Tim Huelskamp – DeSmog (blog)

This post was originally published on this site


  • Ph.D., Political Science, American University in Washington, DC (1995). [1]
  • B.A., Social Science Education, College of Santa Fe  (1991). [1]


Tim Huelskamp served for three terms in Congress, representing the 1st District of Kansas. During his time in congress, he worked on the Veterans Affairs Committee where, according to his profile at the Heartland Institute, he “was a leader in exposing the corruption and failures at the VA and pushing through a historic health care choice option for veterans.” He also chaired the Elections and Local Government, Information Technology, and Medicaid Reform committees. [2]

He was elected for his first term in November 2010, and subsequently re-elected in 2012 and 2014. Huelskamp was chairman of the the Tea Party Caucus from February 2015. He ran for re-election in 2016 to be defeated in the Republican primary by Roger Marshall. His House term ended January 3, 2017. [3], [4]

“In Congress, Congressman Huelskamp is a leading conservative advocate for life, marriage, cutting spending, reducing taxes, lowering regulatory burdens, and repealing Obamacare,” his archived Congressional biography reads. He also proudly declares “He leading the battle to reduce government regulations, such as the intrusive Waters of the United States rule and the Endangered Species Act.” Among his stances, Huelskamp has also strongly supported defunding Planned Parenthood and is against gay marriage. [3][2], [5], [6]

In June, 2017, the Heartland Instituteannounced that Huelskamp would replace Joe Bast as the Institute’s president, beginning his work in July 2017. Huelskamp maintains a lifetime score of 5% with the League of Conservation Voters, with a score of 0% in 2016. A full list of legislation sponsored or cosponsored by Huelskamp is available at Congress.gov. According to his voting record tracked at OnTheIssues, Huelskamp has consistently voted against any legislation that would combat fossil fuel emissions or climate change.  [7], [8], [9], [10]

Koch & Fossil Fuel Support

The Washington Post reported in 2016 that while Tim Huelksamp was campaigning against Roger Marshall in primaries, he was backed by major conservative groups including the Club for Growth and Americans for Prosperity, the political arm of the Koch brothers. [11]

According to data from OpenSecrets, Huelskamp’s top donor is Koch Industries and he has received the highest lifetime campaign contributions from the Oil and Gas industry, totally over one-quarter of a million dollars. Below are career totals added up by OpenSecrets. [12]

Industry Total Contributor Total Indivs PACs
Oil & Gas $252,393 Koch Industries $40,900 $3,400 $37,500
Retired $209,441 Watco Companies $36,200 $36,200 $0
Crop Production & Basic Processing $196,178 American Bankers Assn $35,000 $0 $35,000
Republican/Conservative $167,254 B&G Production $34,400 $34,400 $0
Leadership PACs $152,163 House Freedom Fund $34,025 $250 $33,775
Health Professionals $124,755 National Assn of Home Builders $32,500 $0 $32,500
Misc Manufacturing & Distributing $102,850 Russell Stover Candies $32,200 $32,200 $0
Commercial Banks $93,600 Vess Oil Corp $30,000 $30,000 $0
Real Estate $75,310 Hodgdon Powder $28,700 $28,700 $0
Railroads $67,848 Onyx Collection $25,500 $25,500 $0
Agricultural Services/Products $65,700 KMG Tool $24,400 $24,400 $0
General Contractors $59,647 Berexco Inc $23,700 $23,700 $0
Food & Beverage $59,550 National Auto Dealers Assn $22,500 $0 $22,500
Home Builders $58,900 Citizens United $22,000 $0 $22,000
Securities & Investment $55,286 Every Republican is Crucial PAC $20,000 $0 $20,000
Misc Finance $53,250 AT&T Inc $19,500 $500 $19,000
Livestock $51,025 American Medical Assn $19,000 $1,000 $18,000
Insurance $50,613 National Assn of Realtors $19,000 $0 $19,000
Retail Sales $44,700 Ariel Corp $18,900 $18,900 $0
Lawyers/Law Firms $42,422 Ag Services $18,250 $18,250 $0

Data exported from the FEC lists funding from PACs including ExxonMobil’s PAC, the National Rifle Association’s, R.J. Reynolds, and a wide range of other industry groups. View the complete data of political contributions to Huelskamp’s committee, “Kansans for Huelskamp,” as retrieved and analysed by DeSmog (.xlsx).

Stance on Climate Change

Tim Huelskamp is a signatory to Americans for Prosperity‘s “No Climate Tax” pledge. The pledge reads as follows: [13]
No Climate Tax Pledge

According to a 2013 investigative Report on Koch Industries, most pledge signers had also received campaign contributions from Koch Industries. [14]

September, 2015

Tim Huelskampt old HuffPost that he didn’t believe that climate change was “settled “science.” [15]

I don’t think there’s a scientific consensus on that,” Huelskamp said. “If you want to print that life begins at conception, that’s settled science.” [15]


Huelskamp offers the following statement on Energy at his website, Tim Huelskamp for Congress: [16]

“Our nation is dependent on far too many foreign sources of energy. This results in massive volatility and increases in energy prices. We need to take a more common-sense and comprehensive approach to solving our energy crisis.

“I support enhancing our domestic energy production by exploring for and responsibly using our resources in ANWR as well as drilling for oil off America’s coasts. I also support coal, natural gas, nuclear, ethanol, wind, biomass, and any other viable methods to increase America’s energy supply and decrease our dependence on foreign oil.

The Keystone XL Pipeline has been stalled by President Obama for over four years, costing Americans jobs and greater energy security. The jobs and revenue to be generated from the construction and operation of the Keystone XL pipeline would not only help the First District of Kansas, but all of America. Advancing America’s energy production would go a long way to getting our economy back on track – and protecting our national security.”  [16]

Gay Marriage

Huelskamp has consistently opposed gay marriage. After a judge declared the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Huelskamp quickly brought forward his own Federal Marriage Amendment which would redefine marriage as between a man and a woman. He also warned that the DOMA decision would would hurt children. [17], [18]

[embedded content]

Appearing on The Steve Deace Show later in June, Huelskamp said that the DOMA ruling was an attack on Jesus Christ. He accused the judge of attempting to “rewrite the Constitution” and said, “The idea that Jesus Christ himself was degrading and demeaning is what they’ve come down to.” Huelskamp also said those who ruled on. DOMA shouldn’t have passed law school, saying “I can’t even stand to read the decisions because I don’t even think they’d pass law school with decisions like that.” Audio below. [19]

Huelskamp has also called for “real men” to stand up to gay marriage.  “Your woman, your wife, she needs you, it’s time you become a real man and stand up,” he said at March for Marriage: [20]

[embedded content]

He also appeared in an anti-gay “documentary” film edited by Faith 2 Action’s Janet Porter at the National Religious Broadcaster’s Convention in Nashville. View a preview of the film, via Right Wing Watch, below. [21]

[embedded content]

Key Quotes

 June 1, 2017

Writing on Twitter, Tim Huelskamp attributes the hashtag “#FakeNews” to the statement that “climate scientists nearly unanimously blame human activity for climate change…” [22]

June 17, 2015

Speaking with NewsMax after portions of Pope Francis’s Encyclical on the Environment were leaked, Huelskamp said: [23]

“[I]f the encyclical identifies man as the major cause of climate change, I doubt it will identify the proper solution.”

September 2, 2011

In a statement, Congressman Tim Huelskamp criticized the EPA: [24]

“Be it dust regulation, treating milk spills like oil spills, or greenhouse gas emissions, the White House and its EPA are on the prowl, in search of another way to insert itself in the affairs of America’s rural communities and in the way of American prosperity.”

Key Deeds

June 29, 2017

The Heartland Institute announced that Joe Bast would be stepping down as president, to be replaced by Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp starting July, 2017. Bast said he would remain with Heartland as CEO until some time in 2018. [7]

According to reporting by The Hill, as the new president of Heartland, Huelskamp would continue “pushing for eliminating Environmental Protection Agency regulations and challenging ‘climate change alarmists’ like former President Obama and former Vice President Al Gore; advocate for school choice and voucher programs; and offer assistance to states navigating ObamaCare and the current healthcare fight.” [25]

I have big shoes to fill given the tremendous leadership of Joe Bast and the Heartland team,” Huelskamp said in a phone interview with The Hill.  [25]

Huelskamp is former chairman of the Tea Party Caucus and a member of the far-right House Freedom Caucus. [25]

May 18, 2016

Huelskamp co-sponsored the “Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2016,” or H.R. 4775, a bill that would delay implementation of the Clean Air Act’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) program. [26], [27]

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) wrote a letter of opposition, calling the bill “one of the most irresponsible compilations of attacks on Clean Air Act health standards ever to be introduced in Congress.” [28]

On the other side, the industry-friendly U.S. Chamber of Commerce wrote a letter of support for the bill, describing it as a “a common-sense plan that maintains continued air quality improvement without unnecessarily straining state and local economic resources.” [29]

November 3, 2015

Huelskamp was a cosponsor of bill H.R.3880 – Stopping EPA Overreach Act of 2015. The bill would amend the Clean Air Act to exclude regulation of carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride pollution. [30]

“The bill declares that current law does not authorize or require the regulation of climate change or global warming and nullifies certain proposed rules relating to greenhouse gas and carbon pollution emissions,” the description reads. [30]

June 9, 2015

Huelskamp co-sponsored bill H.R.4813 – Protection and Accountability Regulatory Act of 2014, which would nullify proposed rules by the EPA designed to regulate emissions from electric utilities. [31], [32]

April 16, 2015

Huelskamp is a cosponsor of the “Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015,” or H.R. 1732. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reported that “ it is more appropriately dubbed the ‘R.I.P. Act,’ as it would kill a nearly-complete public rulemaking process to restore Clean Water Act safeguards against pollution and destruction for a majority of the nation’s waterways.” [5], [33]

According to the NRDC, the primary purpose of the rule would be to direct the EPA and Army Corps the discuss the rule with stakeholders who they have already worked with extensively on the rule, further delaing improvement to pollution protections. [33]

February 2, 2015

Co-sponsored the “Lesser Prairie Chicken Voluntary Recovery Act of 2015,” or H.R. 659, which would remove Endangered Species Act protections for the lesser prairie chicken as threatened until at least 2020. The Center for Biological Diversity lists this bill among a number of attacks on the endangered species act. [34][35]

According to additional research by Defenders of Wildlife, Huelskamp sponsored several other bills in 2015 designed to delist the lesser prairie chicken as endangered. For example: [36]

  • H. Amdt. 3 to Inter. Approps. (H.R. 2822) — Prevents the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from uplisting the threatened lesser prairie-chicken as endangered. [36]
  • H. Amdt. 2. To Inter. Approps. (H.R. 2822) — Blocks federal funding for the threatened lesser prairie chicken [36]

As DeSmog reported, the lesser prairie chicken makes its home in the Permian Basin, a hotbed for the fast-growing hydrualic fracturing (fracking) industry. [37]

“Drillers fear that federal protections for more threatened and endangered animals could drive up their costs at a time when the industry is already battered by low oil prices, growing competition from renewable energy, and increasing attention from investors and regulators over the climate-altering impacts of fossil fuels,” DeSmog’s Sharon Kelly wrote. [37]

“For years, the oil industry here has spent millions of dollars battling to prevent the listing of just two rare animals, the lesser prairie chicken and the dunes sagebrush lizard, both by fighting in court and by funding voluntary preservation programs.” [37]

December, 2012

Tim Huelskamp was among conservatives “purged” from House committees, arguing that he had been unfairly targeted for his conservative voting record. In an December interview with POLITICO, one member of the Steering Committee called them “the most egregious a—holes” in the House Republican Conference. [38]

A spokesperson for Rep. Lynn Westmoreland told POLITICO that their voting record was not at issue in the Steering Committee’s decision: [38]

He said that it had nothing to do with their voting record, a scorecard, or their actions across the street [meaning fundraising]. It had to do with their inability to work with other members, which some people might refer to as the a—hole factor.”[38]

The spokesperson later clarified that Westmoreland didn’t intend to call anyone a name and acknowledged later to her that “perhaps he should have said obstinate factor instead and wanted me to reiterate that he did not and would not call another member of Congress an a—hole.” [38]

October 5, 2011

Huelskamp spoke at a Leadership Institute conference. Video below. [39]

April 7, 2011

After co-sponsoring a bill which would prohibit the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases, Huelskamp issued the following statement: [40]

In keeping with our commitment to reducing the overreach of the Environmental Protection Agency, the House passed legislation to curtail the agency’s efforts to regulate greenhouse gases,” Congressman Huelskamp said. “The EPA must be stopped from killing jobs, emptying Americans’ pocketbooks, and straining our economy.”

February 15, 2011

Listed as a co-sponsor of H.R. 509, a bill that would amend the Endangered Species Act of 193 to delist the gray wolf (canis lupus). This is one of several bills listed among attacks on the endangered species act, as reported by the Center for Biological Diversity. [41], [35]


  • House Freedom and Liberty Caucus Member. [42][2]
  • Tea Party Caucus — Chair. [2]

Social Media


Huelskamp is “often invited to appear in national news outlets to promote conservative, constitutional principles and ideas,” according to one biography. [3]


  1. Alumni: #SPA80for80: Rep. Tim Huelskamp, SPA/PhD ’95,” School of Public Affairs, January 28, 2015. Archived July 3, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/DJaBj

  2. TIM HUELSKAMP,” The Heartland Institute Archived July 4, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/gnaXa

  3. Full Biography,” Congressman Tim Huelskamp. Archived December 28, 2015. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/N9MIf

  4. Joe Robertson. “Tea party’s Tim Huelskamp ousted by challenger Roger Marshall in Kansas congressional race,” Kansas City Star, August 2, 2016. Archived July 3, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/Yp9ys

  5. Cosponsors: H.R.1732 — 114th Congress (2015-2016),” Congress.gov. Archived July 4, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/myCVd

  6. Planned Parenthood funding: Discussion with Rep. Tim Huelskamp and Rep. Diana DeGette,” The Washington Post, April 14, 2011. Archived July 4, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/VvfDA

  7. PRESS RELEASEHEARTLAND INSTITUTE NAMES FORMER CONGRESSMAN TIM HUELSKAMP INCOMING PRESIDENT,” The Heartland Institute, June 29, 2017.  Archived June 30, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/mzEuW

  8. Representative Tim Huelskamp (R),” League of Conservation Voters. Archived July 3, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/n8qPf

  9. Representative Tim Huelskamp,” Congress.gov. Archived July 4, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/gWaw4

  10. Tim Huelskamp on Energy & Oil,” OnTheIssues. Archived July 4, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/mgbU4

  11. Amber Phillips. “What a tea party congressman’s surprise loss tells us about the tea party right now,” The Washington Post, August 3, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/aGTyC 

  12. Top Contributors,” OpenSecrets. Accessed July 4, 2017.], [“Top Industries,”OpenSecrets. Accessed July 4, 2017.

  13. Pledge Takers,” No Climate Tax. Archived July 4, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/B0bNW

  14. CHARLES LEWIS , ERIC HOLMBERG , ALEXIA FERNANDEZ CAMPBELLLYDIA BEYOUD. “Koch millions spread influence through nonprofits, colleges,” Investigative Reporting Workshop. July 1st, 2013. Archived July 10, 2015.

  15. Jennifer Bendery. “Conservatives Dismiss Pope On Climate Change, Warn Of Immigrant ‘Anarchy’,” HuffPost, September 24, 2015. Archived July 3, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/W1exd

  16. Issues,” Tim Huelskamp for Congress. Archived July 4, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/ehvnV

  17. Jennifer Bendery. “Tim Huelskamp Readies Constitutional Amendment To Ban Gay Marriage,” HuffPost, June 26, 2013. Archived July 4, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/4w0cV

  18. Brian Tashman. “Rep. Huelskamp: ‘Radical’ DOMA Decision Means ‘Children Will Be Hurt’,” Right Wing Watch, June 26, 2013. Archived July 4, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/7EZe0

  19. Huelskamp: DOMA Ruling an Attack on Jesus Christ; Justices Couldn’t Pass Law School,” Right Wing Watch, June 28, 2013. Archived July 4, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/QN9Nb

  20. Brian Tashman. “Tim Huelskamp Says ‘Real Men’ Oppose Marriage Equality, Protect ‘Your Woman’,” Right Wing Watch, June 19, 2014. Archived July 4, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/h3PSQ

  21. Kyle Mantyla. “GOP Presidential Hopefuls And Members Of Congress Appear In New Anti-Gay ‘Documentary’,” Right Wing Watch, February 5, 2015. Archived July 4, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/hjTWv

  22. “You will see this #FakeNews line all day. #ParisClimateDeal #ParisAgreement,” Twitter post by user @CongHuelskamp, June 1, 2017. Archived image on file at DeSmog.

  23. John Gizzi. “House Conservatives: Pope’s Message on Climate Change Tough One to Defend,” NewsMax, June 17, 2015. Archived July 4, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/n8v2I

  24. It’s More Than the Rumor Mill That’s Grinding America’s Nerves,” Congressman Tim Huelskamp, September 2, 2011. Archived February 18, 2013. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/Q8WoQ

  25. Scott Wong. “Tea Party favorite to lead conservative think tank,” The Hill, June 29, 2017. Archived June 30, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/oEYwk 

  26. Cosponsors: H.R.4775 — 114th Congress (2015-2016),” Congress.gov. Archived July 4, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/4NCgk

  27. H.R.4775 – Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2016,” Congress.gov. Archived July 4, 2017. Archive.is URL:  https://archive.is/UvtW1

  28. Community Letter in Opposition of the Ozone Standards Implementation Act (H.R. 4775),” NRDC, April 14, 2017. Archived July 4, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/4uTbY

  29. Coalition Letter Supporting H.R. 4775, the Ozone Standards Implementation Act,” U.S. Chamber of Congress, April 18, 2016. Archived July 4, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/ZIM0u

  30. H.R.3880 – Stopping EPA Overreach Act of 2015,” Congress.gov. Archived July 3, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/nhq0w

  31. Cosponsors: H.R.4813 — 113th Congress (2013-2014),” Congress.gov. Archived July 4, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/N0BOU

  32. H.R.4813 – Protection and Accountability Regulatory Act of 2014,” Congress.gov. Archived July 4, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/vYDyL

  33. Act Now to Stop Congressional Attack on Clean Water Safeguards,” NRDC, April 27, 2015. Archived July 4, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/ZKytA

  34. Cosponsors: H.R.659 — 114th Congress (2015-2016),” Congress.gov. Archived July 4, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/gmy4V

  35. ATTACKS ON THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT,” Center for Biological Diversity. Archived July 4, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/k2D1A

  36. Summary of Legislative Attacks on the Endangered Species Act from the 114th Congress,” Defenders of Wildlife, February 1, 2016.

  37. Sharon Kelly. “Protections for Rare and Endangered Animals Under Threat from Permian Basin Drilling Industry,” DeSmog, November 21, 2016.

  38. Jonathan Allen. “’The a–hole factor,” Politico, December 13, 2012. Archived July 3, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/a5DRN

  39. Conservative Speakers: Tim Huelskamp,” Leadership Institute, October 5, 2011. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/Px5Rf

  40. Congressman Huelskamp Lauds Passage of Energy Tax Prevention Act,” Congressman Tim Huelskamp, April 7, 2011. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/8TW3J

  41. Cosponsors: H.R.509 — 112th Congress (2011-2012),” Congress.gov. Archived July 4, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/fn758

  42. Alexis Levinson. “What’s Going On in Kansas’s Big First?National Review, August 2, 2016. Archived July 3, 2017. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/wK13U

Other Resources