On Thursday, Marjorie Taylor Greene, the congresswoman from Georgia, told reporters she is not a member of the “burn-it-all-down caucus anymore,” referring to the hardline Freedom Caucus. “I’m a greatly, very happily a free agent and I want to do my job here.”
Greene was booted from the Freedom Caucus earlier this summer. Frustrations with Greene reached a boiling point after she got into a public spat on the House floor with Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), calling her a little (expletive). Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.,) told Politico in July that while the clash with Boebert was the straw that broke the camel’s back, the Freedom Caucus was also unhappy with her support for Kevin McCarthy and her break with the group on the debt bill.
Today, Greene expressed her frustration at members of the caucus after a closed-door GOP conference meeting, as reported by the Hill.
“A lot of my colleagues that are saying those things weren’t even in that room, so they weren’t there to hear any of the conversation nor raise their concerns,” Greene said after emerging from the meeting. “They can’t stand out and hold press conferences but not attend our conference meetings and expect to work things out.”
Greene continues to be a close ally of McCarthy.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.,), a staunch member of the Freedom Caucus, told McCarthy earlier this week that McCarthy had not kept his end of the deal with caucus members. “I rise today to serve notice. Mr. Speaker, you are out of compliance with the agreement that allowed you to assume this role. The path forward for the House of Representatives is to either bring you into immediate total compliance or remove you, pursuant to a motion to vacate the chair,” Gaetz said Tuesday. He also accused McCarthy of serving as a “valet” for Biden’s spending agenda.
Thursday, McCarthy shot back and dared hard-right members to try to oust him. “You guys think I’m scared of a motion to vacate. Go ... ahead and do it. I’m not scared,” McCarthy reportedly told the House GOP conference in the same closed-door meeting Greene attended.
The frustrations Thursday emerged as the government faces a looming deadline to avoid shutting down: Sept. 30. A handful of “staunchly conservative” lawmakers announced Wednesday they would not move forward on the bill to fund defense because, as The Washington Post reports, their demands of leadership have not been met.
Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was in office during the last government shutdown 10 years ago. He has a message for the Republican conference thinking about letting it happen again. Don’t do it.
Fewer than a dozen working days remain before the deadline.
Holly Richardson is the editor of Utah Policy