The House Liberty Caucus, chaired by Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, quietly launched last year with five or six lawmakers attending a hastily choreographed meeting. Now the group holds a biweekly, invite-only luncheon that draws some two dozen lawmakers and is rapidly becoming an ideological home base for those "core" House conservatives who say the RSC's swelling membership is diluting its ideological intensity.I would like to have just one story come out of Congress that doesn't revolve primarily around some group of House Republicans trying to figure out how to out-conservative everybody else. Just one! (Besides the cocaine story, I mean.)
The ascent of Amash's right-wing group has not occurred in a vacuum. Rather, it roughly coincides with a power shift on Capitol Hill that saw momentum swing back toward the establishment after the government shutdown in October and Paul Ryan's budget compromise in December. Some RSC members, upset that the organization did not aggressively combat these forces, say its massive membership has turned the group into the proverbial big ship that turns slowly.
"There are a lot of conservative Republicans who feel the RSC has gotten too big," Amash said, when asked to explain the appeal of his group. "Most of us, if not all of us, are RSC members as well. But when working with like-minded people, you need something a little more nimble that doesn't dilute its positions because of the size of the group."
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