Freedom Caucus lies in wait for Paul Ryan

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) called the situation “fluid.” He said Freedom Caucus members were staying focused on their crusade to get any speaker candidate to promise to overhaul how the House operates. They want proportional representation on the influential Steering and Policy Committee and greater say for committee members on who the conference elects as chairman of House panels.

The committee passed on backing McCarthy when the California Republican was still vying for speaker. Members said that was because McCarthy hadn’t yet convinced the Freedom Caucus he would follow through on promises to change House procedures.

“For us, we want a conference that empowers the rank and file … this is a fluid situation,” Meadows said. “Nobody anticipated that we’d be where we are right now. I think the best thing to say is that we are behind [Webster] right now.”

The push from conservatives to return to regular order hasn’t eased since McCarthy bowed out from the race. They insist Ryan would be required to make the same pledges on empowering committees and ending punishments that any other candidate would.