Concessions in speaker fight ‘most significant win for conservatives in a decade’

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

An essay in the conservative Federalist approvingly quotes a “senior congressional aide” who calls the concessions won by dissident House Freedom Caucus Members in the battle to elect the House Speaker the “most significant win for conservatives in a decade.”

“Everything that Republicans and conservatives say they hate — giant, thousand-page spending bills negotiated by a handful of people with little input from anyone else, plum committee assignments reserved for insiders, and a closed off amendment process — is addressed here,” the Republican aide told the Federalist culture editor Emily Jashinsky in her Jan. 9 piece.

“The real story of [California Rep. Kevin] McCarthy’s winding road to the speakership is bigger than he is, bigger than the GOP, and bigger than the 118th Congress,” reads a subhead for the article.

“While the political establishment preferred to focus on personalities and melodrama, the concessions that [House Freedom Caucus (HFC)] members managed to wring out of McCarthy are shockingly consequential. Without another speaker candidate waiting in the wings, serious negotiators like Rep. Chip Roy knew they had the upper hand and could push the GOP establishment much further than anyone imagined,” writes Jashinsky.

Meanwhile, Republicans like Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw who took a hard line against HFC dissidents have political egg on their face, as the scope of the HFC’s hard-fought reforms — which surely will benefit all Republicans working for conservative policies — comes into focus.

Crenshaw himself apologized for calling the Freedom Caucus holdouts “terrorists,” but not before he was excoriated by leading conservatives for his insulting remarks.

Country singing star and conservative advocate John Rich, who has taken the stage on behalf of several major Republican candidates over the years, tweeted Monday to his 832,100 followers: “Hey @DanCrenshawTX, I for one am very disappointed, but not surprised that you called Republican holdouts in the House, ‘terrorists.’ Glad I decided not to play your event last year.”

(“In an interview with CNN Anchor Jake Tapper…Crenshaw said he used the term as a ‘turn of phrase’ and didn’t mean to call his colleagues actual terrorists,” the Houston Chronicle reported.)

Here are the main concessions cited in the Federalist as outlined by Rep. Andrew Ogles, R, Tn., in an article by Roger Simon January 6 in The Epoch Times:

  • As has been reported, it will only take a single congressperson, acting in what is known as a Jeffersonian Motion, to move to remove the speaker if he or she goes back on their word or policy agenda.
  • A ‘Church’-style committee will be convened to look into the weaponization of the FBI and other government organizations (presumably the CIA, the subject of the original Church Committee) against the American people. [For more on the Church Committee, led by Sen. Rep. Frank Church, D-Id., see this piece by the National Constitution Center.]
  • Term limits will be put up for a vote.
  • Bills presented to Congress will be single subject, not omnibus with all the attendant earmarks, and there will be a 72-hour minimum period to read them.
  • The Texas Border Plan will be put before Congress. From The Hill: ‘The four-pronged plan aims to ‘Complete Physical Border Infrastructure,’ ‘Fix Border Enforcement Policies,’ ‘Enforce our Laws in the Interior’ and ‘Target Cartels & Criminal Organizations.’’
  • COVID mandates will be ended, as will all funding for them, including so-called emergency funding. Budget bills would stop the endless increases in the debt ceiling and hold the Senate accountable for the same.

”The Federalist’s take on the Speaker battle is no outlier. Far from it. Many activists and thought-leaders on the Right who have long complained about the D.C. legislative morass, the GOP’s unprincipled “establishment” and go-along-to-get-along “RINO” (“Republican In Name Only”) elites agreed. Now some are pressing other McCarthy allies who condemned the tactics and motives of the supposedly “selfish” Freedom Caucus upstarts to apologize for their harsh comments.

Greg Price, an influential conservative on social media, tweeted:

“I was reliably informed that the 20 R’s were grandstanders who were going to get a Dem elected Speaker. Instead, they negotiated a Church Cmte, single subject bills, 3 Freedom Caucus members on the Rules Cmte, a plan to balance the budget, and McCarthy still ended up Speaker.”

In breaking news, it appears Crenshaw was beaten out in his bid for chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security by conservative Rep. Mark Green (R-Tn.), as Politico reported. Price cheered what he said was a victory over a “neocon loser”:

Some Fox News hosts also came in for a drubbing by conservatives for dismissing the Freedom Caucus dissenters and attacking their motives, with notable exceptions like Tucker Carlson, who championed their fight to wring concessions from McCarthy. For example, high-profile talker Sean Hannity was criticized for his disrespectful interview with Freedom Caucus dissenter Lauren Boebert, which one conservative on Twitter described as “cringeworthy.”

Fox News alum and conservative Christian commentator Todd Starnes tweeted: “All those conservatives on Fox News and in talk radio who are pushing McCarthy are the same ones who told us to back Romney and McCain.”

Jashinsky in The Federalist writes of the unlikely outcome:

“From 30,000 feet, a four-day delay in the speaker vote is hardly the outrage pundits framed it as. The rules package is mostly unobjectionable institutionalism. Sure, it’s remarkable HFC won these concessions, but only because party leadership in D.C. is so unaccustomed to losing. The press painted all of the HFC with the same broad brush and missed the real story: They out-negotiated leadership and changed the House in a serious way.”

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