After a midterm election cycle that saw disappointing results for conservatives, a small group of House holdouts saved the day. And in standing on principle, they gave state-level legislators a path to follow to achieve meaningful change.
The 20 GOP House members withstood a barrage of criticism, not the least of which came from within their own party. Democrats and establishment Republicans berated the group for standing true to their word.
When the dust settled, however, it was a successful revolt that fundamentally changed the way business is conducted in Congress. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) grasped the Speaker’s gavel, but now there are different rules to follow.
The Freedom Caucus was victorious in decentralizing the way rules are amended in the House. It was also able to form the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, a key step to counteracting the overreaches of the Biden administration.
House @SpeakerMcCarthy has selected @RepChipRoy and @RepRalphNorman—both members of the staunchly conservative @FreedomCaucus who were among the 20 holdouts who delayed his election as speaker—to serve on the influential House Rules Committee. https://t.co/5ZwlLCLsTU
— The Epoch Times (@EpochTimes) January 24, 2023
Important committee assignments were secured, there were floor vote guarantees granted, and other concessions galore that fundamentally changed the way McCarthy leads the lower chamber.
And state-level conservatives noted the rebels’ success.
Idaho State Sen. Scott Herndon declared that the Freedom Caucus victory put party moderates nationwide on notice. Saying that grassroots conservative momentum should pick up speed, Herndon also expected Freedom Caucus growth to work as a counterbalance to the establishment.
An immediate effect was felt in the Montana legislature where a like-minded gathering of 14 formed the Montana Freedom Caucus. State Sen. Theresa Manzella noted on social media that the small group hoped to be “as effective at the state level.”
The State Freedom Caucus Network has now reached 10 organizations nationwide.
As Herndon, a member of the Freedom Caucus in Idaho declared, even large Republican caucuses at times lose the conservative position because the state tent is so large. But with the caucus, voting as a block means the true conservatives “can have significant impact” and score more wins.
The power of the caucus, as the House battle just proved, is its ability to wrest control away from a single individual or small group who dominates the rest of the body. And a small gathering of House Republicans just created a blueprint for conservatives everywhere to flex their muscles.