It is a stunning reversal for Chaffetz — and, by extension, the GOP leadership — and could embolden the several dozen conservative Republicans who defy Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.). Those close to — and part of — House Republican leadership say they disagree with Chaffetz’s decision, but feel there is nothing they can do.
Boehner, on Wednesday, volunteered privately to Republicans that he supported stripping Meadows of his subcommittee post. Asked Thursday about reinstating Meadows, Boehner said, ”You have to ask Mr. Chaffetz.”
Just last weekend, Chaffetz told POLITICO that “sometimes the coach needs to make a change on the field,” offering multiple reasons Meadows did not deserve the chairmanship of the government operations subcommittee. But shortly after Chaffetz made the decision, the rank and file — and outside conservatives — rose up. Chaffetz’s committee includes several members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, and he feared internal strife for punishing Meadows.
In a statement, Chaffetz said he and Meadows “better understand each other.”