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  5. House conservatives have a special group dedicated to preserving their power. Of course, it's called the FART team.

House conservatives have a special group dedicated to preserving their power. Of course, it's called the FART team.

Brent D. Griffiths   

House conservatives have a special group dedicated to preserving their power. Of course, it's called the FART team.
  • House conservatives have organized a crack team to monitor to potential ways to undermine their power.
  • The House Freedom Caucus has formed a Floor Action Response Team.

The far-right House Freedom Caucus has formed a crack team of conservative lawmakers to monitor the House floor lest Speaker Mike Johnson or other Republicans try to limit their power.

Naturally, the band of rabble-rousers that loves generating headlines for its members has called the group the Floor Action Response Team or FART. Because, why not?

According to Politico, this group will make sure that no other Republicans try to rush through changes that would make it harder for lawmakers to oust Johnson from power or that would strip three Freedom Caucus members of a powerful perch they all hold. The publication reported that the Freedom Caucus does not expect any such maneuvers but is remaining vigilant just in case any of their colleagues try to be silent but deadly to their cause.

Conservatives' tensions with Johnson have surged since the $1.2 trillion government funding bill to avert a partial shutdown. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican and former Freedom Caucus member, filed a motion to potentially remove Johnson from power in response to the funding bill. The situation has only grown worse after Johnson made clear he would allow the House to vote on additional US aid to Ukraine.

Greene could force a vote on Johnson's future at any time. Earlier this week, Rep. Thomas Massie, a Kentucky Republican with a libertarian bent, became the first Republican to pledge to join Greene's effort publicly. Massie is also not a member of the Freedom Caucus, whose membership is technically secret, but he does support many of the caucus' broader aims.

The team does not appear to be a new creation. The X account PatriotTakes, which frequently trolls Republicans, posted a clip in 2022 of Rep. Lauren Boebert, a Colorado Republican and Freedom Caucus member, discussing a FART team.

"Myself and other members of members of the House Freedom Caucus, we have a Floor Action Response Team," Boebert said during an appearance on a Blaze Media show. "F-A-R-T, I'm a mother of four boys, I can appreciate that."

Kevin McCarthy is partially responsible for the stink.

Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy initially resisted setting the "motion to vacate" at the threshold of just a single lawmaker before reversing himself to wrap up the votes to what ultimately became his doomed speakership. Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida made history by successfully using the motion to vacate to force McCarthy's ouster. Gaetz teamed up with seven other House Republicans and House Democrats to boot McCarthy from power.

FART is also worried that more centrist GOP lawmakers could move to strip Massie, Rep. Chip Roy, and Ralph Norman from the powerful House Rules Committee. In another McCarthy-era concession, Republicans allowed the three conservative lawmakers to serve on the panel responsible for determining how most legislation reaches the floor. In recent weeks, the trio has increasingly used their power to effectively block Johnson from carrying out his agenda.

On Wednesday evening, Rep. Mike Lawler, a New York Republican who represents a swing district, said the three lawmakers should either resign from the panel or be formally removed by their colleagues.

"They are there on behalf of the conference, not themselves," Lawler wrote on X.

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