These internal divisions are small for now, especially since Republicans are still in the minority. However, some Freedom Caucus members have raised concerns about their ability to stay united when the GOP reclaims the house next year, which has been key to their success to date.
“We have to get back to collegial operations here. Some of the rhetoric needs to subside. I’m really ready to work together,” said the second Freedom Caucus member. If the group members’ delaying tactics “last much longer,” this House Republican added added: “I will probably share my opinion with the leaders of Freedom Caucus.”
The Freedom Caucus was originally founded as a right-wing irritant for the GOP leadership and later became a club for Donald Trump’s most loyal supporters. In the post-Trump era, the group will ask its own questions about where to go, especially as it prepares to elect a new leader this fall. Biggs will run until the end of this year and is also considering an offer from the Arizona Senate.
“The Freedom Caucus is really concerned that it lacks long-term vision,” said a senior GOP advisor with knowledge of caucus policy. “There doesn’t seem to be an organized legislative plan or agenda – just sporadic press conferences and press releases. It could be argued that this… has divided the caucus more than ever. “
McCarthy worked hard to get in touch with the Freedom Caucus, which once blocked its offer to speak. If the Republicans take back the house and McCarthy continues to lead the GOP, it is unclear what role – and relevance – the Freedom Caucus will play within the larger conference.
Some foresee a potential schism in which Freedom Caucus rebels like Biggs and Greene continue to drop bombs to torment the leaders. Biggs recently crashed with McCarthy behind closed doors on his procedural moves, suggesting the Arizona Republican has little interest in following the direction of the leadership.