Tags: Tea Party | freedom caucus | house | boehner | Jim Jordan

House Freedom Caucus Looks to Bend Leadership to Its Will

By    |   Monday, 13 July 2015 08:52 AM

Emboldened by recent successes and growing membership rolls, the far-right House Freedom Caucus has plans to capitalize on its influence by trying to block GOP initiatives and demand others are altered to make them more conservative, Politico reports.

Blocking the renewal of the Export-Import Bank, raising spending caps and creating a "'Contract with America'-style manifesto of legislative proposals that it will lobby GOP leaders to take up" are among the caucus' plans, according to Politico.

In January, The Hill reported on the Freedom Caucus' formation by nine conservatives who "have been frequent thorns in the side of House GOP leadership over the past four years," according to the website.

The group's mission statement said it would give a voice "to countless Americans who feel that Washington does not represent them. We support open, accountable and limited government, the Constitution and the rule of law, and policies that promote the liberty, safety and prosperity of all Americans."

House Speaker John Boehner and his team retaliated against the caucus for working with Democrats to derail a rule on the fast-track trade bill (their efforts were unsuccessful) by booting three members from the whip team and stripping North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows of his chairmanship of the Subcommittee on Government Operations.

But Freedom Caucus leadership outfoxed the speaker by using an obscure committee bylaw provision, which states that the decision could be overruled by a majority of party lawmakers on the panel, according to Politico.

Since that committee is "stacked with Freedom Caucus members," Meadows was reinstated within a week.

The move, according to Politico, "made conservatives look stronger and Boehner and his leadership team appear feckless and unable to manage the conference."

Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, chairman of the Freedom Caucus, told Politico that the group needs to show America its vision.

"You know why 65 percent of Republicans don’t think we're doing what we said we were going to do? Because we’re not," he said. "We have a chance now, an opportunity now, to do what we said we were going to do."

Exact membership numbers in the "secretive conservative group" are a question mark, according to Roll Call, since the caucus refuses to provide a roster, but various media reports have put the rolls anywhere between 40 and 70 members.

According to Politico, some 60 members have contacted the group with interest in joining, including eight-term California Rep. Darrell Issa, though the caucus has rebuffed lawmakers it believes are "more interested in headlines about themselves."

The group began garnering interest from a litany of Republicans after receiving media attention for exposing Boehner's "deal-making with Democrats on trade" and "a change in how doctors who treat Medicare patients are reimbursed."

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Emboldened by recent successes and growing membership rolls, the far-right House Freedom Caucus has plans to capitalize on its influence by trying to block GOP initiatives and demand others are altered to make them more conservative, Politico reports.
freedom caucus, house, boehner, Jim Jordan
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2015-52-13
Monday, 13 July 2015 08:52 AM
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