They are some of the most conservative members on Capitol Hill, a group of lawmakers whose opposition to and tenuous relationship with former House Speaker John Boehner is often cited as the reason Boehner finally turned in his speaker's gavel.
From one perspective, the Freedom Caucus – with its rabble-rousing, no-compromising brand of conservatism–could be seen as opening the door for Donald Trump's rise. The few dozen Freedom Caucus members in the House wrote the book on opposing the establishment, on everything from the debt ceiling to funding bills. One of their members, Dave Brat (R-VA) stunned the political world in 2014 when he took out a sitting Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a primary. This month, the Freedom Caucus voted against supporting their own party's budget plan, putting House Speaker Paul Ryan, a former budget committee chairman, in a bind.
The Freedom Caucus' own rhetoric, including its promises to repeal Obamacare (even though Obama is in office), has fueled some of the anger and resentment against Washington that Trump has benefited from. But while the Freedom Caucus and Trump both love raging against the so-called Washington establishment, there are a lot of Freedom Caucus members who wish they could put Trump back in the bottle.
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