Republicans are furious that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and President Joe Biden struck an agreement to suspend the debt ceiling. The harshest backlash comes from the House’s loudest members — the Freedom Caucus, who accuse McCarthy of not upholding several promises he made when he was elected speaker.
Eleven members of the farthest-right wing of the House staged a 2-day mutiny. Freedom Caucus occupied the floor and refused to surrender. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), the rebellion leader, tweeted, “House Leadership couldn’t Hold the Line. Now we Hold the Floor.”
Rep. Lauren Boebert’s (R-Colo.) tweet alluded to the debt ceiling agreement: “I can think of four trillion reasons why we are holding the House Floor!”
As a result, this small group of extremists paralyzed the legislative process making it impossible to debate or vote on bills.
In a later tweet, Gatez posted: “We want to open the floor. But not for the next act of FAILURE THEATER. We’ve had enough ‘messaging bills’ this Congress. Let’s deliver CONSEQUENCES, not messages.”
While the Freedom Caucus revolt meant to block representatives from voting on legislation, Roll Call reported it was not consequential. “It stalled action on bills that were never likely to become law.”
These far-right TEA Party/MAGA extremists hold a larger role in House of Representatives leadership because of the deal that made McCarthy Speaker of the House for the 118th Congress. Moreover, the troublesome Freedom Caucus members remain loyal to the twice-impeached and twice-indicted former president.
Furthermore, these election deniers adhere to a doctrine that demands the destruction of American Democracy. According to Pew Research Center, “In January 2021, the Freedom Caucus almost unanimously opposed the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory over former President Donald Trump.”
Like many others, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (MTG) continues to idolize Trump and calls him “My president.” Political commentators think she is positioning herself as his vice presidential candidate in the 2024 Presidental election.
McCarthy told reporters: “We’ve been through this before; you know we’re in a small majority. I [didn’t] take this job because it’s easy. We’ll work through this, and we’ll get even stronger.”
These are strong words from a leader that could be removed from his throne based on the agreement to secure his speakership.
Besides MTG, Boebert, and Gaetz, who are Freedom Caucus members’ representatives, and what is their agenda?
Freedom Caucus Membership
Of all the caucuses and single-issue groups on Capitol Hill, the Freedom Caucus membership is reportedly by invitation only, and it does not publicize their names. Pew Research has identified 49 House members based on this significant list of factors.
According to Pew Research, “Nearly all of the 20 or so Republican House members who threatened to torpedo Kevin McCarthy’s speakership bid belong to the Freedom Caucus or are closely aligned with it.”
Furthermore, Pew Research created the following list of the 118th Congress Freedom Caucus and its allies. They are Representatives Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Dan Bishop (N.C.), Lauren Boebert (Colo.), Josh Brecheen (Okla.), Ken Buck (Colo.), Eric Burlison (Mo.), Ben Cline (Va.) Michael Cloud (Texas), Andrew Clyde (Ga.), Mike Collins (Ga.), Eli Crane (Ariz.), Warren Davidson (Ohio), Scott DesJarlais (Tenn.), Byron Donalds (Fla.), Jeff Duncan (S.C.), Ross Fulcher (Idaho), Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Bob Good (Va.), Paul Gosar (Ariz.), Mark Green (Tenn.), Marjorie Taylor Green (Ga.), and Morgan Griffith (Va.).
The Freedom Caucus and allies list continues with Harriet Hageman (Wyo.), Andy Harris (Md.), Diana Harshbarger (Tenn.), Clay Higgins (La.), Ronny Jackson (Texas), Mike Johnson, Jim Jordan (Ohio), Debbie Lesko (Ariz.), Anna Paulina Luna (Fla.), Mary Miller (Ill.), Max Miller (Ohio), Alex Mooney (W.V.), and Barry Moore (Ala.).
Finally, Greg Murphy (N.C.), Troy Nehls (Texas), Ralph Norman (S.C.), Andy Ogles (Tenn.), Gary Palmer (Ala.), Scott Perry (Pa.), Bill Posey (Fla.), Matt Rosendale (Mont.), Chip Roy (Texas), David Schweikert (Ariz.), Keith Self (Texas), Greg Steube (Fla.), Tom Tiffany (Wisc.), and Randy Weber (Texas).
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
The New York Times: House Is Paralyzed as Far-Right Rebels Continue Mutiny Against McCarthy; by Annie Karni
Pew Research: Freedom Caucus likely to play a bigger role in new GOP-led House. So who are they? By Drew DeSilver
The New Republic: Republican Infighting Is So Bad They’re Messing Up Their Own Fake Biden Probe; by Tori Otten
Newsweek: Matt Gaetz Says He’d Make ‘Great’ House Leader Amid McCarthy Rebellion; by Anna Commander
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