Following the high-profile ouster of its top staffer last week and the subsequent conservative revolt in response, the Republican Study Committee will name Will Dunham as its interim executive director, The Daily Caller has learned.
Dunham recently served as senior policy advisor to the RSC, according to the committee’s website. The Republican Study Committee, according to its online description, is “a group of House Republicans organized for the purpose of advancing a conservative social and economic agenda in the House of Representatives.”
RSC spokesman Stephen Bell told TheDC on Monday morning he could not yet confirm anything about the naming of an interim director. He said Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, the chairman of the committee, is currently talking with members about the position.
Such staff changes don’t normally make such big news. But the firing of Paul Teller, the longtime executive director of the RSC, over disagreements with the lawmakers on the committee provoked more than 50 conservative activists aligned with outside groups to sign a letter to declare that “the conservative movement has come under attack on Capitol Hill.”
“We are saddened and outraged that an organization that purports to represent conservatives in Congress would dismiss a staff member for advancing conservatism and working with conservatives outside of Congress,” the letter read.
TheDC was told Scalise, with the support of the members of the committee, fired Teller after the staffer was accused of repeatedly working to undermine the lawmakers on the RSC whenever he disagreed with their positions.
Teller was also accused of leaking his conversations with lawmakers to outside conservative groups while working to oppose the recent budget deal passed by the House and brokered in part by Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.
According to Legistorm, Teller — a veteran staffer — made nearly $100,000 in salary this year in his capacity with the RSC. That salary is paid for out of the office expenses of the members on the committee.
Dunham did not respond to an emailed request for comment.
UPDATE: Stephen Bell, the RSC spokesman, confirmed to TheDC on Monday afternoon that Dunham has been tapped to serve as the committee’s interim executive director.
“Dunham, a Hillsdale alumnus and former intern for the Heritage Foundation, joined the RSC in 2013, where his portfolio included budget and appropriations,” Bell said in an email. “Prior to joining the RSC staff, Will served as a legislative assistant for Congressman Tom McClintock.”
TheDC’s Vince Coglianese contributed to this report.