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Ron DeSantis Helps Launch House Freedom Caucus

January 26, 2015 - 6:00pm

A Florida congressman is one of the founders of a new congressional caucus which hopes to ensure the GOP majority in the U.S. House is staunchly conservative.

U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., was one of nine members of Congress who helped launch the House Freedom Caucus on Monday. The new caucus hopes to push conservative policy in the GOP majority, a role traditionally played by the Republican Study Committee (RSC). But congressional conservatives are increasingly frustrated with the RSC, insisting it is not moving legislation to the right. Despite more than 20 conservatives voting against U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, to remain in charge of the Republican caucus, the founders of the Freedom Caucus insist they have no beef with his leadership.

DeSantis was the only congressman from Florida who helped launch the caucus. Other founders include Republican U.S. Reps.Justin Amash of Michigan, John Fleming of Louisiana, Scott Garrett of New Jersey, Jim Jordan of Ohio, Ra Labrador of Idaho, Mark Meadows of North Carolina, Mike Mulvaney of South Carolina and Matt Salmon of Arizona.

On Monday, DeSantis explained why the new caucus was needed.

Modern Washington is perhaps more disconnected from the interests and values of the American people than at any time in modern memory, DeSantis insisted. Today, I am pleased to announce that I have joined with some of my colleagues in the House to form the House Freedom Caucus, which will seek to provide a voice for those who are frustrated that Washington, D.C., does not represent their values.

The HFC supports open, accountable and limited government, the Constitution and the rule of law, and policies that promote the liberty, safety and prosperity of all Americans, DeSantis added. We seek to ensure that the members of the House honor promises made to their constituents, to make the congressional leadership put the interests of the American people above inside-the-Beltway interests, and to advance positive reforms that reflect limited government principles.

Conservative Review has been vocal in its call for an alternative to the RSC and praised DeSantis and the new caucus on Monday.

Today, Rep. DeSantis, with other committed and energetic conservatives, took a bold step in moving the Republican Party in a better direction, said Daniel Horowitz, the senior editor of Conservative Review, on Monday. Over the past few years, as the RSC has become an ineffective check on House leadership, conservative influence has waned. Starting a truly conservative group will empower a critical mass of members to bind together and force House leaders in a direction more in line with the party platform and the needs of the American people instead of the interests of K Street.

Floridians should be proud of DeSantis for starting a group that actually believes Republicans were elected to provide a bold contrast on key issues, Horowitz added. Working together, coupled with their counterparts in the Senate and in the conservative movement, the Freedom Caucus will have a lot of leverage to help establish a model of conservative governance headed into 2016.

Reach Kevin Derby at or follow him on Twitter: @KevinDerbySSN

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