Moderate Republican representatives are weighing their options to maximize leverage with next year's House majority, which is thinner than what most experts had expected, Politico reported on Monday.
The GOP moderates say that Kevin McCarthy, who is on path to becoming House speaker, must understand that any agreement with rebellious conservatives could face resistance from centrists who see themselves as the Republican Party's "majority makers."
"Kevin’s not stupid," said Rep. Dave Joyce, R-Ohio, who leads the centrist Republican Governance Group. "He’s trying to add to his numbers, not destroy his base. And so I count on his political acumen to know what's acceptable to the rank and file inside the conference."
Even as attention after the midterms turned to the vocal criticism of the conservative Freedom Caucus, members of the moderate Main Street Caucus and the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus have been discussing how to exert crucial extra influence next year, according to Politico.
Problem Solvers co-chiefs Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa. and Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., met last week and discussed the possibility of rule changes to help ensure their approximately 50 members next year are more unified and powerful.
In addition, Republicans in the Main Street Caucus reportedly also got together last week, as they boost their own ranks ahead of next year.
Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., co-leader of the Main Street Caucus, said that it is "time we flex our muscles."
The factions' first real test of power within the House Republicans could be the House speaker vote on Jan. 3, especially after 31 GOP members last week reportedly chose McCarthy's hardline conservative challenger in a closed-door conference election and five more put down write-in names.
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