Report: House Freedom Caucus Members Are Seeking a Purge

Marjorie Taylor Greene is a top target, insiders say
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2023 10:06 AM CDT
Report: House Freedom Caucus Members Are Seeking a Purge
Rep. Lauren Boebert, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, leaves the chamber after the Republican-controlled House voted along party lines to censure Rep. Adam Schiff, June 21, 2023.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

While it apparently hasn't reached the loyalty oath stage yet, the House Freedom Caucus is struggling to maintain unity amid infighting and mutual distrust. Politico, citing "three Republicans with knowledge of the talks," reports some members of the conservative caucus want to purge its ranks, with at least two hardliners proposing to caucus chairman Rep. Scott Perry that he kick out members who don't meet its standards. The insiders say one leading candidate for expulsion is Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who is seen as too close to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy—and too willing to openly criticize the caucus.

Insiders say cliques have formed and some members feel unable to speak openly during meetings, fearing other members might snitch on them to McCarthy. The caucus is "best known for what it's against: the Republican establishment, business as usual in Washington, compromises of any kind," the New Yorker noted in a look at debt ceiling talks earlier this month. Caucus member Rep. Ralph Norman says there were "differences of opinion" on the race for House speaker, the debt deal, and other issues, with the group unable to reach the 80% threshold to take a unified stance on some issues. He says he's not trying to push Greene out, but "she's been critical of us for a long time."

Tensions boiled over this week, when Greene called fellow caucus member Rep. Lauren Boebert a "little b----" on the House floor for launching a competing effort to impeach President Biden. Greene confirmed that reports on her remarks were "impressively correct," while Boebert complained that reporters focused on "pettiness" instead of her push for impeachment. "I didn't leave my four kids and now my grandson to come up here and have cat fights and just to get in squabbles," the 36-year-old told Politico. She declined to say where she stands on efforts to purge members from the caucus. (Read more House Freedom Caucus stories.)

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