Top members of the House Freedom Caucus, led by Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, held a rare, pre-election strategy session in Washington on Wednesday focusing on whether they will support Ryan for another term as speaker in November and beyond, Politico reported.
According to the report, the Freedom Caucus meeting Wednesday has been kept secret by members, underscoring the sensitivity of its plans. The full Republican conference is set to vote on the next speaker via secret ballot the week after the election. But a strategy session in Washington less than one week before Election Day is unusual, to say the least.
The group has been a thorn in the side of leadership for some time, culminating in the ouster of former House Speaker John Boehner.
The Caucus is also planning to push for changes to House rules that would empower rank-and-file lawmakers. They have major gripes with how the House operates but have taken particular umbrage at GOP leadership’s tentative plan to scrap the so-called “motion to vacate.” That mechanism allows any member to force a referendum vote on the speaker and was used to prod Boehner into leaving midterm, according to Politico.
Some in Republican leadership welcome the change, saying it would give Ryan more freedom to maneuver without the threat hanging over his head. Others are skeptical, seeing it as a ploy to Ryan.
A spokeswoman for the Freedom Caucus did not respond to a request for comment.