Freedom Caucus worries how far to push its rebellion


These internal divisions are minimal for the moment, especially since Republicans are still in the minority. But some members of the Freedom Caucus are starting to worry about their ability to stay united if the GOP returns to the House next year, which has been key to their past success.

“We have to get back to collegiate operations here. Some of the rhetoric has to end. I am really ready for us to work together, ”said the second Freedom Caucus member. If the group members’ delay in speaking tactics last “much longer,” the House Republican added, “I will probably share my opinion” with the leaders of the Freedom Caucus.

Initially formed as a hard-right irritant to the GOP leadership, the Freedom Caucus later became a club for Donald Trump’s staunchest supporters. In the post-Trump era, the group will be faced with its own questions about its broader leadership, especially as it prepares to elect a new leader this fall. Biggs will be limited by term by the end of this year and is also considering a candidacy for the Arizona Senate.

“There is real concern among the Freedom Caucus that it lacks a long-term vision,” said a senior GOP aide with knowledge of caucus politics. “There doesn’t seem to be any organized legislative plan or agenda – only press conferences and sporadic press releases. You could argue that this … has divided the caucus more than ever. “

McCarthy has worked hard to make inroads with the Freedom Caucus, which has already blocked his presidential bid. If Republicans take over the House and McCarthy continues to lead the GOP, it’s unclear what the role – and relevance – of the Freedom Caucus will be in the larger conference.

Some predict a potential schism in which Freedom Caucus rebels, such as Biggs and Greene, continue to drop bombs in an attempt to torment the leadership. Biggs recently faced with McCarthy behind closed doors on his procedural gambits, suggesting the Arizona Republican has little interest in following the leadership’s direction.

But others predict that more Freedom Caucus members will choose their places to challenge leadership and follow in Jordan’s footsteps, who has become more of a team player in exchange for access to McCarthy. The GOP leader gave his blessing to Jordan to become the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee. Now Jordan says he won’t challenge McCarthy for the post of president or chief, pointing out how the icy relationship between the former rivals has thawed.

McCarthy also sought to defend Greene, a newly anointed Freedom Caucus member, when Democrats dismissed her from its committees earlier this year. But even though the political arm of the Freedom Caucus recruited Greene to run in his district, some members of the group initially whitewashed support for his candidacy, according to several sources. Representative Jody Hice (R-Ga.), Freedom Caucus member and former pastor, even withdrew her endorsement from Greene after POLITICO discovered a series of racist Facebook videos she made last summer.

While there was initially some concern about his joining the group, lawmakers say it wore off when Greene apologized to the closed-door conference for his inflammatory rhetoric. Despite her past divisive behavior, she has now become one of the faces of caucus delay tactics, leaping at the chance to force repeated adjournment motions and blowing up fellow Republican who opposed the effort. .

“She caused some consternation among the members at first, but they have since reconciled with Marjorie because of her sincere apologies,” said the second Freedom Caucus member.

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