The 36 members of the House Freedom Caucus have created a great deal of turmoil in our nations’ capital. While they are too few to control Congresses legislative agenda, they do have enough members to influence the race for Speaker of the House. Many are accusing the Freedom Caucus of trying to hijack the agenda, but that isn’t at all what they are after.
The House Freedom Caucus is looking to fix a corrupt legislative body. You see, the House is designed with a committee structure. Committees are supposed to draft legislation relevant to their domain of oversight and offer those bills to the House at large. That’s not what’s been happening. Bills are being written outside of committee, packaged by Leadership and then, without much review, consideration, or debate, put forward for an up or down vote. Congressmen are being asked to vote on legislation they haven’t read and don’t yet understand. It’s bad enough keeping the American People perpetually in the dark, but keeping Congressmen in the dark is inexcusable.
Furthermore, House Leadership has constantly used manufactured crises to pressure Congressmen into voting for Legislation a majority of Republican constituents would loathe. That Republicans would dislike this legislation is precisely why Boehner and the rest of Republican Leadership wait until the very last minute to pass these bills. By waiting until the last minute, leadership creates an operational crisis. If Republicans don’t vote for the surprise, last minute legislation, then the federal government shuts down, or a department or project loses funding, or someone somewhere doesn’t get paid.
There has never been a necessity to wait for these crises to occur. Everyone knows when the last minute will arise. Leadership deliberately waits until the last minute to prevent debate or objection. Currently, only 12 percent of the American People approve of the job our Congress is doing. One of the obvious reasons the American People despise their Congress is because their Congress is always in crisis. Whether or not they recognize this is Boehner’s plan or not doesn’t matter. The appearance of perpetual crisis is enough to make anyone lose faith and respect for the institution.
The Freedom Caucus is simply asking Leadership to return to a responsible, transparent, and deliberative process. They aren’t asking that the new Speaker support this legislative agenda or that – they are merely demanding that the House of Representatives operate the way it is supposed to operate. The 36 members of the House Freedom Caucus are the only members of the House of Representatives looking out, not for the government, but for the American People. My suggestion is that we all give them our full throated and financial support. Without them, the Republican Party will continue ramming through President Obama’s agenda, unencumbered by opposition or debate.
Article written by: Steven Brodie Tucker