Republican House Freedom Caucus Refusing To Support McCarthy

With midterm elections on the horizon, the House Freedom Caucus (HFC) has yet to publicly announce its support for Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as House majority leader should the Republicans take back control of Congress.

Despite McCarthy’s current role as House minority leader and former role as House majority leader from 2014 to 2019, the HFC has decided to withhold endorsement of McCarthy in order to garner influence in the House.

“If you’ve got 30 votes in a narrow majority, you can be influential,” said Colorado Rep. Ken Buck (R).

They are attempting to wield that influence already. HFC Chairman Scott Perry (R-PA) is among members advocating for the GOP to vote on a new House rules package before they decide who will lead the party.

If interest in the HFC is any indicator, it appears they are already seeing some success, as Perry indicated that several Republican candidates have reached out to them expressing interest in joining.

“We think it’s a good sign,” Perry said.

When asked directly if he would support McCarthy to lead the party, Perry deferred.

“Talk to me on Nov. 9,” he said.

Some members of the HFC have not been as coy as to whether they would back McCarthy. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), a co-founder of the HFC, says McCarthy has been doing “great” and he would endorse him as leader if the Republicans retake the House.

Jordan did acknowledge that McCarthy’s job as minority leader would not be nearly as difficult as the majority leader position, a point reiterated by Perry.

“Everybody’s in the Freedom Caucus right now on the Republican side,” he said. “That’ll change when you’re in the majority.”

“Somebody has to be the conscience of the conference and actually do the things we said we were going to do on the campaign trail,” he added.

Ahead of the midterm elections, McCarthy has been trying to consolidate support, but it appears the HFC will hold out until the last minute.