At least two hardliners within the far-right House Freedom Caucus have proposed trying to boot members who no longer meet the group’s standards and discussed the option with Chair Scott Perry (R-PA), according to three Republicans who talked to Politico.
Those who spoke to Politico indicated that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) is on the short list of those that the hardliners might want to purge from the group, which has primarily functioned as a Kevin McCarthy obstruction wing for the past six months. But not all members have been fully onboard with the obstruction-ing – which played out most potently in the speakership race and the debt ceiling hostage taking – and tensions within the conservative group have been escalating for some time now.
“The speaker’s race, there was some difference in opinion. The debt ceiling, there were differences of opinion. And we had to get 80 percent on any major issue that we take positions on,” Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) told Politico, referring to the threshold needed for the group to take a unified stance. “On some big issues, we have not been able to get there.”
“We’re at a critical point right now,” he added.
Now, some unnamed members are pushing to oust their colleagues.
While it’s unclear who exactly the two members want to kick out of the caucus, Greene appears to be a target, according to Politico,
The MAGA-aligned conspiracy theorist congresswoman has become a close ally of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) over the past couple of months. And some in the Freedom Caucus are not happy that group members are aligning themselves with GOP leadership and being too critical of the conservative group and its members.
Greene was one of the few conservatives who supported McCarthy’s speakership bid through the historic, days-long, 15-round fight. She was even praised by some Republicans after she reportedly called former President Donald Trump during the voting crisis to try to convince the conservative detractors to vote “present” to help McCarthy secure the speakership.
But while she has been getting close to McCarthy, Greene has also been publicly picking fights with some of her far-right allies.
Earlier this year, Greene picked a Twitter fight with fellow MAGA-land adherent Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) after he tweeted a message congratulating her for her assignments on the House Homeland Security and Oversight Committees.
The speakership fight also caused something of a rift between Greene and Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), leading to an argument in the ladies room just off the House floor during the first day of the speaker elections.
Tensions between the two boiled over this week when Greene called Boebert a “little bitch” amid GOP frustration over the Colorado Republican’s move to try and force a vote on impeaching President Joe Biden.
Greene said she supports Bobert’s effort but also accused her of copying her recent impeachment resolution against Biden, calling her a “copycat” for offering an impeachment resolution similar to the one she proposed.
Responding to criticism about Greene, Norman told Politico he isn’t suggesting pushing her out but replied: “She’s been critical of us for a long time.”
Besides Greene, the members also discussed targeting colleagues whom they see as violating group standards by being inactive.
Freedom Caucus Chairman Perry told POLITICO that he denied the removal requests.