Tag Archives: Freedom Caucus

Freedom caucus demands impeachment vote on IRS head

Good news: Despite the opposition of Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), the conservative Freedom Caucus in the House is demanding a vote on the House floor on the impeachment of IRS head John Koskinen.

Two points: First, the vote is not guaranteed, as the motion put forth now will expire during the summer recess. The caucus will have to re-introduce it when Congress reconvenes in September, something they say they will do.

Second, Ryan’s resistance to having this vote does not speak well for him, considering the outrageous stonewalling by Koskinen in connection with IRS scandal, including lying to Congress and participating in the destruction of evidence that had been specifically requested by Congress. It also helps confirm the accusations of Ryan’s opponent in the August 9 Republican primary, Paul Nehlen, that Ryan is not the conservative he claims to be.

Kevin McCarthy drops out of Speaker election

Congressman Kevin McCarthy (R-California) has just announced that he is dropping out of the race for House Speaker.

This is a breaking story, so details remain sparse. However, McCarthy’s exit today suggests that the power of the conservatives, who just yesterday threw their backing to Daniel Webster (R-Florida), is very strong. With two of the top guys from the old Republican leadership out, things are now certainly going to change in the House. This opens up the Speaker election, making it possible for a new compromise candidate to step forward. More important, that candidate is going to have to respect the demands of the conservative wing, which forced this election.

Conservative Republicans back Webster for Speaker

The fight is on! The Freedom Caucus, a group of about 40 to 50 conservative tea party Republicans in the House, has announced that they intend to back Daniel Webster (R-Florida) for Speaker, rejecting the establishment choice of Kevin McCarthy (R-California).

Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) said Webster’s focus on procedural changes convinced conservatives to back him. “We need to have a voice, we need to have power rather than have the speaker dictate to us,” he said. “It is clear that our constituents will simply not accept a continuation of the status quo, and that the viability of the Republican Party depends on whether we start listening to our voters and fighting to keep our promises,” the Freedom Caucus said in a statement. “We accordingly believe that, under the present circumstances and without significant changes to Conference leadership and process, Rep. Daniel Webster would be best equipped to earn back the trust of the American people as Speaker of the House.”

In the end I suspect the Speaker will not be Webster, but this announcement is going to force the Republican leadership to concede power to the conservatives, something the voters have clearly wanted for the past few elections.

Boehner steps down

Good news: House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) today announced that he will resign as speaker as of the end of October.

I’ve already seen a number of stories suggesting that Boehner’s second-in-command, Kevin McCarthy (R-California), is the likely replacement. McCarthy would not be much different than Boehner, except that he will know that the conservative wing of the Republican Party was able to force out his predecessor for not supporting conservative objectives. I expect we will thus see the House leadership develop a little more spine in future conflicts with the Democrats.

This is all part of a long term process. Every election that increases the number of conservatives in Congress increases their ability to achieve their goals. Nor is this unusual. I saw the same thing in the 1960s. At the time the public wanted Congress to pass very leftwing legislation. Congress wasn’t willing to do it. It took a decade, until the late 1970s, before Congress had followed the public’s lead and become as liberal as the public.

There is always a lag. I expect the conservative momentum to continue to accelerate in the coming years.

More rumors swirl about replacing Boehner as House Speaker

Link here. The story discusses in detail some of the negotiations that appear to be going in the background within the Republican caucus, all focused on the possibility that Speaker John Boehner could be driven out sometime this fall. It also indicates that the more conservative wing of the Republican Party is pushing the issue, and no matter what happens, is likely to have greater influence in the coming months.