Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Why U.S. House Freedom Caucus Is Known for ‘No’: QuickTake Q&A


The Freedom Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives consists of Republicans who don’t always play nice with other Republicans. In March, caucus members helped stymie a bill to repeal and partially replace Obamacare. In response, President Donald Trump tweeted that they "will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don’t get on the team, & fast." House Speaker Paul Ryan, who shared the president’s frustration, is the second speaker to butt heads with this band of conservative and libertarian lawmakers. With Congress facing a long to-do list -- including a spending bill to keep the government running -- can congressional leaders find a way to get the Freedom Caucus to work with them instead of against them?

It’s officially a secret, but not all that mysterious, really. While the group does not publicize its own roster, by watching those arriving at group meetings, representatives’ tweets, and other public statements, it looks like the roll stands at about three dozen. Prominent members include its current chairman, Mark Meadows of North Carolina, former chairman Jim Jordan of Ohio, and other founding members such as Raul Labrador of Idaho. The group is decidedly male, with the retirement from Congress in December of its only woman, Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming. Another former member, and founder, Mick Mulvaney, has become director of the Trump administration’s Office of Management and Budget.