House Freedom Caucus

Battle of Wills Over Health Care Bill
Absent a deal, Trump and GOP leaders or Freedom Caucus will lose face in Thursday’s vote

President Donald Trump and Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price met with the House Republican Conference on Tuesday in the Capitol, where Trump called on Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows and his group to get on board with the GOP health care bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The GOP health care debate has quickly become a battle of wills between the House Freedom Caucus and Republican leadership in the House and White House. And if the vote proceeds as planned on Thursday without changes to the bill, it will be a battle over reputations.

Absent a compromise between the conservative caucus and House leadership and/or the President Donald Trump and his administration, one of the two sides will emerge from Thursday’s vote significantly scathed.

TV Ads Tell Conservatives to Vote With Trump on Health Care
American Action Network targets Freedom Caucus members in their districts

From left, Republican Reps. Dave Brat of Virginia, Mo Brooks of Alabama, and Mark Meadows of North Carolina are among the targets of the new GOP ad campaign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Republican issue advocacy group with close ties to House leadership is running half a million dollars in TV ads to pressure Freedom Caucus members to vote with President Donald Trump on the Republicans’ health care plan. 

American Action Network is running spots in 30 districts on Fox News beginning Thursday for two weeks. It’s the first time an outside group is invoking the president’s support for the health care plan in its paid advertising for the bill. 

How is Obamacare Repeal Bill Being Received on the Hill?
 

On Monday night House Republicans unveiled a bill that would repeal and replace parts of the 2010 health care law. Since then, members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have been speaking up to voice criticism or cast their support for the long-awaited bill.

Freshmen Backed by Freedom Caucus Aren’t Committing to Joining
Caucus leaders expect some non-freshmen to help replenish their ranks

The political arm of the House Freedom Caucus backed Indiana Republican Jim Banks, but he has not yet decided to join the caucus if invited. (Meredith Dake/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House Freedom Caucus is currently down seven members from the 114th Congress — and possibly two more.

South Carolina Rep. Mick Mulvaney is awaiting confirmation as President-elect Donald Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Louisiana Runoffs Increase Republican Majorities in Senate and House
State Treasurer John Kennedy easily outpaces Democratic challenger

Republican state Treasurer John Kennedy won Louisiana’s Senate runoff on Saturday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republicans increased their Senate majority to 52 seats in the 115th Congress and also retained two House seats after Saturday’s Louisiana runoffs, the final elections of 2016. 

GOP state Treasurer John Kennedy easily outdistanced his Democratic opponent, Public Services Commissioner Foster Campbell, 61 percent to 39 percent, with 100 percent of precincts reporting. He replaces Republican Sen. David Vitter, who is retiring after two terms.

Freedom Caucus on Retreat to Discuss 2017 Policy Priorities
Meadows compiling list of harmful regulations he wants Trump to repeal

North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows is discussing “harmful” regulations with the Freedom Caucus on a retreat this weekend that he wants President-elect Donald Trump to repeal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Freedom Caucus is on retreat this weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, to discuss policy priorities and ways it can work with the incoming Trump administration, a spokeswoman said. 

Among the topics the group of roughly 40 conservatives are discussing is a repeal of the 2010 health care law and immigration issues, including enhanced border security, implementing E-Verify and defunding sanctuary cities, the spokeswoman said. 

House Freedom Caucus Elects Board Members, Meadows to Run for Chairman
Brat, Hice and Perry replace Garrett, Fleming and Salmon on board

North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, left, is running for House Freedom Caucus chairman since Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan has decided not to seek another term atop the conservative caucus. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Freedom Caucus elected three new board members Tuesday night, as North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows announced he plans to run for caucus chairman. 

Current caucus head, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, who has led the conservative group since it’s inception in early 2015, told Roll Call he does not plan to seek another term as chairman. 

Bipartisan Majority Could Have Stopped House IRS Impeachment Vote
Many in GOP said to have lingering concerns about process

Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent said there enough Republicans to join Democrats in tabling the resolution to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen last week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Weeks of Republican infighting over whether the House should move to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen could have ended last Thursday with a vote to table the impeachment resolution. 

"We had more than enough votes, more than sufficient votes to table the motion," Rep. Charlie Dent said in an interview.

IRS Impeachment Debate Latest Example of House GOP Infighting
Rank and file show influence when the conference lacks consensus to act

Embattled IRS Commissioner John Koskinen met with House Republicans on Wednesday to make his case for why he shouldn't be impeached. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As divided House Republicans debate whether they should vote to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, members are also wrestling over when it’s appropriate to skirt traditional legislative procedures and take matters into their own hands.

The impeachment effort is just the latest example of a group of rank-and-file members trying to push for a vote on an issue that they see as a priority but that lacks broad support among the House Republican Conference. 

Ryan Faces Competing GOP Interests in September Session
Government funding, IRS impeachment part of his intraparty balancing act

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, seen leaving for the August recess, has to manage a fractious Republican caucus while trying to minimize losses in the upcoming elections. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

September will be a crucial month in determining how Speaker Paul D. Ryan manages competing interests within the House Republican conference. It's an ongoing balancing act that is expected to become more delicate amid a government funding deadline and the culmination of an election cycle in which the GOP is trying to avoid big losses.

Ryan is nearing the end of his first year as speaker, a marker at which lawmakers and observers will start to more closely examine the Wisconsin Republican’s leadership accomplishments and style, and assess whether he is the best person to lead the fractious GOP conference going forward.