The hard-line House Freedom Caucus is gearing up to elect a new leader to replace its current chairman Rep. Andy Biggs, who is term-limited at the end of this year, multiple sources told CNN.
The conservative group has begun to discuss potential picks for the top post and is planning to hold leadership elections sometime next month, one GOP lawmaker said. The next Freedom Caucus chief, who serves a two-year term, will play a key role in determining the group’s direction, which comes at a critical juncture, as House Republicans have a strong chance of winning back the majority next year.
Among the names in the mix to succeed Biggs, an Arizona Republican, include Reps. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, a firebrand who has come under scrutiny for his role in seeking to overturn the 2020 election; Rep. Warren Davidson of Ohio, a former military officer and West Point grad; and Rep. Ralph Norman of South Carolina, a businessman and real estate developer. All three are staunch allies of former President Donald Trump.
When asked if he’s planning on running for chairman, Perry told CNN, “We’re gonna take a look at it.”
Some Republicans have also predicted Rep. Chip Roy of Texas might make a play for the job. Roy, who unsuccessfully ran for House GOP conference chair earlier this year, hasn’t ruled it out nor thrown his hat into the ring.
“I always have interest in figuring out how to help lead the conservative movement, and do that with the Freedom Caucus,” Roy told CNN. “But we’ll all figure that out and see what’s best for the caucus.”
When Republicans held the majority, the group wielded immense power — and made life hell for GOP leadership — by banding together as a group. The Freedom Caucus was formed in 2015 as an ultraconservative alternative to the Republican Study Committee, but later became home to Trump’s most loyal supporters in Congress.
After being relegated to the minority, however, the band of roughly 40 agitators has seen its power dramatically wane in Congress. And the Freedom Caucus also splintered earlier this over how far to push some of its tactics.
Roy said whoever takes over as chair of the Freedom Caucus needs to be an aggressive fighter. In recent months, several members of the group have been publicly pressing House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to take a harder line on a litany of issues, such as removing Reps. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Liz Cheney of Wyoming from the Republican conference for their roles in the January 6 select committee.
“I just want to make sure that … the Freedom Caucus is gonna have a strong role in ensuring that Republicans don’t waver,” Roy said. “And that by 2023, we’re advancing conservatism and advancing a strong agenda, and, frankly, holding Republicans accountable to do what we said we would do.”
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