Timothy Alan Huelskamp (; born November 11, 1968) is the president of The Heartland Institute. A former American politician, he was a member of the Republican Party who was the U.S. Representative for Kansas's 1st congressional district from 2011 to 2017. Huelskamp was rated the least bipartisan member of the House during the 114th Congress by The Lugar Center - McCourt school Bipartisan Index. Prior to entering Congress, he represented the 38th District of the Kansas Senate from 1997 until 2011. Huelskamp, who was known for his strong social conservatism, was the chairman of the House Tea Party Caucus from February 2015. He ran for re-election in 2016 but was defeated in the Republican primary on August 2, 2016, by Roger Marshall. His term in the House continued until January 3, 2017.
Early life, education, and career
Huelskamp was born on November 11, 1968 and raised on the Huelskamp family farm in Fowler, Kansas. Pioneered by his grandparents Martin and Clara in 1926, the farm operation includes raising corn, cattle, wheat, milo, and soybeans. He attended elementary and high school in Fowler, where he was a Farm Bureau Youth Leader, a member of St. Anthony’s Parish, and active in both 4-H and Future Farmers of America.
After attending seminary for two years in Santa Fe, Huelskamp continued his education at the College of Santa Fe (now Santa Fe University of Art and Design) and received his B.A. in social science education in 1991. He received his Ph.D. in political science, concentrating in agricultural policy from the American University in 1995.
His term in the House continued until January 3, 2017. In June 2017, Huelskamp was named President of the Illinois-based think tank The Heartland Institute.
In 1996, Huelskamp challenged Republican incumbent state senator Marian Reynolds in the primary and won by a landslide margin, taking 62 percent of the vote to Reynolds's 38 percent. The youngest state senator in 20 years, he then won re-election by wide margins in 2000, 2004 and 2008.
Huelskamp served on the following legislative committees:
- Joint Committee on Information Technology (Chairman)
- Ethics and Local Government (Chairman)
Huelskamp previously served on the state's Ways and Means Committee but was removed due to clashes with colleagues and with the Committee's leadership.
U.S. House of Representatives
See also: United States House of Representatives elections in Kansas, 2010 § District 1
Seven-term Congressman Jerry Moran gave up the Big First seat to make a successful run for the United States Senate seat being vacated by the popular fourteen-year incumbent Republican Sam Brownback, who was running for governor that year. This touched off a free-for-all in the Republican primary—the real contest in this heavily Republican district. Huelskamp finished first in the six-candidate primary field with 34.8 percent of the vote, all but assuring that he would be the district's next representative.
Huelskamp ran against Democratic nominee Alan Jilka and Libertarian nominee Jack W. Warner. Huelskamp was endorsed by the Club for Growth, Mike Huckabee,Conservative Leadership PAC, Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee, Ron Paul and Ken Blackwell.
As expected, Huelskamp won the seat in a rout, taking 73 percent of the vote.
See also: United States House of Representatives elections in Kansas, 2012 § District 1
Huelskamp ran unopposed in the general election.
Main article: United States House of Representatives elections in Kansas, 2014 § District 1
Unlike the previous election, Huelskamp was challenged by a Republican, Alan LaPolice, in the primary. Moreover, two Democrats ran for the primary Jim Sherow, a Kansas State University professor, and Bryan Whitney, a 2013 Wichita State University grad. Both LaPolice and Sherow critiqued Huelskamp for his failure to work with other Members of Congress and voting against Farm Bill. Huelskamp narrowly defeated LaPolice in the Republican Primary with only 55% of the vote. Huelskamp failed to receive the endorsement of the Farm Bureau and the Kansas Livestock Association. Huelskamp went on to win the general election with 68% of the vote.
Main article: United States House of Representatives elections in Kansas, 2016 § District 1
Huelskamp was defeated in the Republican primary by Roger Marshall, an obstetrician from Great Bend, by 58% to 42%. Marshall's supporters argued Huelskamp's combativeness hurt the district. House leadership had removed Huelskamp from the House Agriculture Committee in 2012; farm groups such as Kansas Farm Bureau, an affiliate of the American Farm Bureau Federation, Kansas Livestock Association, an affiliate of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, National Association of Wheat Growers and the US Chamber of Commerce endorsed Marshall, as many Republican voters saw it as a crucial issue in a farm state.
In early 2012, Huelskamp introduced legislation that would ensure military chaplains could not be “directed, ordered or required to perform any duty, rite, ritual, ceremony, service or function that is contrary to the conscience, moral principles or religious beliefs of the chaplain, or contrary to the moral principles or religious beliefs of the chaplain’s faith group.” The language appeared to be related to permitting same-sex marriages on military bases in states where such unions are permitted.
Sovereign debt crisis
On February 16, 2012, during a contentious three-hour House Budget Committee hearing with Treasury SecretaryTimothy Geithner, Huelskamp warned of the looming threat of an economic crisis similar to the one then taking place in Europe. Huelskamp accused Geithner and the entire Obama administration of failing to correct the U.S.'s debt crisis, which he believed would lead the country down the same path. Geithner replied that Huelskamp had an “adolescent perspective on how to think about economic policy.”
Defense of Marriage Act Constitutional Amendment
After the United States Supreme Court declared the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional on June 26, 2013, Huelskamp immediately announced that he would introduce a constitutional amendment to restore the Defense of Marriage Act. He then went on The Steve Deace Show, a conservative radio program, to denounce the Supreme Court Justices. “The idea that Jesus Christ himself was degrading and demeaning is what they’ve come down to,” he said. "I can’t even stand to read the decisions because I don’t even think they’d pass law school with decisions like that.”
The House Republican Steering Committee removed Huelskamp from both the Budget Committee and the Agriculture Committee in late 2012 as part of a larger party leadership-caucus shift. At a Heritage Foundation lunch in the immediate wake of the removal, Huelskamp said: "It's petty, it's vindictive, and if you have any conservative principles you will be punished for articulating those." He joined Justin Amash of Michigan and David Schweikert of Arizona in a letter to Speaker of the HouseJohn Boehner, demanding to know why they had lost their "plum" committee posts.
Politico quoted a spokesperson for Republican Congressman Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia as explaining that Huelskamp, Amash and Schweikert were removed for "their inability to work with other members." The spokesperson clarified that Westmoreland "said that it had nothing to do with their voting record, a scorecard, or their actions across the street [meaning fundraising]." The three were described by Politico and its sourcing of Huelskamp's other colleagues as "jerks" who "made life harder for other Republicans by taking whacks at them in public for supporting the team".:p.2
On January 3, 2013, Huelskamp appeared to be counting votes as part of an effort to unseat House SpeakerJohn Boehner when the 113th Congress convened. Huelskamp nominated conservative Jim Jordan to replace Boehner. When asked about the anti-Boehner effort, a spokesman for Huelskamp declined to comment.
Huelskamp and his wife Angela live in Fowler, Kansas. They have four adopted children.
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- ^Robb, Greg (February 16, 2012). "House Republicans warn of European-style debt crisis". MarketWatch. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
- ^Supreme Court DOMA Decision Rules Federal Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional Huffington Post – June 26, 2013
- ^"Huelskamp will try to restore DOMA". POLITICO. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
- ^Huelskamp: DOMA Ruling an Attack on Jesus Christ; Justices Couldn't Pass Law School Right Wing Watch – June 28, 2013
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- ^Bialik, Carl; Bycoffe, Aaron (September 25, 2015). "The Hard-Line Republicans Who Pushed John Boehner Out". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved 2015-09-28.
- ^"Congressional Constitution Caucus Membership". Congressional Constitution Caucus. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
- ^"Congressman contra mundum". World News Group. January 29, 2011. Retrieved December 26, 2014.
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