COMPASS: “Transformational” Conservative Victory in Congress

January 9th, 2023

Good afternoon from Capitol Hill. 

Not too long ago, the pundit class was screeching on every media outlet that members of the House Freedom Caucus who opposed the immediate election of a speaker and demanding process changes could lead to handing the gavel to Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (NY) and would be a disaster for Republicans. The 20 courageous conservative were called insurrectionists and terrorists, and were threatened by other Republicans to be kicked off committees. It even got physical on the House floor.

What a difference a week makes. With the 15th and final vote, Republicans elected Rep. Kevin McCarthy (CA) as the 55th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, after McCarthy came to an agreement with the 20 conservative holdouts. The parameters of the deal are still coming into view, but the basics as has been reported would amount to one of the biggest conservative policy and process victories in decades. The Center for Renewing America’s President Russ Vought summarized the deal:

“​​…an agreement that, as reported, is truly transformational in how the House of Representatives should be run. It levels a body blow against the DC political cartel that colludes against the American people. Namely, it gives House conservatives the procedural power through the all-important Rules Committee to control the consideration of all major bills and amendments — independence from Leadership not seen in nearly 60 years.  It creates a modern-day Church-style committee with full authority and resources to hold the weaponized national security state accountable. It commits the House to balance the budget in ten years, with substantial cuts to woke and weaponized government, and dictates the terms for the upcoming fight on the debt limit. And it enforces all of these commitments by allowing any one member to force a vote on removing the Speaker.”

In addition, according to newly-elected Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (FL), the deal also contains commitments to votes on the Texas border security plan, term limits for members of Congress, and an end to all COVID mandates and funding. The Republican leadership has apparently also agreed to a 72-hour rule which would allow 3 full days to review bills before passage, and limits bills coming to the House floor to single-subject bills instead of thousand page massive omnibus bills.

As one senior aide put it: “They just achieved more in the last week than any other group of conservatives has in years.

Still, much work remains to be done. The House rules package containing many of the reforms that were part of the speaker vote agreement will be voted on tonight as members return to Washington. Additionally, it has not been yet announced which conservatives will be placed on which powerful committees, which was a key part of the deal. 

Yet there is cause for hope for actual change in Washington for the first time in years, as Rep. Chip Roy said yesterday

“We need a little of this sort of breaking the glass in order to get us to the table, in order for us to fight for the American people, and to change the way this place is dysfunctional.”

The Latest From Around The Conservative Movement

One More Thing…

Following up on the excitement of the significant policy and process victories achieved by House Freedom Caucus members in their recent battle with GOP leadership, please check out Center for Renewing America’s work on two key components of the deal. First, CRA has been out in front for months calling on the formation of a Church-style special committee to fully investigate the overreach of our intel agencies. Second, CRA detailed a new FY2023 budget that balances in 10 years and makes necessary reductions in wasteful spending.