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OPINION

The House Freedom Caucus Deserves Your Applause

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, what took place on the House floor last week was the most transparent, honest, and lively debate many Americans – young and old – have ever witnessed. For that, you can thank the House Freedom Caucus.

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Had there been no conservative opposition to Speaker McCarthy, it is highly likely the legislative oligarchy that existed under Speakers Nancy Pelosi, Paul Ryan, and John Boehner would continue in the 118th Congress. The People’s House would remain a top-down, centralized body, relegating anyone outside of the speaker’s office as mere spectators in the business of legislating. Washington elites would continue to rule in their own interests. The American people would keep paying for and bearing the consequences of the ruling class’s self-serving agenda. 

The week-long debate forced now-Speaker McCarthy to agree to concessions from the House Freedom Caucus. Last night, the fruits of that debate passed on the House floor in the form of a rules package governing the body for the next two years. What will it look like?

The House of Representatives will now be more decentralized. Committees will have more authority, and there will be fair representation, not just a member who swears loyalty to leadership. Amendments will be allowed on the floor. Legislation will need to have a “single subject” so unpopular bills can’t be packaged together as a “Christmas tree” bill that everyone hates, but everyone supports. If any of these reforms are broken, and a majority of House members are dissatisfied with the speaker’s performance, they can vote him out.

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All of these things are common sense reforms that are popular among all voters. Throughout the debate, the GOP Pundit Class - including Sean Hannity, Karl Rove, and Newt Gingrich - made clear that they preferred the status quo and castigated the House conservatives for prolonging the debate. They did so because any disruption would threaten their elite status in that broken system.

Likewise, the Left is trying to stay relevant by claiming that the House Freedom Caucus has weakened McCarthy and such a thing could never have happened when Pelosi was in charge. That House Democrats could not and did not challenge leadership during Pelosi’s tenure is rooted in the Left's desire to submit us all to the impersonal authority of the state. There are brave members that want to take part in shaping our Republic. They just aren't the ones promoted by the Justice Democrats.

Some opine that the entire speaker debate made our great nation look weak and divided. I would argue that this was a huge triumph. I liked the messiness. Democracy is messy. As long as it’s out in the open for people to watch and judge for themselves, not behind closed doors, then we’re more informed and the politicians are more accountable. For the first time in years, you saw a packed House full of members having a high level debate for the world to see. Revel in that for a moment. 

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Some people may have strong personality conflicts with the conservatives who fought for these reforms.  But politicians are package deals - it’s difficult to like everything that a single member stands for. But in this particular debate, I hope you agree that the House Freedom Caucus helped restore fairness and accountability – for all members of the House, regardless of party – in what has been a broken institution. 

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