House-sponsored foreign travel. Both were scheduled to meet with Egypt’s President al-Sisi, only to have their travel…un-approved. A likely unwitting bit of candor, though, from an (of course) unnamed House leadership aide provides a good starting point for a discussion about the expenditure of taxpayer dollars. “Members earn the right to go on taxpayer-funded travel,” the anonymous aide told Roll Call. “Those rewards aren’t going to be handed out to members who oppose the broader GOP team on a regular basis.”

An interesting choice of words: Rewards. Earn the right.

It is certainly arguable that there is value in having Congressional leaders meet with foreign heads of state, particularly in the case of Egypt; President al-Sisi is standing firm in the War on Terror, and takes a harder line on radical Islam than do our own president and members of his party.

If, however, these Congressional delegation trips (codels) are to be granted and withdrawn on the petty whims of a vindictive Speaker, are they truly a wise expenditures of Americans’ tax dollars? As recently as two years ago, Boehner placed a moratorium on House codels using military aircraft, in the face of $85 billion in defense cuts from the sequester.

This raises questions: Have these junkets become more important in the last couple of years? Does the recently passed House budget plan – with $90 billion in defense spending tucked in as an end-run around the sequester – free up money for Congressional jet-setting?

Or, put another way, are these codels a micro version of pork projects? Are they just another taxpayer-funded method to pay off members of Congress who’ll toss their conservative principles to step and fetch for John Boehner?

On April 15, hardworking Americans will pay their yearly tribute to the government. That’s as a good a time as any to revisit the issue of Congressional junkets.

Are they a valuable way for the legislative branch to oversee how tax dollars are spent in the areas of foreign policy and military affairs? Or are they payoffs for Establishment toadies who play nice in the Speaker’s sandbox?

Common sense says the Speaker can’t have it both ways. Codels are either a necessary and legitimate use of taxpayer dollars, or rewards dispensed to the leadership’s “team players,” in which they should be done away with altogether.

So tell us, Mr. Speaker, which is it?

Martin is co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots.