Ever notice that these people give their BS all these patriotic sounding titles….like the ‘Fair Tax Act’, Freedom Caucus and none of them have anything patriotic attached to it in reality.
For this post I want to write about the ultra-conserv caucus within the House of Representatives, the Freedom Caucus……
The group, which includes many veterans of the Tea Party movement, was formed in January with the declared aim of pushing the House GOP leadership rightward on certain fiscal and social issues. More broadly, the caucus wants power shifted away from the leadership to the rank-and-file (by, for instance, giving committees more leeway on which bills to move forward and allowing more amendments to come to floor votes).
Unlike the plethora of caucuses and committees – which range from the Ad Hoc Congressional Committee for Irish Affairs to the House GOP Study Group – the Freedom Caucus does not officially disclose who belongs to it (aside from its nine founding members), though various unofficial lists have circulated. Membership is by invitation only, and meetings are not public.
The caucus originated during the mid-January 2015 Republican congressional retreat in Hershey, Pennsylvania. According to founding member Mick Mulvaney, “that was the first time we got together and decided we were a group, and not just a bunch of pissed-off guys”. Nine conservative Republican members of the House began planning a new congressional caucus separate from the Republican Study Committee and apart from the House Republican Conference. The founding members who constituted the first board of directors for the new caucus were Republican representatives Scott Garrett of New Jersey, Jim Jordan of Ohio, John Fleming of Louisiana, Matt Salmon of Arizona, Justin Amash of Michigan, Raúl Labrador of Idaho, Mulvaney of South Carolina, Ron DeSantis of Florida and Mark Meadows of North Carolina.
Like the forerunner of the group, the Tea Party, the Freedom Caucus never intended to lead only to disrupt.
At the beginning of this month, the House endured the longest contest to elect a speaker in 164 years. Rep. Kevin McCarthy ultimately was elected speaker, but only after he made several concessions to a small but influential faction of dissenting conservative Republicans. Though not every member of the Freedom Caucus — a far-right coalition of Republican lawmakers — voted against McCarthy, nearly every member who did oppose him was a member of the Freedom Caucus.
That commonality has drawn renewed attention to the Freedom Caucus and its role within Congress. Despite being a minority in the House, the Freedom Caucus has repeatedly punched above its weight and effected genuine change in the chamber. Powerful political factions are as old as American politics, and in most ways, the Freedom Caucus is just a continuation of that tradition. But in a few key ways, its members are doing something different: voting as a bloc, willing to go against their own party’s leadership and to gum up the works to make a statement. Those differences have allowed the Freedom Caucus to exercise influence over the better part of the past decade — and are why it’s only just getting started.
Modern congressional caucuses emerged in the last century, though less formal organizations of like-minded members have existed in Congress since the start, according to Ruth Bloch Rubin, a political science professor at the University of Chicago and the author of “Building the Bloc: Intraparty Organization in the U.S. Congress.” During the Progressive Era in the early 20th century, a group of insurgent Republicans worked alongside Democrats to strip away some of the powers that had been consolidated by the speaker. In the 1960s and ’70s, the left-leaning Democratic Study Group worked to push through civil rights legislation (along with, later, the Congressional Black Caucus), against bitter opposition from conservative Southern Democrats.
Typically, such influential intraparty factions emerge only when parties find themselves especially divided, Bloch Rubin said. “It’s usually because there’s enough of a cleavage within the party that these sort of factions have enough members and the distance between one faction and a competitor faction within the same party is enough that it warrants this kind of organizational work,” she said.
This caucus was designed to be a distraction from the silliness of the GOP….they are there to disrupt and play political games not to govern.
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”