America First Caucus Rejected By Right-Wing Freedom Caucus

2 weeks ago 7

Topline

Members of the right-wing Freedom Caucus are among a wide array of House Republicans rejecting a nascent group being organized by Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) whose platform reportedly aims to preserve “anglo-saxon political traditions.”

Freedom Caucus on Equality Act

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 25: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., talks with the media after news ... [+] conference with members of the House Freedom Caucus outside the Capitol to oppose the Equality Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation, on Thursday February 25, 2021. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Key Facts

The publication Friday by congressional newsletter Punchbowl News of a seven-page document appearing to be the America First Caucus’ platform was met with “fury” by top members of the Freedom Caucus, a source with knowledge of the group’s internal discussions told Forbes.

One member, Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), took objections shared between some members of the caucus public, slamming the “hatefulness” of the platform in a Friday night tweet, with his spokesperson Lindsey Curnutte telling Forbes he has no plans to join the group.

Freedom Caucus members that Punchbowl reported to have “agreed to join” the America First Caucus, Reps. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and Barry Moore (R-Ala.), told Forbes they have not yet decided whether to do so.

That’s on top of criticism from other House Republicans, including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Conference Chair Liz Cheney, with Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) calling for the GOP to expel any conference member who joins and strip their committee assignments.

Greene’s spokesperson Nick Dyer, asked about criticism of the platform from top Republicans, sought to backtrack from Greene’s public defense of its language, telling Forbes it was “never approved or agreed to by Congresswoman Greene.”

Forbes has reached out to members of the Freedom Caucus for comment.

Key Background

Greene and Gosar are both members of the Freedom Caucus, which has aimed to throw a wrench into congressional proceedings to protest what they say is inadequate governance. But the group has reportedly fractured in recent weeks over just how far to take that rebellion – and over the group’s controversial acceptance of Greene into its ranks.

Chief Critic

The America First Caucus has been widely panned by Democrats, with several dubbing it the “white supremacy caucus” and Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) tweeting that nobody who joins it should ask him to co-sponsor legislation. “Take your nativist crap and shove it,” tweeted Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.). The document got bicameral criticism, with Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) tweeting, “This is blatantly racist.”

What To Watch For

Any schism Greene’s new group causes in the Freedom Caucus seems unlikely to go her way, as the release of the document appears to have caught members off guard and put them in a defensive position. Gohmert, in an interview with Forbes, struggled to articulate clearly how the two groups would exist in parallel, stating, “the Freedom Caucus looks at a lot of other issues besides those that will sustain us in the future.”

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