Exclusive — Rep. Scott Perry: Freedom Caucus Will Always Be the ‘Conscience’ of House Republicans

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House Freedom Caucus (HFC) Chairman Scott Perry (R-PA) told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview that the caucus of House conservatives will always be the “conscience” of the House Republican Conference.

Perry spoke to Breitbart News less than one week away from the November midterm elections, where he predicted that Republicans would win the House majority. The elections would likely result in a more conservative House Republican majority that would make the HFC even more of an influential caucus with the House Republican Conference.

More importantly, the Pennsylvania conservative explained that he believes that the HFC plays perhaps the most important role of all, that of the “conscience” of House Republicans.

“HFC is always going to be the conscience of the conference,” Perry told Breitbart News.

“We get to Washington and we fully plan to implement the things that we say in the district and so we’re going to continue to do that,” he continued.

As part of being the House Republicans’ “conscience,” the HFC wants to have Congress’s lower chamber become the “People’s House” once again by returning to regular order.

An HFC rules proposal would restore power to rank-and-file members so that congressional leadership does not dominate the legislative process. Many conservatives have lamented the lack of input in the legislative process, which often results in leadership dropping huge bills before the House with little time for members to understand what they are voting on.

The HFC rules proposal package would:

  • Enact a “majority of the majority” rule that legislation passed in a Republican House should be supported by a majority of House Republicans to prevent leadership from cutting deals with Democrats if a bill is not supported by conservatives
  • Restore independence of committees by electing committee chairs based on qualifications and effectiveness
  • Diversify the Steering Committee so that all House Republicans can have input on committee assignments
  • Open the legislative process to allow for amendments. Members have not been allowed to vote on an amendment on the House floor since May 2016, and the Republican 115th Congress, under then-Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), broke the record for the most bills being considered without amendments
  • Ensure fiscal responsibility by blocking consideration of any other bill until the House can pass an appropriations bill by August 1. If the House has not acted by September 10, then the Speaker should be prevented from recessing or adjourning until it has passed a spending bill

Perry explained, “We haven’t had an amendment on the floor for six years. We keep on having these four corners deals between Senate leadership and House leadership. And quite honestly, that’s happened regardless of who’s at the top and who’s in the majority. That stuff has to end and the American people are sick of this illusion of representative government, and representatives that come to Washington, DC, that have hard-fought battles don’t want to be bystanders just have to vote yes or no when it comes to the floor. They want to be involved at the beginning and the whole way through the process. We’re looking for leadership across the board that is interested in empowering individual members of a very diverse conference with very diverse views. But one thing in common is being against the leftist agenda of the Democrats.”

The rules proposal would also restore “regular order” and return the House to the normal legislative process. It would:

  • Reset the House rules by
    • Ending proxy voting
    • Restoring the “Motion to Vacate the Chair’ so any member can offer a privileged motion to remove the Speaker
    • Restore a requirement so that a print is made to show how legislation would change existing laws before a bill receives a vote on the floor
    • Eliminate the ability automatically suspend the debt ceiling without a standalone vote when the House adopts a budget resolution
  • Hold bureaucrats accountable by restoring the “Holman Rule” to allow House members to make targeted spending cuts in spending bills, which would even allow making targeted cuts of bureaucrats’ salaries, including Dr. Anthony Fauci
  • End secret deals requiring bills to be made available to the public five full days ahead of a vote and require a two-thirds threshold House vote to waive this rule
  • Ban Earmarks to prevent taxpayer-dollar spending on lawmakers and lobbyist pet projects

The House Freedom Caucus also sent a 52-page guide to new Republican candidates on the issues they will face as freshman congressmen, including complex congressional procedure, pressure from leadership, and important votes.

However, he noted that House Republicans would be better unified with these proposals to empower every House Republican, whether the member is rank-and-file or leadership.

“We want to be unified against the leftist, radical Democratic agenda, and the best way to do that is to obviously be together and understand what the circumstances are that empower every single member as they come in,” the House Freedom Caucus chairman concluded. “Members need to be armed with information so that they can make informed and well-intended decisions that will actually meet with success and produce results for the American people.”

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.


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