Ryan, GOP leaders discussed removing lawmaker as Appropriations chairman

Greg Nash

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) discussed removing Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R) as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee after the New Jersey lawmaker split from the party line and voted against the GOP tax bill.

A Republican leadership aide confirmed to The Hill that Ryan talked with GOP leaders about taking his Appropriations gavel in response to his no vote.

{mosads}Ryan talked with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) about challenging his chairmanship by requesting a roll call through the Republican steering committee, Politico first reported Monday, citing three sources familiar with the matter.

Scalise stewed over Frelinghuysen’s defection from the party line and strongly supported putting his leadership role up to a vote before his Republican colleagues, according to the report.

“Committee chairmen are expected to support the team,” one senior GOP leadership aide told Politico.

“How does he expect to win support for his own bills when he’s unwilling to support the president and Speaker’s number one priority?”

Frelinghuysen, a top Democratic target in 2018, stood out last month as the single House GOP committee chair who voted against the bill out of 21 other panel leaders.

Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.), the chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, told The Hill last month that he had “real problems” with Frelinghuysen’s vote.

“This is a committee chairman who’s going to be pitching some kind of spending thing, and if you can’t get on board and support one of the promises we’ve made to the American people, I have real problems with that,” Walker said in an interview.

A GOP source close to the New Jersey lawmaker also told The Hill last month that Frelinghuysen is not concerned that he would face backlash or calls to resign from GOP leaders.

The source had also said his vote against the bill “was cleared by leadership in advance.”

Frelinghuysen opposed language in the tax bill that eliminated a deduction for state and local taxes and limited a property tax deduction to $10,000.  

Tags GOP tax plan House Appropriations Committee Kevin McCarthy Mark Walker Paul Ryan Rodney Frelinghuysen Rodney Frelinghuysen Steve Scalise

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