House Freedom Caucus
House Freedom Caucus is a group of about 32 conservative Congressional Representatives. It is essentially a conservative version of the much larger Republican Study Committee. Members have often clashed with GOP leadership. They have been the strongest defenders in Congress of U.S. President Donald Trump.
The House Freedom Caucus mission reads:
|“||The House Freedom Caucus gives a voice to countless Americans who feel that Washington does not represent them. We support open, accountable and limited government, the Constitution and the rule of law, and policies that promote the liberty, safety and prosperity of all Americans.||”|
In practice, however, the House Freedom Caucus has become heavily influenced by big-money individuals and organizations, such as the Heritage Foundation, Club for Growth, and the Koch brothers, none of which have a pro-life agenda. The House Freedom Caucus blocked the ObamaCare repeal bill that also would have defunded Planned Parenthood. They insisted on provisions, such as dropping the essential medical services requirements of ObamaCare, which would make the bill unacceptable to moderate Republicans. In response, on March 30, 2017, President Trump tweeted an attack on the Freedom Caucus telling them to "get on the team and fast."
"I hope the President will bear in mind that the freedom caucus is going to provide the bulwark of the support the President needs on things like border security, trade agreements and making sure that the Trans-Pacific Partnership does not resurface in a different shape or fashion," Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks told CNN. "Our support is going to be necessary for tax cuts and for the protection of free enterprise. So we're not always going to agree, but there are some major issues going forward where the President will need our support and I hope he will bear that in mind," Brooks said.
For a different but more detailed analysis by FiveThirtyEight, see this footnote below.
|Mark Meadows of North Carolina||successfully forced John Boehner out as Speaker. Supported Ted Cruz in the primary and Trump in the general. Later served in Trump's administration but performed poorly and possibly treacherously.|
|Justin Amash of Michigan||pro-life libertarian who is anti-Trump, and who responded to Trump on March 30, 2017: "It didn't take long for the swamp to drain @realDonaldTrump. No shame, Mr. President. Almost everyone succumbs to the D.C. Establishment." Later became an independent, then a Libertarian; attempted to seek the Libertarian nomination in 2020 but lost. Voted to impeach Trump while an independent.|
|Brian Babin of Texas (36th District - East Texas)||Ted Cruz supporter during the primary. Endorsed Trump during the general.|
|Rod Blum of Iowa||strong Trump supporter|
|Dave Brat of Virginia||ousted second-in-line for Speaker, Eric Cantor, in his primary in 2014; Brat supported Trump|
|Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma||Campaigned for Ted Cruz but then supported Trump|
|Mo Brooks of Alabama||Said he vote Republican, without endorsing Trump. Later became an enthusiastic supporter of Trump, only to have a falling out with him over his 2022 Senate campaign and is now openly anti-Trump.|
|Ken Buck of Colorado||Called Trump a “fraud,” but later endorsed him |
|Warren Davidson of Colorado||Has agreed with Trump 100% of the time|
|Ron DeSantis of Florida||In May 2016 he endorsed Trump. Later became Governor of Florida with the help of Trump's endorsement, only to distance himself from Trump once in office.|
|Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee||Endorsed Trump early, in March 2016|
|Jeff Duncan||One of the first officials to endorse Trump|
|Trent Franks of Arizona||Supported Trump|
|Tom Garrett Jr. of Virginia||Supported Trump|
|Paul Gosar of Arizona||Endorsed Trump in July 2016|
|Morgan Griffith of Virginia||Supported Trump after he became the presumptive nominee|
|Andy Harris of Maryland||Supported Trump but has been critical|
|Jody Hice of Georgia||Silent about Trump during the primary, but campaigned for him in the general.|
|Jim Jordan of Ohio||Enthusiastically supported Trump since May 2016|
|Raúl Labrador of Idaho||Supported Trump but has criticized him|
|Alex Mooney of West Virginia||Supported Trump|
|Gary Palmer of Alabama||Supported Trump|
|Steve Pearce of New Mexico||Supported Trump but has criticized him|
|Scott Perry of Pennsylvania||Supported Trump|
|Ted Poe of Texas||Praised Trump, resigned in late March from the Freedom Caucus due to the group's opposition of the ObamaCare replacement bill|
|Bill Posey of Florida||Supported Trump|
|Mark Sanford of South Carolina||Halfheartedly endorsed Trump. Later turned against him after being primaried out and ran as a primary challenger to Trump in 2020.|
|David Schweikert of Arizona||Supported Ted Cruz, then Trump|
|Randy Weber of Texas||Endorsed Trump during the general|
|Ted Yoho of Florida||Supported Trump|
Founding Republican Members
- Justin Amash (Michigan)
- Ron DeSantis (Florida)
- John Fleming (Louisiana)
- Scott Garrett (New Jersey) - defeated for reelection in 2016 after wavering with respect to Donald Trump in October
- Jim Jordan (Ohio) (Chairman)
- Raúl Labrador (Idaho)
- Mark Meadows (North Carolina)
- Mick Mulvaney (South Carolina)
- Matt Salmon (Arizona)
- Analysis by Five Thirty Eight.
- Andrews, Natalie; Wise, Lindsay (November 8, 2019). House Freedom Caucus Emerges as Trump’s Main Defender. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
- realDonaldTrump (March 30, 2017). Retrieved on March 31, 2017.
- Collinson, Stephen. "The Russia/Flynn/Freedom Caucus vortex of questions and tension at the White House", CNN, April 1, 2017. Retrieved on April 1, 2017.
- King, Robert (March 26, 2017). Freedom Caucus member Ted Poe leaves group after healthcare bill debacle. Washington Examiner. Retrieved March 26, 2017.