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Inside the Freedom Caucus rebellion over McCarthy's Speaker bid
Sources tell The Dossier:
I spoke to a bunch of people on Capitol Hill (on background) about the ongoing negotiations surrounding the Speaker fight.
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Here’s where things stand right now:
A majority of the 20 or so Freedom Caucus rebels believe that the best plan of action is to use their holdout leverage to compromise and weaken Rep Kevin McCarthy as much as humanly possible. After first ignoring this coalition, the power-hungry McCarthy, who is desperate to obtain the Speakership at all costs, has further engaged their requests for a more transparent and democratic House of Representatives.
The negotiators believe that McCarthy would be more hospitable to their agenda than House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, who has a similar, very liberal voting record. Should McCarthy step down, the GOP Uniparty coalition members would most likely nominate Scalise next. The pro-negotiations side of the Freedom Caucus group amounts to roughly two-thirds of the anti-McCarthy coalition.
Rep Chip Roy is leading the fight to exact maximum concessions from McCarthy. He has made clear that the Freedom Caucus will not agree to anything without verifiable commitments.
There’s another group within the Freedom Caucus coalition that believes it would be best to stay true to their word and reject McCarthy under any and all circumstances. They rightly point out that he is beyond compromised by both foreign and domestic lobbyists, and would not make for an ideal opposition party leader. They’ve pledged to say no to McCarthy, and they’re going to take that pledge seriously.
The Dossier understands that the latter group still amounts to more than five legislators in the Freedom Caucus coalition, which means that the negotiators need to convince a few more members to sign off on a potential deal with McCarthy’s office.
I can see the merits of both sides of the debate. In an ideal world, the animals in Congress would spend the next 25 years bogged down in trench warfare over the Speaker position, unable to pass any more bills that further bankrupt the country and steal our liberties. But in reality, we find ourselves with a GOP that is mostly populated by anti-liberty legislators.
If the Freedom Caucus rebels believe that they’ve accumulated enough leverage to have outsized influence compared to their small footprint in Congress, it might be worth striking the deal, given that these guarantees are quantifiable and verifiable. The anti-McCarthy coalition — which again, is a significant ideological minority in Congress — has a terrific track record when it comes to voting to protect human freedom and limited government. If they feel like they are getting the best deal, it might be worth it to listen to them.
This deal would not have been possible had the Freedom Caucus coalition listened to the “Conservative Inc” brands in the television and media space, who have spent the entire week insulting and threatening individuals and groups (describing them as “terrorists” and “insurrectionists”) that opposed McCarthy’s hasty accession to the House throne.
In the coming hours and days, I would expect to see McCarthy deliver guarantees in writing and for him to successfully obtain the Speakership.