Jul 12, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Greene basks in "free agent" status as McCarthy hosts fundraiser for her

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) on Wednesday signaled little appetite for rejoining the House Freedom Caucus, saying she prefers being a "free agent."

Why it matters: The conservative bomb-thrower and erstwhile GOP leadership antagonist has increasingly drifted into the establishment fold.

  • House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is even hosting a fundraiser for Greene in D.C. on Wednesday afternoon, she told reporters.
  • Green said the fundraiser has been "planned for quite a while."

What she's saying: After dodging calls from Freedom Caucus members over the recess following a vote by members of the right-wing group to remove her, Greene said Wednesday, "I haven't talked with them."

  • But the Georgia congresswoman, based on news reports, acknowledged she is "probably not" a member anymore.
  • Asked if she would be interested in rejoining the caucus at some point, Greene said, "I think I enjoy being a free agent a lot better."

The intrigue: As Greene is locking arms with leadership, she is also threatening to tank a key defense bill McCarthy is trying to shepherd through the House this week.

  • Greene wants to remove $300 million in Ukraine aid and hold a separate vote on the funds, which she acknowledges would likely pass anyway.
  • If that doesn't happen, she said, it could be a "sticking point" for her on a procedural vote in which a few GOP defections could block consideration of the bill.

The backdrop: Freedom Caucus members have grown frustrated with Greene increasingly siding with McCarthy in his fights with the group, even going so far as to publicly criticize some members.

  • McCarthy rushed to her defense on Wednesday, calling her "one of the best members we have" and calling her ouster "a loss for the Freedom Caucus."
  • "I support Marjorie Greene very strongly," he added.
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