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Boehner defends retaliation against unruly Republican members

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House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Wednesday he backs Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz’s decision to punish Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) for voting against a procedural motion on trade bills.

{mosads}Last week, Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, stripped Meadows of a subcommittee gavel for voting against the rule, as well as for withholding dues from the House GOP’s campaign arm. Meadows was also among 25 conservatives in January who voted against giving Boehner another two years as Speaker.

The move has infuriated conservatives on and off Capitol Hill who’ve complained about the retaliation from Boehner and his allies.

But Boehner informed rank-and-file Republicans in a Wednesday morning conference meeting that Chaffetz made the decision alone and that it was the right call.

“We have the majority, and when it comes to procedural votes in the House, the majority has to stick together and vote for or against … those procedural motions,” Boehner told reporters after the closed-door meeting.

“I think the chairman made the right decision. I made it clear to the members I supported that decision,” he added. “I’m sure the family conversation will continue.”

Earlier, Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) booted three conservatives off his vote-counting team for voting against the same trade rule.

All four lawmakers who’ve been punished are members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, led by Rep. Jim Jordan, who like Boehner is an Ohio Republican.

Freedom Caucus members huddled Tuesday night to discuss how to respond to the retaliation, but Jordan said Wednesday morning that no decisions had been made and that conversations are continuing.

“What they did to Mark was wrong,” Jordan told The Hill.

Tags Boehner Jason Chaffetz John Boehner

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