the federalist

How 20 McCarthy Holdouts Charted The Path For State-Level Conservatives Across The Country

In successfully decentralizing rules changes and achieving the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, Freedom Caucus member committee assignments, floor vote guarantees, and a seeming sea change in the way House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is leading the Republican Conference, the concessions won by the 20 Republicans standing athwart McCarthy’s speaker bid for 14 votes is one of the most effective conservative congressional wins in recent history.

Over the opposition by most of the GOP pundit classes and the deranged threats from congressional establishment shills referring to them “terroriststhreatening them With the removal of the committee assignment, this small intra-party voting bloc achieved significant congressional reforms. It also paved the way for conservatives in the state houses throughout the country.

Collaborating in the States

Oklahoma State Senator Warren Hamilton and Idaho State Senator Scott Herndon stated in interviews that the speaker fight has given leadership moderates notice. “The message that was sent across the country is that you’ve got a lot of guys out there like [Oklahoma Congressman] Josh Brecheen who know that our system is not supposed to be one man running the House and 434 figureheads,” Hamilton stated.

Herndon explained how the success of the 20 holdouts should spur grassroots conservative momentum. “I do expect Freedom Caucus growth around the country, and as the state-level Freedom Caucus Network expands, we’re going to see that it can be effective as a balance against the establishment.”

Since the start of the speaker fight, one addition has been made to the network. As the House battle raged, on Jan. 3, a coalition of 14 Montana state legislators was formed. announced The formation of the Montana Freedom Caucus. Montana State Senator Theresa Manzella commented on the formation of the Montana Freedom Caucus. posted, “Did you watch the House Freedom Caucus block the election of the left-leaning speaker today? Small in number, but strong and strategic. We hope to be as effective at the state level!”

Montana is the 10th caucus. State Freedom Caucus Network, was launched in 2021 to give strategy and organization to conservative state legislators. The network has also been joined by groups of legislators from Idaho, Wyoming and South Dakota.

Herndon was a member Idaho Freedom Caucus and credited the group with significantly improving conservative governance in Idaho:

Before the caucus, policy would be determined by the majority caucus. The majority of the legislature is controlled by Republicans, which controls 83 percent. But with a tent so large, the caucus was not very conservative, and a lot of conservative policies didn’t pass. A Freedom Caucus’ power is its ability to unite our views on important issues and to commit to voting as a bloc to have a significant impact on the Republican caucus. This will allow us to win more conservative policy victories.

For his part, Brecheen — one of five freshmen among the 20 holdouts — said he intended their stand to initiate widespread change both locally and federally rather than stand alone as a fleeting victory.

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