A senior GOP aide doesn't think much of the new House Freedom Caucus. It seems John Boehner still can't control his caucus and the wingnuts aren't content that they haven't pushed the party all the way over the cliff yet.
The House Freedom Caucus is only a few weeks old, but some members say the new conservative faction is already pulling the House Republican Conference to the right. Before the HFC convened a single meeting, it so complicated the GOP debate on a proposed border security bill that leadership eventually had to pull the measure from the floor.
But even more than a formalized “hell no” caucus that can thwart GOP leadership’s most moderate plans, the HFC could be a springboard for a new conservative leader — even if that’s not the group’s intention.
“I don’t look for any springboards,” Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio told CQ Roll Call last week. “I’m just trying to serve the families I get the privilege of representing — plain and simple.”
Jordan is one of the nine founding members of the organization and he could be the chairman of the HFC, though he said, “That’s for the group to decide.” [...]
After two official meetings — the most recent, on Monday night, lasted almost two hours and went until nearly 9:30 p.m. — the HFC doesn’t have a chairman. As Jordan acknowledged, he might not even be the leader of the group. Some members pointed to Raúl R. Labrador of Idaho as a possible choice.
But whoever the leader is, the HFC could be a real thorn in leadership’s side. The group is already claiming victory in what was shaping up to be an intraparty showdown over Texas Rep. Michael McCaul’s border security bill.
The bill was purportedly pulled because of the weather, but is conspicuously not on the schedule this week, with no commitment from leaders that the House will ever take it up.
It’s an early bit of obstructionist momentum that worries some mainstream Republicans, who fear the faction is less about imparting a conservative vision and more about preventing anything from getting done.
“They’re not legislators, they’re just assholes,” a senior GOP aide told CQ Roll Call. “These guys have such a minority mindset that the prospect of getting something done just scares them away, or pisses them off.” Read on...