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Secret Service agents: Pope’s life at risk in U.S.


waving flagPosted By Jerome R. Corsi On 09/15/2015

Article printed from WND: http://www.wnd.com

URL of the original posting site: http://www.wnd.com/2015/09/secret-service-agents-popes-life-at-risk-in-u-s

Pope Francis

NEW YORK – Members of the president’s Secret Service detail have confided to WND concern that they cannot adequately protect Pope Francis in the United States under current plans that include allowing the pope to ride through crowds next week in Washington and New York in an open vehicle.

The agents’ concerns about the Sept. 22-27 papal visit are compounded, they say, by an ongoing environment in which politically correct management decisions compromise the elite recruitment and excellence for which the Secret Service was distinguished when it was managed by the Department of Treasury. The Secret Service is now under the Transportation Security Administration, a branch of the Department of Homeland Security.

WND has confirmed that several Secret Service agents currently assigned to papal security for the upcoming visit are seeking to transfer to other federal government agencies, because discipline and morale has deteriorated to dangerous levels under current TSA management.

“Secret Service are fleeing in droves seeking security positions in other government agencies,” one Secret Service source for this article told WND on condition of anonymity.

“It’s not just those on POTUS detail, it’s the specially trained Secret Service, those we are least able to lose, who are leaving in record numbers. And the pressure put on us by the security restraints of the pope’s visit aren’t helping the situation at all,” the source said.

Another Secret Service source noted Francis is “a pope who wants to be seen by the people.”

Pope threat
Published by Islamic State claiming they were going to execute the Pope.

He wants to mingle with the crowd, kiss the babies and be accessible to the sick and elderly,” the source said. “With what Vatican security is demanding we do politically, protecting the pope in the U.S. visit is going to be a nightmare.”

pope threat ISIS
Another published threat by Islamic State against Pope Francis

Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas, head of the House Homeland Security Committee, disclosed Sunday that the United States had disrupted a plot against Pope Francis in advance of his trip. Fox News provided more details Tuesday, reporting a 15-year-old inspired by ISIS was arrested in the Philadelphia area in August.

‘Security disaster

Dan Bongino, a former Secret Service agent on presidential detail, told WND he shares the concerns.

“Because of the way Pope Francis wants his security handled, with a more discrete presence, the pope’s visit to the United States is a security disaster,” said Bongino, a Fox News commentator and author of the WND Books bestseller “Life Inside the Bubble: Why a Top-Ranked Secret Service Agent Walked Away from It All.”

“There is no person in the world with a higher threat profile than the pope,” he said. “If Vatican security insists on the pope riding through crowds in an open Popemobile with minimal security presence running alongside, the Secret Service concern is legitimate.”

Get Dan Bongino’s insider expose,”Life Inside the Bubble: Why a Top-Ranked Secret Service Agent Walked Away from It All” from the WND Superstore.

Bongino also agreed that Secret Service morale has deteriorated under DHS management.

“When I first joined the Secret Service back in 1999, people leaving for reasons other than retirement were unheard of,” Bongino noted. “Under DHS, management attrition has been through the roof when people don’t feel they are being backed up by management, and there’s no question morale has gone downhill.” Bongino said that at DHS, “too many of the Secret Service management are worried about their second careers, planning to leave DHS and set up multi-million dollar security companies,.”

“So your interests managing Secret Service under DHS have become not managing Secret Service, but not upsetting DHS,” he said.

Several of the Secret Service agents on POTUS detail speaking with WND for this article expressed their concern the mere publication of the article would trigger reprisals from DHS management.

“Every time an article critical of the Secret Service shows up in print, we get hammered by DHS management,” one of the agents serving as a source for this article told WND. “Even when the story is about the guys at the top of DHS management screwing up with the Secret Service, the blow-back is always on the rank-and-file, including the Secret Service who put their lives on the line protecting the president.”

Despite several requests, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee responsible for Secret Service oversight, declined to comment for this article.

Papal events

According to the Vatican press office, a Jeep Wrangler, manufactured by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, with a glass-front roof and open sides, similar to the Popemobile that Pope Francis used in Ecuador in July, was shipped in August to the Secret Service for safekeeping. “The Vatican’s decisions on the pope’s security are putting the Secret Service in an unworkable situation,” Bongino said. “The Vatican is setting up the Secret Service to fail, and if anything happens to the pope, people are going to blame the Secret Service, not Vatican security. If I were directing the Secret Service, I would take the political risk and issue an ultimatum insisting to Vatican security that we at the Secret Service were going to set the security rules for the pope’s visit, otherwise we cannot insure a safe environment for him in the United States,” Bongino said.

According to the official schedule, the pope will ride in the Popemobile at the following events:

  • In Washington, D.C., Sept. 23, after leaving the White House, he will travel in the Popemobile along 15th Street, Constitution Avenue and 17th Street N.W., with people invited to line the streets around the Ellipse and the National Mall. The Secret Service plans to open gates for the Ellipse and National Mall from 4 a.m. until 10 a.m.
  • In New York City, Sept. 25, at 5 p.m., Pope Francis is scheduled to travel via motorcade through Central Park, traveling on Central Park’s West Drive between 72nd and 60th Street. Tickets will be given away to residents of New York state over the age of 18. Gates are open for security screening between noon and 3 p.m.
  • In Philadelphia, Sept. 26, at 7:30 p.m., the pope plans to attend the Festival of Families, to take place on Benjamin Franklin Parkway, outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The family-themed event includes exhibits open to the public, with no special provisions for tickets or screening so far announced.
  • In Philadelphia, Sept. 27, at 4 p.m., Francis is scheduled to celebrate the closing mass for the World Meeting of Families 2015. Some 400,000 are expected to attend the event, which is open to the public.pope threat news

‘Not since JFK’

Bongino wrote an article published Sept. 2 in Conservative Review, titled “Why the Pope’s Visit Will Be a Security Nightmare.”

“My experience in situations such as this, where protectees prefer a low-key approach, (Hillary Clinton’s U.S. Senate run in New York comes to mind) is that security takes a back seat to concerns about the ‘optics’ of the security,” he wrote.

Worrying about how the security operation ‘looks’ rather than how the security operation functions, is a recipe for failure, and I wish the Secret Service protectees understood this before declaring that they want to be more ‘accessible.’”

Bongino wrote that the Secret Service security model is “accustomed to working with crowds and granting those crowds accessibility, within reason.”

“With the current macro-threat environment (threats not specific to the Pope) from ISIS, Al-Qaeda and its affiliates, and other terrorist groups, combined with the number of very specific threats from these groups, and other independent actors looking to do harm to the Pope, this is not time for concerns about ‘visuals’ and ‘optics,’ it’s time to focus on a responsible, comprehensive security plan that will ensure that the world’s billions of Catholics can enjoy the visit and not concern themselves with the Pope’s safety.”

In December, WND reported a Secret Service expert’s worry about President Obama’s safety. ” Vincent Michael Palamara noted that JFK’s fateful journey through the streets of Dallas, Texas, in November 1963 was the last time the Secret Service allowed a president of the United States to ride in an open limo in public.

In June, WND reported from Turin, Italy, the pope’s arrival in an open-sided Popemobile at the Piazza Vittorio Veneto during the Shroud of Turin exhibition to celebrate mass before a crowd estimated at over 30,000 people. The crowd had not gone through screening, there was minimal security running alongside the vehicle and no apparent security in the open windows of the tall buildings lining both sides of the square.

WND video of pope arriving in Piazza Vittorio Veneto:

 http://player.ooyala.com/iframe.js#pbid=40d9b99b682e4c5f990d970e4a0828cd&ec=F0b3lzdTqgBKgA3hkCVQAurYYI7UROqP” href=”http://http://player.ooyala.com/iframe.js#pbid=40d9b99b682e4c5f990d970e4a0828cd&ec=F0b3lzdTqgBKgA3hkCVQAurYYI7UROqP“>http://player.ooyala.com/iframe.js#pbid=40d9b99b682e4c5f990d970e4a0828cd&ec=F0b3lzdTqgBKgA3hkCVQAurYYI7UROqP aligncenter wp-image-19393 ” src=”https://mrb562.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/pope01.jpg” alt=”pope01″ width=”892″ height=”593″ />

<div>Please enable Javascript to watch this video</div>Less than a week later, WND took video of Francis arriving at Piazza Solferino in Turin in a similar security situation.

http://player.ooyala.com/iframe.js#ec=lhNG1qdzoy6mUI8Jm684N4Tx6-lma8Bw&pbid=40d9b99b682e4c5f990d970e4a0828cd” href=”http://http://player.ooyala.com/iframe.js#ec=lhNG1qdzoy6mUI8Jm684N4Tx6-lma8Bw&pbid=40d9b99b682e4c5f990d970e4a0828cd“>http://player.ooyala.com/iframe.js#ec=lhNG1qdzoy6mUI8Jm684N4Tx6-lma8Bw&pbid=40d9b99b682e4c5f990d970e4a0828cd aligncenter wp-image-19394″ src=”https://mrb562.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/pope02.jpg” alt=”pope02″ width=”967″ height=”541″ />

WND video of pope arriving in Piazza Solferino:

 95b119e45c50cbea1e7a4fbfa33415f3 In God We Trust freedom combo 2

‘Sheer insanity’: Iran-deal critics go nuclear on Obama


waving flagPosted By Garth Kant On 07/13/2015

Article reblogged from WND: http://www.wnd.com

URL to article: http://www.wnd.com/2015/07/source-iran-deal-appears-imminent

Secretary of State John Kerry (far right) negotiates with Iranians
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (far right) negotiates with Iranians

muslim-obamaWASHINGTON – Criticism of President Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran has been fast and furious. “I don’t trust Obama on this anymore than I trusted him on ‘if you like your plan, you can keep your plan,’” talk-show host Laura Ingraham told WND. She added, “Elections have consequences—from our health-care system, to the definition of ‘marriage,’ to our military strength, to now our national security, Barack Obama has, indeed, ‘fundamentally transformed’ America.”

Sheer insanity

“This is sheer insanity,” Iran expert Clare Lopez told WND. “This agreement legitimizes Iran’s overt nuclear weapons program and provides both cover and funding for its clandestine nuclear weapons program, with extra financial bonuses for its global terrorist network,” said the vice president for research and analysis at the Center for Security Policy.

In a dawn speech from the White House on Tuesday, Obama proclaimed, “[W]e have stopped the spread of nuclear weapons in this region,” but a parade of ferocious critics claimed just the opposite.DO NOT JACKASS

Iranian jackpot

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu feared the worst, saying, “From the initial reports we can already conclude that this agreement is an historic mistake for the world.” He predicted, “Iran is going to receive a sure path to nuclear weapons.”  “Iran will get a jackpot, a cash bonanza of hundreds of billions of dollars, which will enable it to continue to pursue its aggression and terror in the region and in the world,” said the prime minister. “One cannot prevent an agreement when the negotiators are willing to make more and more concessions to those who, even during the talks, keep chanting: ‘Death to America,’” Netanyahu concluded.

License to kill

By contrast, Obama said he hoped the deal would cause Iran to choose a “different path, one of tolerance, of peaceful resolution to conflict.” He also predicted a greater chance of war in the Mideast if Congress rejects the deal.More Evidence

Former Israeli military spokeswoman Miri Regev said, instead, it gave Iran a “license to kill.”

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely called it “a historic surrender by the West to the axis of evil headed by Iran.”

Alinsky affectHillary blames Bush

Hillary Clinton didn’t fully endorse the deal in public, but she reportedly did in private, during a meeting with congressional Democrats. During a brief press conference on Capitol Hill, the presidential candidate and former secretary of state merely called the deal “an important step,” one that “puts a lid on Iran’s nuclear programs.” But, behind closed doors, Clinton gave the deal a “full-throated” endorsement, according to Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va.. Rep. Steve Israel, D- N.Y., said Clinton even blamed President George W. Bush for Iran’s nuclear proliferation.

According to the congressman, Clinton said it would hypocritical for Republicans to criticize Obama’s deal because, “[F]or eight years under George Bush, the Iranians built two nuclear facilities and they mastered the nuclear fuel cycle and enhanced the number of centrifuges spinning.”

Red lines become green lights

However, Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, a senior member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said, “The bottom line is: The deal doesn’t end Iran’s nuclear program — it preserves it.”  “I’m concerned the redlines we drew have turned into green-lights; that Iran will be required only to limit rather than eliminate its nuclear program, while the international community will be required to lift the sanctions, and that it doesn’t provide for anytime-any-place inspections of suspected sites,” he said in a statement.

Catastrophic

Leading GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump summed up the deal as, “Iran gets everything and loses nothing.” He predicted, “The inspections will not be followed, and Iran will no longer have any sanctions.” Trump called the agreement very dangerous and ” a horrible and perhaps catastrophic event for Israel.”Why

The busniessman analyzed the deal harshly, stating, “[W]e should have kept the billions of dollars we have agreed to pay them. Any great dealmaker would know this is a perfect example of ‘tapping along’ and because they have been unchecked for so long throughout this extremely lengthy process, I guarantee they are much closer to producing a nuclear weapon than they were at the start of negotiations.”

Trump sized up the Obama administration as “incompetent leaders and even more incompetent negotiators.”

Death sentence for Israel

“A possible death sentence for the nation of Israel” that will “make everything worse” is how Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., described the deal on MSNBC. ‘This is most dangerous, irresponsible step I’ve ever seen in the history of watching the Mideast,’ said the presidential candidate. “With this deal, you’ve ensured that the Arabs will go nuclear. You have put Israel in the worst possible box. This will be a death sentence over time for Israel if they don’t push back. You put our nation at risk….Barack Obama and John Kerry have been dangerously naive about the Mideast in general. They’ve taken it to a new level and any senator who votes for this is voting for a nuclear arms race in the Mideast,” he said in reference to the Corker bill, which requires a vote by two-thirds of Congress to reject the deal. Congress now has 60 days to review the deal and to try to stop it with legislation.

However, Obama, promised to veto any attempt by Congress to stop the deal, saying, “I am confident that this deal will meet the national security interests of the United States and our allies.”Constancy

Betrayal 

Another presidential candidate, Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wisc., bluntly declared, “President Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran will be remembered as one of America’s worst diplomatic failures.” Announcing his candidacy on Monday, Walker promised to “terminate” the deal on his first day in office.

Presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, called it a ” staggeringly bad deal” and a “mistake of historic proportion. It is a fundamental betrayal of the security of the United States and of our closest allies, first and foremost Israel.” Cruz added that it seemed “President Obama would concede almost anything to get any deal – even a terrible deal.”B2A_FvyCMAE14px

GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina disputed Obama’s claim the deal will stop a Mideast nuclear arms race, noting, “Our Arab allies have said just the opposite, so has Israel, so there is reason for suspicion here that’s not partisan. Saudi Arabia and Israel, as we know, don’t agree on very much, but they do agree that this is a bad deal,” she said on CBS.

Shame on Obama

Republican presidential hopeful and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said, “Shame on the Obama administration for agreeing to a deal that empowers an evil Iranian regime to carry out its threat to ‘wipe Israel off the map’ and bring ‘death to America.’ John Kerry should have long ago gotten up on his crutches, walked out of the sham talks, and went straight to Jerusalem to stand next to Benjamin Netanyahu and declared that America will stand with Israel and the other sane governments of the Middle East instead of with the terrorist government of Iran,” he added.

Another presidential candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said Obama gave “concession after concession to a regime that has American blood on its hands, holds Americans hostage, and has consistently violated every agreement it ever signed.”Iran Close to a Deal

He predicted Congress will reject the the deal because it “undermines our national security.”

Appeasement, not diplomacy

Another GOP presidential candidate, Jeb Bush, said, “This isn’t diplomacy – it is appeasement.” He labeled the agreement as “dangerous, deeply flawed, and short sighted,” and complained, “A comprehensive agreement should require Iran to verifiably abandon – not simply delay – its pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability.”

Presidential contender Rick Santorum blasted the deal as “a catastrophic capitulation” that give Iran “legitimacy” in the international community.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, another presidential candidate, said “While Secretary Clinton has been the architect of President Obama’s foreign policy, she can do the right thing and prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and oppose this deal.”

Clinton’s rival for the presidential nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., maintained, “This is a victory for diplomacy over saber-rattling and could keep the United States from being drawn into another never-ending war in the Middle East.”Keys taken

Dangerous game

GOP presidential hopeful, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Obama was “playing a dangerous game with our national security. The deal threatens Israel, it threatens the United States, and it turns 70 years of nuclear policy on its head,” Christie said. “I urge Republicans and Democrats in Congress to put aside politics and act in the national interest. Vote to disapprove this deal in numbers that will override the President’s threatened veto.”

Obama claimed, “This deal is not built on trust” because “it is built on verification,” but a chorus of critics strongly disputed that.If his mouth is open he must be lying

Worse deal than imagined possible

“It’s a deal worse than even we imagined possible,” said Weekly Standard editor William Kristol. “It’s a deal that gives the Iranian regime $140 billion in return for … effectively nothing: no dismantlement of Iran’s nuclear program, no anytime/anywhere inspections, no curbs on Iran’s ballistic missile program, no maintenance of the arms embargo, no halt to Iran’s sponsorship of terror.”

The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said the deal will secure Iran’s pathway to a bomb, and that, “This deal will guarantee Iran the capability to carry out its clear intent.”

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., added, “I don’t know what information the Obama administration possesses that indicates this deal will actually prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon or will cause the mullahs to reduce their support for worldwide terrorism, but it sure isn’t the same intelligence we’re seeing in the Intelligence Committee.”

Threat to civilization

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas warned the deal was “disastrous for the future of the United States,” an “ultimate betrayal of Israel, Egypt and moderate Muslim nations,” and, “a devastating threat to civilization which must not be ratified” by Congress. The congressman observed the agreements reported provisions include “the lifting of the embargo on arms being sold to Iran; Iran will be allowed to keep its military sites off-limits ‘for a time;’ Iran can veto any nuclear inspections that were supposed to be allowed ‘anytime, anywhere;’ no nuclear facilities will actually be dismantled; and Iran will be ever closer to making good on its promise to try to wipe Israel off the map.” Gohmert concluded, “The Obama-Kerry deal agrees to the release of tens of billions of dollars to Iran that unquestionably will include money used to terrorize and kill Americans, Christians, Jews and moderate Muslims the world over.”

Paves path to Iranian nuke

Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security and a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, said, “This Iran deal gives (Iranian Supreme Leader) Ayatollah Khamenei exactly what he wants: billions of dollars in sanctions relief, validation of the Iranian nuclear program, and the ability to stymie inspections. It even lifts sanctions against Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani, who is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers during the campaign in Iraq,” he added. “The deal will further destabilize the Middle East, allow Iran to foment more terrorism, and aid Iran’s rise as the dominant power in the region. By paving Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon, the deal harms American national security and effectively stabs our close ally Israel, which Iran has threatened to wipe off the map, in the back. Congress needs to move swiftly to block this dangerous deal.”

“This act of appeasement by the Obama Administration now legitimizes both Iran’s path to nuclear weapons and the terrorist regime itself. It endangers the national security interests of the U.S., Israel, and allies across the word,” said former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton. “Not only can Iran continue to pursue its 30-plus year objective of pursuing deliverable nuclear weapons, but the regime, the leading state sponsor of terror for over 35 years, is also free of global financial sanctions. Ultimately, we will see that Obama has capitulated to Iran’s demands, and this agreement is simply a pit stop between one set of negotiations and the other,” he added.

Historic victory for Iran

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C. said, “The nuclear agreement is a historic victory — for Iran. For the last 18 months the Obama Administration made concession after concession to the rogue regime in Tehran, while taking the most basic demands off the table to try to secure a deal. I warned when the framework agreement was released that it relied on blind faith in a notoriously dishonest regime.”Non-Negotiable-600-LI

He added, “The fact that the President came out today and threatened to veto any legislation that could potentially block the deal’s implementation is particularly concerning. If the deal is in fact strong, why is the President worried that Congress may reject it? Could it be the same reason why the Iranian regime is celebrating their victory? This historic deal requires strict scrutiny by Congress and I will not support any deal that puts the safety and security of the American people at risk.”

Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, called it “worse than no deal at all” because it “removes sanctions without robust means of ensuring the regime’s disarmament and compliance with its international obligations.”

“Sadly, the Administration just lit the fuse for a nuclear arms race in the Middle East,” said Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb. “We all know Iran’s neighbors will not sit idly as the world’s largest state-sponsor of terror becomes a nuclear-threshold state.”

Strengthens Iran’s ‘constructive’ role

Ordinary Iranians celebrated the deal in the streets and on twitter. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called it a “win-win solution” that builds a “new chapter of hope.” In a nationwide televised address Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani claimed, “Iran has never sought to manufacture a nuclear weapon and will never seek to manufacture a nuclear weapon.”

Secretary of State John Kerry called it “the good deal that we sought.”

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the deal was “a sign of hope for the entire world.”

British Prime Minister, David Cameron, said the agreement “secures our fundamental aim — to keep Iran from developing a nuclear weapon — and that will help to make our world a safer place.”

“We are certain that the world heaved a sigh of relief today,” said Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Russia will do its utmost to make sure that the Vienna agreement is fully implemented, thus contributing to the international and regional security.”

A Vatican spokesman said the agreement “is viewed in a positive light” by Pope Francis.

A spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the deal would be “a catalyst for regional stability.”

Syria’s President Bashar Assad called it “a historic turning point” which will lead to “strengthening of the constructive role played by Iran in supporting the rights of nations.”

Iran took yes for an answer

The deal is supposed to delay the amount of time required for Iran to assemble a nuclear weapon from a few months to a year, which Western leaders hope would give them enough time to stop Iran from using such a device. But many fear the agreement will just give Iran the cover it needs to complete its work in secrecy, and that the U.S. conceded far too much to the Islamic Republic.

The problem for the Obama administration had been, “Iran won’t take ‘yes’ for an answer,” a Capitol Hill source told WND on Monday. Critics say the reason Iran had refused to take yes for an answer was that the Obama administration had conceded on virtually every key demand, so the Iranians just kept demanding more.

Follow Garth Kant@DCgarth


 freedom combo 2

‘Fed up’ conservatives plot revenge against Boehner


waving flagBy Susan Ferrechio | June 23, 2015

Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said Monday in a radio interview that many conservatives were “fed up” with the string of punishment meted out to members who don’t vote in line with the Republican leadership on key legislation.

The latest punishment was handed down to Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., for voting against an important procedural resolution to advance “Fast Track” trade legislation the GOP is eager to pass. Meadows last week was stripped of his chairmanship of the House Oversight Government Operations subcommittee. “So, Mark Meadows, a good man, a good friend, and what they did to him is exactly wrong, and there are a number of us who are fed up with it,” Jordan said on the Laura Ingraham show. “And we are looking for ways that we can say, hey, we are going to stay with Mark and be as helpful as we possibly can.”

It’s not clear what the frustrated group could do to thwart Boehner, but some are kicking around the idea of trying to slow the work of the House. Freedom Caucus members say that while they number a little more than three dozen, there are an additional 20 conservatives who could potentially vote along with them if they decided to take a stand against the leadership by making it difficult to pass legislation. Republicans control 246 votes, and on legislation that lacks Democratic support, the leadership can only afford to lose 29 Republicans.

Anger at the leadership has been brewing for many months, as the GOP retribution against disobedient conservatives appears to have escalated;

  • Just last week, Reps. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, Steve Pearce of New Mexico, and Trent Franks of Arizona, lost their posts on the Republican whip team for voting along with Meadows against advancing the trade legislation.
  • Earlier this year, Republican leaders booted Reps. Daniel Webster and Richard Nugent, both of Florida, from the powerful Rules Committee after they voted against John Boehner for a third term as speaker.
  • In the last Congress, Reps. Justin Amash, R-Mich., Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., Walter Jones, R-N.C., and David Schweikert, R-Ariz., were tossed from committees after voting against the leadership.
  • Meadows told the Washington Examiner the move to strip him of his subcommittee chairmanship was made by Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, but came at the direction of Boehner, R-Ohio.Reality 2

“I think it was an action meant to try to humiliate or intimate me, but I wear it as a badge of honor, standing firm for freedom for the American people,” Meadows told the Examiner.

Republican leadership aides say the GOP is not striking back in a punitive manner, but places a high value on loyalty from the members and gives top posts to those who don’t buck the Speaker on certain measures, such as resolutions to advance legislation for debate. Lawmakers who are being punished say the leadership is trying to force them to vote against what they believe is best for their constituents, who have flooded their offices with calls and emails in opposition to the trade legislation. Meadows and other Republicans opposed to the trade bill believe the trade bill would cede too much power to the executive branch and would facilitate trade deals that would cause U.S. job losses.

“There is no honor in bowing to a bully,” Meadows told the Examiner. “There is only fighting the good fight and whether you win or lose, I am willing to do my best to represent the people who elected me.”

freedom combo 2

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