Freedom Caucus dismisses centrist concerns: ‘I think they need to go back to drinking’

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We have devolved into a government constantly in crisis with virtually all power vested in the speaker, Colorado Rep. Ken Buck says. (AP Photo/Chris Schneider) Chris Schneider

Freedom Caucus dismisses centrist concerns: ‘I think they need to go back to drinking’

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Members of the House Freedom Caucus dismissed the concerns of centrist Republicans that Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is giving in too much to hard-line Republican members.

After holding up the floor for over a week, hard-line conservative members of the House Republican Conference said they came to an agreement with McCarthy that would allow them to release the floor and continue legislative business. In return for them releasing the floor, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said the power-sharing agreement the holdouts made with McCarthy during the speaker’s race would be renegotiated, and spending levels would be cut to fiscal 2022 levels during the appropriations process.

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The comments and reports about a potential power-sharing agreement with the holdouts have angered and caught the more centrist Republicans off guard.

“You have a conference of 222 people,” said Rep. Mike Lawler (R-NY) leaving a conference meeting Tuesday morning. “And they would all be well advised to remember that they are one vote,” he continued. “The power of the conference resides in the fact that we have a majority. The majority was delivered by people in swing districts.”

McCarthy and his allies have denied any power-sharing agreement between him and the holdouts.

The concerns of the conference’s more centrist members are falling on deaf ears to some members of the Freedom Caucus and those who held the floor hostage for over a week.

“I think they need to go back to drinking,” Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) said when asked if he’s worried about the members who are upset about how things are going.

Rep. Bob Good (R-VA) said the members who are upset at the Freedom Caucus “ought to be more conservative,” and he believes the country and the Republican Conference “would be much better off the more influence the Freedom Caucus has.”

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Members of leadership are attempting to squash tensions between the factions of the House Republican Conference, and they’re trying to get everyone together to work through it.

“Last week, there was anger expressed on all the sides of the conference, but we’ve been working through it,” House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) said.

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