Tags: john boehner | budget | jim jordan

'Hell No' Caucus Saying Yes to 'Queen of the Hill' Budget

Wednesday, 25 March 2015 07:48 AM

The conservative "hell no" faction in the House has put its negative tactics on hold and is working with Speaker John Boehner to pass a budget framework for 2016, according to Politico.

A bloc of conservatives with the fiery nickname is notorious for employing "bomb-throwing" measures to block what they believe is Boehner's moderate agenda.

But it has suddenly halted its strategy in light of the respect the speaker is showing the new House Freedom Caucus, a group of around 35 invitation-only members who make their opinions known with a single voice in public after conducting their policy negotiations in private, Politico reported.

Boehner made the unusual move of introducing a variety of budgets to the floor this week after consulting with the caucus, a move which has helped the speaker and the rest of the leadership to win enough votes to eventually have the spending proposals, with vastly increased military funding, approved by the House.

The process has been called Queen of the Hill by House members, with the budget that gets the most votes will be the one that is adopted.

"We're not the caucus of no. We're a group trying to get to yes," said Arizona Rep. Matt Salmon. "We believe we have a very different guiding set of principles on balancing the budget and getting back to regular order. Doing things the right way are extremely important to us."

The caucus has been working with Budget Chairman Tom Price, a Georgia Republican, to get the support of the most hardened conservative House members for the GOP's budget plans, Politico noted.

Led by Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, the conservative group had half a dozen meetings with Price, budget committee staffers and within its own caucus to get its members to vote "yes."

After the talks continued throughout last weekend, the House Freedom Caucus suggested that lawmakers should be able to vote on several budgets — a tactic that Boehner's team approved this week, the political news website said.

A spokesperson for the Budget Committee said that reaching out to the caucus was part of its plan to "educate" Republicans.

"Since the very start of the Congress, on both the member and staff level, the chairman has had discussions with every group within the conference — including meetings and conference calls with other committees, and caucuses like the House Freedom Caucus, RSC and the Tuesday Group," the spokesperson said.

"This has been a collaborative process from the very beginning and Chairman Price appreciates the strong working relationship he has had with the members, different caucuses, chairmen and leadership on this effort."

Although Republican Maryland Rep. Andy Harris does not like the idea of supporting a budget with increased defense spending, he said that the so-called Queen of the Hill process resulted in many conservatives getting behind it.

"I like that idea. Whatever one gets the most votes, let that prevail. It works," Harris said.

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The conservative "hell no" faction in the House has put its negative tactics on hold and is working with Speaker John Boehner to pass a budget framework for 2016, according to Politico.
john boehner, budget, jim jordan
Wednesday, 25 March 2015 07:48 AM
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