A new conservative GOP caucus is forming… and it could be key in stopping the compromises of House Speaker John Boehner.
It is called the Freedom Caucus, and it will be headed up by Representative Jim Jordan, R-Ohio. The caucus hopes to debut with more than 30 members and cap the group at around 40 lawmakers.
Some conservative members of Congress fear that the Republican Study Committee – once the key caucus for conservatives in the Congress – has become a vehicle for the establishment. The RSC currently has 170 members-almost three-quarters of House Republicans.
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Freedom Caucus chair Jordan commented: “I like to think that a smaller, more cohesive, more agile group can buttress and support some of the good policies and good ideas that are coming from the RSC.”
There are nine founding members of the caucus, including Jordan and Representatives Raúl Labrador, R.-Idaho; Justin Amash, R.-Mich.; Ron DeSantis, R.-Fla.; John Fleming, R.-La.; Scott Garrett, R.-N.J.; Mark Meadows, R.-N.C.; Mick Mulvaney, R.-S.C.; and Matt Salmon, R.-Ariz.
One member of the Freedom Caucus commented about the possible impact upon Republican leadership elections, including the election of the House Speaker:
Any leadership election is pretty much about organization and who has votes lined up or who can reach a lot of members quickly. That is going to be a factor in a contested leadership race.
The caucus hopes to avoid melodramatic House floor fights, while still standing strong for conservative beliefs.
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Congressman Labrador commented:
We are trying to push the entire conference to the right, but you can only do that effectively if you do it in a positive way. You can only do it effectively if there are no surprises, if we go ahead and sit down with leadership and let them know what we want, why we want it, [and] what ideas we have to improve the product or the process.
Will this new caucus be able to stand up to the Republican establishment, including House Speaker John Boehner? Let us know what you think.
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