Conservative Group To Spend Millions Defending Republicans Who Fought McCarthy’s Speaker Bid

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Mary Lou Masters Contributor
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The economic conservative organization Club for Growth plans to spend $20 million on the reelection efforts of the 20 House Republicans who opposed GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California’s speakership bid in January, according to a strategy memo.

The organization dubbed the conservative McCarthy opponents the “Patriot 20” and told donors it intends to help them defeat moderate potential primary challengers and Democrats in 2024, according to a memo written by Club for Growth President David McIntosh. Club for Growth has two groups of priority, the first being five freshman Republicans and the second focused on the remaining 15 incumbent conservatives.

“Club for Growth Action is prepared to spend $20 million in defense of the Patriot 20, the group of members who fought to advance conservative priorities and establish a more transparent and accountable legislative process in the House during the Speaker negotiations in January,” wrote McIntosh. “As the largest conservative political action committee, we helped elect 17 of these 20 members to Congress and are determined to make sure they have the support necessary to win their primaries and beat Democrat challengers.” (RELATED: The GOP Fears This Conservative Group Could Cost Them Seats In 2024)

The “Patriot 20” members held out on voting for McCarthy’s speakership bid in January, making the vote the longest speaker standoff since 1856. After 15 ballots, McCarthy won the gavel by agreeing to add Freedom Caucus members to the Rules Committee, allowing any member to call for a motion to vacate and capping the budget at Fiscal Year 2022 levels.

Club for Growth is primarily focused on helping Reps. Eli Crane of Arizona, Anna Paulina Luna of Florida, Josh Brecheen of Oklahoma, Andy Ogles of Tennessee and Keith Self of Texas secure their second terms, according to the memo. The second priority group includes conservatives like Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Dan Bishop of North Carolina, Andrew Clyde of Georgia, Andy Biggs of Arizona and Matt Rosendale of Montana, who is considering a Senate run.

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 07: Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) (C) is surrounded by Rep.-elect Bob Good (R-VA), Rep.-elect Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Rep.-elect Matt Rosendale (R-MT), Rep.-elect Eli Crane (R-AZ), Rep.-elect Scott Perry (R-PA), Rep.-elect Thomas Massie (R-KY) and others as they make a last-second agreement to end McCarthy’s four-day battle for the Speaker of the House at the U.S. Capitol Building. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Club for Growth also plans to fundraise for three GOP members who are on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s (DCCC) target list, Reps. Luna, Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, according to the memo.

The memo was first reported by Politico on Monday.

“Moderate donor networks are already working to enact retribution against these conservative members who they perceive to be vulnerable to a primary challenge. Making our financial commitment public may serve as an effective deterrent to some potential challengers,” McIntosh wrote. “These funds will also allow us to run aggressive independent expenditures targeting moderates who eventually emerge to primary any of these members.”

McCarthy did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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