Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp, once driven from committee appointments for going against party leadership, will now be helping determine who gets coveted committee assignments, The Daily Signal reports.
Huelskamp was removed from the Agriculture and Budget committees in 2012. Georgia Rep. Lynn Westmoreland at the time blamed the action on Huelskamp's "inability to work with other members."
But Huelskamp's constituents supported him, he told The Daily Signal, and he went on to chair the House Tea Party Caucus and is a member of the House Freedom Caucus, which helped oust former Speaker John Boehner in October.
Huelskamp sings the praises of Boehner's replacement, Paul Ryan, who has vowed to reform how things are run in the House.
One of those changes is placing Huelskamp on the Republican conference steering committee, which decides which members of the party are assigned to committees.
Huelskamp called his appointment "quite the turnaround."
"What I found out very quickly was that I discovered a lot of new friends in the conference," he said, but added he's only interested in appointments made by talent, not party loyalty.
"It has to be merit-based," he said. "I believe we have dozens of folks in the Republican conference that, just because they were conservative, they’re not on the higher-profile committees."
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