House Freedom Caucus

For Freedom Caucus, No Place Like Home
Constituents appreciate group’s influence in Congress

North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, chairman of the Freedom Caucus, answers questions from protestors in Morganton, North Carolina, about the health care bill and Russia investigations. (Lindsey McPherson/CQ Roll Call)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Washington may not always understand or appreciate the House Freedom Caucus, but its constituents generally do.

At events in the districts of three caucus members last week — Mark Meadows in North Carolina, and Dave Brat and Morgan Griffith in Virginia — a variety of constituents interviewed had not only heard of the hard-line conservative group but showed a good grasp of its mission: to provide a voice for people outside the Beltway who lack backing among Washington’s special interests. 

Freedom Caucus May Push for More Than Tax Overhaul in Next Budget
Reconciliation instructions for overhauling welfare system among issues caucus plans to discuss, Meadows says

Rep. Mark Meadows signs pictures taken of him with constituents to send the constituents as a thank you for their time. (Lindsey McPherson/CQ Roll Call)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus are considering a push for broader reconciliation authority in the upcoming fiscal 2018 budget resolution that would allow Republicans to pursue policies beyond a tax code overhaul.

“We believe that writing the instructions more broadly will give us greater flexibility not only to get tax reform but also to address other areas simultaneously,” Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows said in an interview here Friday.

Western North Carolina Notices Meadows’ Newfound Notoriety
Supporters and protesters greet Freedom Caucus chairman back home

Rep. Mark Meadows gives advice to middle school students in McDowell County, North Carolina preparing for a cardboard boat competition. (Lindsey McPherson/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Mark Meadows has long been a household name in western North Carolina, but his newfound notoriety outside the 11th District has not gone unnoticed by those back home.

“If you watch TV at all you know that our congressman is very much a mover and shaker in Washington, D.C.,” South Caldwell High School teacher Tony Crump said, as he introduced Meadows at a masonry competition Thursday for three area high schools.

House Sends Health Care Hot Potato to Senate
Every Democrat, several Republicans, vote against measure

Speaker Paul D. Ryan and his leadership team were able to secure enough votes for passage of their health care plan. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

BY LINDSEY MCPHERSON AND ERIN MERSHON

House Republicans breathed a sigh of relief Thursday as they finally advanced their health care overhaul out of the chamber in a narrow 217-213 vote. No Democrats voted for the measure. They were joined by 20 Republicans who voted “no” as well.

Analysis: Moderate Republicans Also to Blame for Health Care Impasse
Arguably more hard ‘no’ votes among moderates than conservatives

Tuesday Group Co-Chairman Charlie Dent is among the moderate Republicans unlikely to be convinced to vote for the GOP’s health care bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus have shouldered the majority of the blame for the Republicans’ failure to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law, but GOP moderates may be equally — if not more — responsible for the impasse. 

There are arguably more hard “no” votes (members not likely to be convinced to move to “yes”) for the GOP leadership’s plan among moderate Republicans than there are among Freedom Caucus members.

Is Trump Capable of Picking Primary Fights With Incumbents?
Threats could embolden House hard-liners, Republicans say

President Donald Trump has tweeted about challenging members of the House Freedom Caucus, led by North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There are primary threats, and then there are primaries.

President Donald Trump’s tweets last week calling for House Freedom Caucus members to be challenged have left the political class scratching its head and pondering alliances that defy conventional logic.

After Health Care Bill Defeat, White House Signals Possible Second Try

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.