The House Freedom Caucus Struggles: The Ouster of Marjorie Taylor Greene Exposes Deep Divisions
The House Freedom Caucus is facing a challenging time as its internal problems are brought to the forefront, leading one conservative lawmaker to predict that their days are numbered. The catalyst for this prediction was the expulsion of Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene from the caucus after she directed derogatory remarks towards another member, Representative Lauren Boebert, on the House floor.
The tensions within the Freedom Caucus came into public view when CNN reported on the deep divisions plaguing the group. Established in 2015 by Representative Jim Jordan and others, the caucus aimed to push House Republican leadership further to the right. With approximately 40 members, the group has grown unwieldy, with divergent views on supporting House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and officially endorsing former President Donald Trump for the 2024 White House run.
A conservative lawmaker expressed concerns about the future of the House Freedom Caucus, stating, “Days are numbered anyway for the group because they go in 100 different directions.” These divergent paths have led to factions within the caucus holding their own meetings to strategize.
One of the major issues faced by the caucus is the conflicting actions of two prominent members, Jim Jordan and Marjorie Taylor Greene. Some members feel that their actions are not aligned with the core principles of the Freedom Caucus, as they have formed close alliances with House leadership. Greene, in particular, supported Kevin McCarthy during a previous speakership fight and publicly criticized members of the caucus when they deviated from her preferred course. This has caused dissatisfaction within the caucus, with one conservative lawmaker pointing out that they are unhappy with Greene’s alignment with McCarthy and her favored status with Trump.
Greene’s endorsement of Trump and her recent appearance with him at a rally in South Carolina further strained her relationship with Boebert. The friction between the two arose after Boebert filed an impeachment bill against President Joe Biden instead of joining Greene’s impeachment efforts. On the House floor, Greene confronted Boebert, accusing her of copying her articles of impeachment and expressing her disappointment. This incident highlights the internal divisions within the caucus.
The question of how closely the House Freedom Caucus should align with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy remains a source of contention within the membership. The caucus was initially formed to push House Republican leadership further to the right, but the relationship between McCarthy and some members has caused dissatisfaction. Representative Bob Good, a member of the Freedom Caucus, privately referred to Jordan as a “RINO” (Republican in Name Only), indicating his perception of Jordan as too moderate for the party. However, Good’s spokesperson denied making such a statement.
Despite these conflicts, both Greene and Jordan play significant roles within the group and contribute substantially to the House Freedom Fund, which financially supports the caucus. A conservative lawmaker acknowledged that Greene’s influence extends beyond the group, emphasizing her dedication to the cause. However, despite her contributions, the majority of the membership voted in favor of expelling her.
While Representative Andy Harris openly discussed the vote to Politico, the House Freedom Caucus has not officially confirmed Greene’s expulsion. According to CNN, Chairman Scott Perry intended to inform Greene in person, but due to the Fourth of July recess, he was unable to reach her by phone. Greene’s office did not explicitly deny the reporting but did not mention it directly in their statement. Greene emphasized her commitment to serving her constituents first and stated her unwavering dedication to the principles of America First.
Looking ahead, Greene urged the GOP to demonstrate the strength and unity of a Republican-led Congress in the less than two years remaining before President Trump’s anticipated victory in the 2024 White House race. She emphasized that this would be her primary focus moving forward.