• Cloakroom Confidential: New Speaker Should Defend Freedom


    The House Freedom Caucus, along with the Tea Party Caucus and the Republican Opportunity Society are flexing some muscle these days.

    They have basically forced out Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), because Boehner was too scared of a motion to vacate by HFC member Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) who had a motion to vacate the chair ready to go.

    Then the HFC helped block the ascension of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to the Speaker’s office by rallying around Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fa.) as a way to get leverage in the Speaker’s race.

    Now, while many in leadership are trying to convince Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) to be the next candidate chosen by the elite, it appears that this race is wide open. At least ten members of the House are throwing their names into the pubic domain and vetting a possible run for Speaker.

    There are two, related principles, that need to be followed by conservatives in the House before they settle on a new Speaker. The first is to use this race to restore the power of the caucus to run the House back to the rank and file members. Boehner frequently brought up bills that didn’t have majority support of the House and that should end. Second is to make sure that the new Speaker is more responsive to the members of his own party rather than big donors.

    The following HFC members are the core of the group and were the founders of the organization — representatives Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Raul Labrador (R – Idaho), Justin Amash (R – Mich.), Ron DeSantis (R – Fla.), John Fleming (R – La.), Scott Garrett (R – N.J.), Mick Mulvaney (R – S.C), and Matt Salmon (R – Ariz.) and Meadows. These members of the House are very libertarian leaning and very very conservative. Also, there are two hardcore “Young Guns” who are solid libertarian leaning members – Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and Thomas Massie (R-Ky.).

    There are three candidates who have raised red flags of cronyism. The first is Ryan for his vocal support of the bailout of Wall Street TARP. And the second and third problematic candidates are Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Webster for their support of H.R. 707, the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA). That bill is a cronyism sellout to a handful of rich casino operators in Las Vegas, including billionaire donor to help Republican presidential candidates, Sheldon Adelson. Many Capitol Hill conservatives and libertarians balked at Adelson’s demand that in exchange for his contributions to the Republican Party, they legislate his competition out of business–seeing the request as an affirmation of the Crony Capitalism they came to Washington to wipe out.

    The HFC needs to dig in and fight to restore power back to the average member of the House of Representatives. They also need to avoid cronyism and favoritism. Hopefully the next speaker, whomever it is, will be benevolent and allow individual members to have more power while taking away power from the donor class king makers.


    Cloakroom Confidential

    Cloakroom Confidential was a longtime Capitol Hill staffer and insider who has contacts in the House and Senate at the highest levels.

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