A growing faction of Republicans is eying more control over the party and believes that the 2022 midterm elections will deliver it.
Members of the House Freedom Caucus believe Republican voters are moving more in their direction and away from party establishmentarians they say do not play enough hardball with Democrats who have no problem doing so.
In an interview with the Washington Times, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, talked of how the GOP is becoming more conservative, not less.
The Washington Times reports:
Mr. Jordan said his Republican Party is finally embracing the values espoused by the arch-conservative House Freedom Caucus that he helped found in 2015.
As the successor to the Tea Party Caucus, the Freedom Caucus advanced the populist movement’s battle with the GOP establishment and ultimately found a champion in former President Donald Trump and his “America First” agenda of curbing foreign interventions and cracking down on illegal immigration.
The Ohio congressman, who served as the first chair of the Freedom Caucus, chronicles the group’s rise in his new book, “Do What You Said You Would Do: Fighting for Freedom in the Swamp.”
“I do think the party has moved in a conservative direction,” Jordan told The Washington Times. “I always said we’re a populist party rooted in conservative principles, and no one demonstrated that better than President Trump — that’s what the Freedom Caucus is really about.”
An early victory for the caucus: Ousting Boehner — who has gone on to trash Trump and other members of the HFC — from the Speakership over his reluctance to push right-leaning policies and take on Democrats.
In his book, Jordan discusses moving against Boehner and describes it as the opening salvos of battles that eventually led to Trump’s election a few years later as the party moved closer to them and away from the RINO faction.
“The formation of HFC and the election of Donald Trump were driven by the same set of events that unfolded over an eight-year time frame,” Jordan wrote. “Some were actions done solely by Democrats, others involved both parties, but unfortunately, most of the events that became the catalyst for the formation of HFC and the election of Donald Trump were failures by Republicans — failures to do what they said they would do.”
Conservative Brief lists several “cases in point:”
— After Trump won, Republicans held both chambers of Congress but could not muster enough support to repeal Obamacare after promising to do so if they had the majority since Obama signed the Democrat-pushed bill into law in 2010. Even a slimmed-down repeal was torpedoed by the now-late Sen. John McCain of Arizona.
— Republican leaders of the era constantly talked about ‘border security’ but refused to fund Trump’s border wall.
— GOP establishment leaders also pushed balancing the federal budget and cutting the country’s massive debt by scaling back spending, but Trump’s first budget that cut spending was declared DOA by both Democratic and Republican leaders alike.
The Times noted further:
Former Rep. Dave Brat, a tea party candidate who unseated then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the 2014 GOP primary in Virginia, said the Freedom Caucus was tuned into the party‘s base long before the conference fully recognized its voters’ concerns.
“When I got to DC, I was [considered] a renegade and quite radical,” Mr. Brat said. “I fought for less than trillion-dollar budget deficits and sane spending and some of those policies back then that the Freedom Caucus was very, very concerned with.”
One of the caucus members, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., was more blunt: He is playing for all the marbles next year.
“We are going to take power after this next election,” Gaetz told the Times.
“When we do, it’s not going to be the days of Paul Ryan and Trey Gowdy [when there was] no real oversight and no real subpoenas. It’s going to be the days of Jim Jordan, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Dr. [Paul] Gosar and myself,” he added.