Two freshman Georgia congressmen have learned in a hurry that fiery political rhetoric might get you elected, but it doesn’t get you very far in the messy world of governing.
This week’s AJC highlighted the heat that Barry Loundermilk and Jody Hice — who represent two of Georgia’s most conservative, solidly GOP districts — faced from voters when they returned home during a congressional break. Their constituents were outraged, among other things, over both men’s support of House Speaker John Boehner and the GOP majority’s capitulation on President Obama’s executive immigration orders on the Department of Homeland Security’s funding bill.
The Republican tidal wave of 2014 hasn’t produced much in the way of results, and as Peach Pundit’s Jon Richards points out, Hice’s predecessor, Paul Broun, is rumored to be considering a run to get his old job back.
Now, both Hice and Loudermilk have joined the House Freedom Caucus (HFC), a group that has been formed to pull Republican leadership to the right.
The HFC is already causing some GOP insiders to develop a good case of heartburn. One senior GOP aide tells Roll Call that its members are “not legislators, they’re just assholes” and nothing more than a collection of “the craziest of the crazy.”
But the HFC now numbers about 30 representatives, and Ohio congressman Jim Jordan is reported to be in line to become the HFC’s first chairman. One HFC member says he’d support Jordan for speaker.
The HFC has obviously been formed in direct opposition to Boehner and other GOP insiders who are seen either as being too cozy with Democrats or too intimidated by President Obama to stop his policies.
In 2014, voters overwhelmingly elected Republicans to move Capitol Hill to the right. The question is, will the HFC pull the party in the direction that voters elected them to go? If not, Republicans may continue to be seen as appeasing the White House, which will have its own ramifications in 2016.