In the latest move showing he doesn't particularly care what top House Republicans think, Sen. Ted Cruz has hired a new deputy chief of staff: Paul Teller.
Teller was the Republican Study Committee executive director who was fired in December for leaking member-level conversations on the budget deal to outside conservative groups.
“Paul’s many years of experience working in Congress and his tireless work to advance conservative principles make him a tremendous addition to our team,” Cruz said in a statement. “I look forward to working with him to keep making Texans’ voices heard in Washington and to promote a positive policy agenda that will restore economic growth, rein in government overreach, and protect Americans’ personal liberties.”
Teller said it is “an honor and privilege” to work for Cruz. “His leadership is truly motivating, and I can't wait to get started on our collaboration for liberty," Teller said in the same release.
Teller has served in various positions on Capitol Hill for 14 years. For most of that time, he was associated with the conservative RSC.
Teller drew criticism in December, however, when RSC leadership charged that he was sharing private email conversations with members and staffers with other conservative operatives in an attempt to drum up opposition to the budget deal.
Teller also had an issue with leadership in 2011, when he sent out emails criticizing the August 2011 debt ceiling hike.
The hire is just the latest in a series of moves by Cruz that have flouted House GOP leaders. First, the Texas Republican questioned the motives of House GOP darling Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin. Then there was the continuing resolution battle where Cruz, much to the dismay of House GOP leaders, fanned the flames of the shutdown showdown over Obamacare. The issue culminated with Cruz meeting with 15-20 House Republicans in the basement of Tortilla Coast to discuss their next move.
Teller starts January 16, one month after he was fired from the RSC.