House Freedom Caucus = A Thorn in Ryan’s Side

By: Meredith Kelly


Last fall, the House Freedom Caucus presented the largest obstacle to Paul Ryan’s candidacy for Speaker to reach 218 votes. It follows that the unruly group continues to be the biggest source of drama for the new Speaker, with more twists and turns than an episode of “The Bachelor.” Paul Ryan may have horse traded away immigration reform in exchange for the HFC’s rose, but all indications are that they’re planning to reclaim it any day now.


Headline: Politico: “Rep. Labrador to Paul Ryan: Honeymoon is over.” [Politico, 1/6/16]

Rep. Labrador: “The Honeymoon Is Over. . . . [Ryan] Needs To Start Putting Up Real Conservative Reform.” “Rep. Raul Labrador — a leader in the House Freedom Caucus — said on Wednesday that Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, has not yet transformed the House in the ways he promised during last fall’s speaker elections. But unlike past battles between conservatives and leadership, there are no immediate calls for Ryan to step down or be removed from his post. ‘It’s too early to judge the speakership of Paul Ryan and I think it is fundamentally unfair to try and judge the speakership of Paul Ryan over the last month or so. But, as I have also said, the honeymoon is over,’ said Labrador, an Idaho Republican. ‘I think he needs to start putting up real conservative reform in the House and doing the things that are necessary to show the voters that he is a different speaker than John Boehner because frankly, everything he has done so far is no different than what John Boehner would have done.’” [Politico, 1/6/16]

Headline: Bloomberg: “House Conservatives Not Willing to ‘Play Dead’ for Ryan in 2016.” [Bloomberg, 1/13/16]

Rep. Matt Salmon: Freedom Caucus Members Won’t “Just Roll Over And Play Dead.” “If the three dozen members of the conservative Freedom Caucus don’t like the outcome, they say they are prepared to push him just as hard as they pushed Ryan’s predecessor, John Boehner, who eventually quit the job. ‘I don’t think you’re going to see Freedom Caucus members just roll over and play dead,’ caucus member Representative Matt Salmon of Arizona said Tuesday in an interview.” [Bloomberg, 1/13/16]

Headline: Huffington Post: “Conservative Group Rejects Paul Ryan’s Call For Unity.” [Huffington Post, 2/3/16]