‘You’re going to see a branding of the Freedom Caucus that is taking it to the next level in this Congress…’
(Michael Barnes, Liberty Headlines) The House of Representatives, unlike the deliberative Senate, is designed to be ruled almost completely by the speaker on a majority-party basis.
But the group’s roughly 30 Republican members have a “trump” card, of sorts—an alliance with Pelosi’s nemesis, President Donald Trump.
“Truth of the matter is, you’re going to see a branding of the Freedom Caucus that is taking it to the next level in this Congress,” said Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, the group’s chairman.
Meadows frequently engages directly with the president, including in late-night telephone calls.
Democrats swept House races across the country in November, aided by an off-year election and disturbing “ballot harvesting” tactics that saw seven elections flip to Democrats after Election Day in California alone.
As a result, some threatened Republicans in bluer areas of the country have gone so far as to call it politically toxic.
“Yeah, build your brand and shrink the party,” Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., said sarcastically in an interview with Bloomberg News.
Others have observed the group’s vibrant backbench power with curiosity.
“They have access to [Trump] equivalent to, or—in some cases—greater to, that of Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Minority Whip Steve Scalise,” said Rutgers University political scientist Ross Baker.
Among their chief credentials, Meadows and Freedom Caucus co-founder, Jim Jordan of Ohio, have relentlessly sought answers to the dubious surveillance of Trump’s presidential campaign and transition.
They are “aggressive attack dogs, who can be unleashed whenever the occasion arises,” Baker said.
Meadows said he’s studied the history of how smaller groups have maximized their relevance in coalition-type governments, which was the thinking behind creating the Freedom Caucus—or perhaps now, a network of Freedom Caucuses.
“Ideally, I’d love to see 50 Freedom Caucuses in state legislatures that actually feed people to Congress coming out of that,” said Meadows.