Two conservative House Freedom Caucus members are maneuvering to increase their power over the Republican establishment by seeking the head position of the party’s policy committee.
Arizona Rep. David Schweikert and Alabama Rep. Gary Palmer are interested in chairing the Republican Policy Committee, reported The Hill Thursday. The position is the fifth most powerful in the party and is currently held by Indiana Rep. Luke Messer, who ran for Senate and lost.
The two will need to work out “an accommodation” so they do not appear on the same ballot, Schweikert said, according to The Hill. (RELATED: Record Number Of Muslims Running For Political Office, Think Ocasio-Cortez Victory Shows They Have A Chance)
Both Schweikert and Palmer pitch themselves as detail-oriented policy nerds who will bring creative solutions to the GOP’s legislative proposals.
“I have a personal fixation that technology has given us so many amazing opportunities that we should be weaving into policy,” Schweikert told The Hill. “How do we make sure that when we’re making policy, we’re forward-leaning?”
Schweikert has been in Congress since 2010 and secured a seat on the influential House Ways and Means Committee in 2017 thanks to his tax reform background.
Palmer has represented his district since 2015 and chairs the Intergovernmental Affairs Subcommittee.
“What I can bring to that job is someone who is policy-oriented and solution-oriented,” Palmer told The Hill. “Also, a recognition you need to engage all the members.”
Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, also has his eye on a leadership position: speaker of the House, which Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan will vacate when his term ends in 2019. The Hill reports that his potential bid could be a strategy to get compromises from the Republican establishment so Jordan does not split the vote.
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