"There’s a bit of an überconservative environment that’s going on"

Alabama Reps. Jo Bonner and Martha Roby have dropped out of the group, as has Louisiana Rep. Bill Cassidy. At least one other, Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, is in the process of leaving, according to a source familiar with his thinking. Bonner, who met with Jordan privately before he dropped out, said he’ll “be damned if I am going to sit by and watch our members fight against each other.” Roby, Cassidy and Kinzinger refused to comment on their departures.

“There’s a bit of an überconservative environment that’s going on, and we can’t continue to shoot ourselves in the foot or have what I call a circular firing squad,” said Florida Rep. Allen West, a freshman member of the RSC who is remaining in the group.

Since its founding in 1973, the RSC has always pursued its core objectives — serving as a petri dish for conservative policy and pressuring its leadership from the right within the Capitol — in tandem. With two-thirds of the Republican majority in its ranks, the organization should be enjoying unprecedented influence. But many have gotten tired of the provocations and constant rightward push from the RSC, leading some to question whether the organization’s primary goals might now be at odds — and whether the group has become too large for its own good…

Conservatives at all levels of the conference say they’re taking another look at their membership in the wake of the debt ceiling fiasco and other missteps, according to more than a dozen interviews conducted by POLITICO. Chief Deputy Whip Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) declined to say where he came down on the conflict but hinted that he would reconsider his membership the next time payments were due, saying that everyone was going to be looking at their office budgets next year and that while he’s still a member “like everyone else, I’m going to be looking at every outlay.”

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