‘Conservative movement has come under attack on Capitol Hill’

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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More than 50 well-known conservative activists have signed a statement declaring that, “it is clear that the conservative movement has come under attack on Capitol Hill.”

The letter was written in response to a pair of events that took place Wednesday that have outraged the right. During a press conference about the budget, Speaker of the House John Boehner took a swipe at outside conservative groups, accusing them of “using the American people for their own goals.”

It was also revealed Wednesday that Paul Teller, the executive director of the conservative Republican Study Committee, had been fired over disagreements with the lawmakers on the committee he worked on.

“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,” reads the statement, drafted by the Conservative Action Project, which is led by former Reagan Attorney General Edwin Meese and former Indiana Rep. David McIntosh.

“Paul Teller is one of the true heroes of the conservative movement,” the letter reads. “For over a decade, he has been the guiding light of conservatism on Capitol Hill. No one has done more to advance conservative principles and block the liberal agenda than Paul Teller. In the tradition of President Reagan, he is a true happy warrior who is both forceful and courageous.”

Among those who signed the letter are Heritage Action for America CEO Mike Needham, RedState Editor-in-Chief Erick Erickson, Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin, FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe, Tea Party Express Chairman Amy Kremer, and Citizens United President David Bossie.

Teller did not immediately return a request for comment from The Daily Caller. But the influential conservative staffer was ousted by Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, the chairman of the RSC. Scalise fired him after being accused of repeatedly working to undermine the lawmakers on the RSC whenever he disagreed with their positions, and leaking his conversations with lawmakers to outside conservative groups.

Teller had been working with some groups to oppose the new budget deal offered by Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan and Washington State Sen. Patty Murray — something the members of the RSC are divided on.

Lawmakers on the RSC have pushed back on the notion that Teller’s firing means conservatives are under attack. Scalise has been backed up on his decision to fire Teller by Texas Rep. Sam Johnson, one of the founders of the RSC.

“Steve has done a great job as RSC chairman, standing up for freedom and free enterprise at every turn,” Johnson said. “He posses the stature, experience and vision necessary to continue leading the RSC and uphold our bedrock principles. I have complete confidence in his leadership and support his decision.”

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