It was one of the biggest demands of House conservatives: more representation on key committees and in senior roles. They got both, and they’re still bragging about it.
At a House Freedom Caucus fundraiser in Tennessee last month, Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), president of the conservative group, boasted in front of donors about what he pulled from McCarthy. That included receiving the Homeland Security Committee gavel for a group member after Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) won the eventual chairmanship of the House Judiciary Committee (he first served as the top Republican on the House oversight panel ).
Jordan’s position, Perry claimed at the incident, was based on “leverage, too”. In reality, however, that situation was long expected given Jordan and McCarthy’s increasingly close relationship.
Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.), a member of the Freedom Caucus who was present at the event, now chairs the homeland security panel after a lengthy speakership battle.
“We knew now that we were going to have a dog in the fight … We also knew the competition,” Perry said of the race for the presidency of the home state — apparently that of Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas). Referring to – according to an audio recording obtained by the politician.
“And one of the conversations was: If that other guy becomes chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, you’re not going to be speaker.”
While the GOP steering committee decides most of the panel chairmen, the process is heavily influenced by the speaker. (Greene’s position, as well as other competing chair positions, was decided by the steering panel after McCarthy’s election to the floor.) Greene’s allies have argued that his victory was more than just a tradeoff, saying That it was a win-win, given their resume. and vision for the panel. Responding to Perry’s words, a Crenshaw aide called the apparent deal “the worst-kept secret in Washington.”
Additionally, two of the most conservative members of the GOP – Reps. Chip Roy (R-Texas) and Thomas Massey (R-Ky.) – were placed on the low-profile but powerful Rules Committee. This was perhaps the most decentralizing move made by McCarthy; The rules panel decides exactly how legislation gets to the House floor, giving Roy and Macy the authority to block certain bills or push for changes.
Conservatives gained greater representation on other key committees as well. Of the 20 holdout members, two landed on the financial services panel and two others got seats on appropriations. And even members of the Freedom Caucus, who were supporters of McCarthy, landed on other top panels, such as Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas), who received a spot on energy and commerce.