Jul 11, 2023 - Politics & Policy

McCarthy defends Marjorie Taylor Greene amid Freedom Caucus drama

Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

(Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) backed up Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) following news that she's been voted out of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.

Why it matters: Members of the powerful conservative caucus cited her shift from firebrand to leadership ally as one of the main reasons they opted to vote her out of the group.

  • “I think Marjorie Taylor Greene is one of the best members we have, I think she's the one of the most conservative members and one of the strongest legislators. I support Marjorie Greene very strongly,” McCarthy told Axios on Tuesday.
  • The California Republican later told reporters: “I don’t know why they would do something like that from any perspective. I think it’s a loss for the Freedom Caucus.”

Zoom in: Greene told reporters on Tuesday that she has not spoken with House Freedom Caucus Chair Scott Perry (R-Pa.) about the decision to remove her alleging she learned of the news from the press.

  • “Congratulations, y’all did a great job. And I guess the Freedom Caucus does a good job of talking to you more than your members,” she told The Hill. “I don’t have time for the drama club.”
  • Leading members of the House Freedom Caucus previously told Axios that Perry repeatedly tried to notify Greene of her removal but she would not answer her phone, adding that she was “overwhelmingly” voted out.

The big picture: Greene’s removal marks the first time the group — which previously threatened to derail McCarthy’s ability to obtain the speaker’s gavel — has kicked out one of its members.

  • The caucus is expected to continue to be a thorn in leadership’s side as they push to move legislation to right and force votes on their priorities.
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