House floor fireworks: Five lawmakers defy leadership

Tensions between House leadership and House conservatives escalated Monday morning, as five lawmakers requested to be taken off of their committees.

The requests, made on the House floor, came as conservatives rallied to the defense of Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard. Scott was stripped of her three committee assignments Thursday, after suggesting that women advance in legislative leadership if they “spread their legs.”

The legislators who protested Scott’s demotion are Reps. Ron Nate, R-Rexburg; Priscilla Giddings, R-White Bird; Karey Hanks, R-St. Anthony; Dorothy Moon, R-Stanley; and Christy Zito, R-Hammett.

Nate, serving his second term, has been one of Scott’s closest allies on the House floor. The other lawmakers are beginning their first term.

Only one of the lawmakers, Moon, is assigned to the House Education Committee.

The fireworks occurred during an otherwise short floor session. As is typical at the start of the session, the House had no bills on the docket and took no formal votes.

House Republicans went into a closed-door caucus after Monday’s session.

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