Republicans in the House Freedom Caucus are pushing GOP leadership to expel Reps. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., and Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., from the conference, arguing that they “chose” to leave the GOP’s caucus by joining a partisan Jan. 6 commission at the behest of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
The conservative group is asking House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to do two things:
- Make a privileged motion on the House floor to vacate the chair, which would trigger a new election for speaker and give Republicans another chance to oust Pelosi from the speakership.
- Adopt a rule change proposed earlier this week that would remove any member who accepted a committee assignment that was not granted by Republican leadership or from the Republican Steering Committee.
Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., the chairman of the Freedom Caucus, proposed this rule change earlier this week, but it has not found much support among GOP House leaders, according to sources familiar with the discussions.
The Freedom Caucus, however, said it will continue to push McCarthy and the other leaders to adopt it.
“In conference, we discuss strategy, policy, and how to advance the Republican platform,” Biggs said, according to the Washington Examiner.
“It is antithetical to have sitting in your conference individuals who have professed that they want to take out the minority leader and that they want to join the Democrats on a witch hunt through the Republican Party to try to take members of the Republican Party out.”
Republicans’ desire to oust Pelosi from the speakership has grown in the past week as since she re-implemented a strict mask policy and threatened to have Capitol Police officers arrest anyone who does not comply.
That spilled over into what appeared to be personal tensions after Pelosi responded to McCarthy’s objections by calling him a “moron” while responding to media questions.
Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., called Pelosi’s leadership a “draconian authoritarian reign” and said McCarthy has a responsibility to help Republicans end it. Biggs agreed and said that even if the effort fails, it’s worth another try.
“If you do not stand up to tyranny in the face of potential defeat, then you will never stand up [to] tyranny in potential victory, either,” he said.
“Maybe there’s only one chance in 100 that we actually get to vacate that chair and she’s removed,” he continued. “But I’d rather take that one-in-100 shot.”