Hardline House conservatives plan Trump-era political expansion

A congressional alliance that has played a leading role in the House majority’s push to roll back Obamacare is now looking to expand to the state level

Members of the hardline conservative House Freedom Caucus, who helped defy Speaker Paul Ryan and lead a minority of Republican lawmakers to vote against the healthcare bill, are uniting behind a new group that promises to support candidates at every level of government.

Alex Mooney, the Freedom Caucus’s representative in West Virginia, told the Guardian that the group’s executive director, Tim Huelskamp, had met with a small group of members to discuss plans for a national network of conservative candidates in anticipation of the 2020 midterms.

“We’re determined to empower grassroots activists all across America to rally behind good candidates who champion limited government and low taxes and keep the Republican majority strong in the House,” said Huelskamp in a statement.

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That network of candidates would be supported by Freedom Partners, a network of wealthy businessmen that also began in the House to support candidates who support tax cuts. And it would be the Freedom Caucus’s first foray beyond state politics to grassroots activist groups.

“It’s critically important that state parties provide a steady stream of good candidates for us to consider, and I’m confident the membership in the US House Freedom Caucus is in place to do just that,” Huelskamp said.

House Freedom Caucus member Scott Perry has mentioned state-level races as a way to help conservative candidates gain an influence they have not enjoyed before.

The building blocks of the new network are a series of newsletters that will provide voters with information on candidates and how they will support tax cuts.

The Freedom Caucus members, who continue to withhold their support from Speaker Ryan, also have their eyes on possible Congressional redistricting.

The political process in Texas currently uses congressional districts drawing to align with the population. The coalition hopes to get rid of that districting so more conservative districts will be created that are closer to the cities. It will then be up to Republican governors in Texas and other states to propose new districts.

While Huelskamp and the Freedom Caucus have several potential allies on the conservative side, they may still need some help from the White House, especially if they want to take advantage of the network during the redistricting process.

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