The House Freedom Caucus will vote for Representative Daniel Webster (R-FL) for Speaker of the House when the Republican conference chooses its candidate on Thursday.
The group said in a statement, according to the Washington Post:
“It is clear that our constituents will simply not accept a continuation of the status quo, and that the viability of the Republican Party depends on whether we start listening to our voters and fighting to keep our promises … We accordingly believe that, under the present circumstances and without significant changes to Conference leadership and process, Rep. Daniel Webster would be best equipped to earn back the trust of the American people as Speaker of the House.”
As Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) explained, the decision to vote together applies only for the conference vote on Thursday, and is not binding for votes that may follow, according to the Washington Examiner.
The decision damages the prospects for current Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who has been endorsed by outgoing Speaker John Boehner in his battle against Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Webster.
It requires a majority of the House, or 218 votes, to win the gavel. There are currently 247 Republicans in the House.
The Freedom Caucus consists of roughly 40 of the most conservative members of the House, and Representative Jim Jordan, the group’s leader, said Tuesday, according to Reuters:
“We have every intention of voting together tomorrow and on the house floor.”
Representative Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) also said he’d be supporting Webster:
“I don’t think Kevin convinced anybody that he would be much different than John Boehner … Right now it’s just ‘Trust me.’”
Republican leadership elections will be held on Oct. 29.
The Freedom Caucus was already lining up in opposition to McCarthy, then he really shot himself in the foot with his Hillary/Benghazi statement. Top that with Gowdy’s comments flatly stating that McCarthy screwed up and he could be going down in flames. Good. We don’t need a John Boehner Jr.
That Boehner thinks McCarthy is right for the job is validation for me that he isn’t.
We could finally see a true conservative in the speaker position if the caucus will stick to their guns. They’d better or they’ll be the next ones to go down in flames. Still, that’s a big ‘if’.