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Politics & Government

Idaho's Rep. Labrador Joins Other Tea Party Conservatives To Form 'Freedom Caucus'

Emilie Ritter Saunders
Boise State Public Radio

Idaho's Rep. Raul Labrador is one of nine U.S. House Republicans this week who announced the formation of the House Freedom Caucus. The group includes some of the most conservative members of Congress.

Labrador says the formation of the new caucus is a way for the its members to better represent their constituents. 

Labrador has been part of a similar, but larger group in the Republican Study Committee. He says having his voice – and that of his constituents in Idaho’s 1st Congressional District – heard will be easier as part of the new Freedom Caucus.

He says the new caucus represents a "bottom-up" approach to governing, rather than a top-down system dictated by Congressional leaders.

“What’s happened with the Republican Study Committee is that it’s kind of become a debating society where people go and they just talk to each other about what their ideas are,” Labrador says.  “But we weren’t really moving forward any positive agenda. And with a smaller group like the Freedom Caucus, what we can do is sit down, make decisions, listen to each other, and have ideas percolate…that will eventually be drafted into policy or procedural steps that we need to do in the House.”

The HFC's founding members are Labrador, Rep. Scott Garrett, R-NJ, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-OH, Rep. John Fleming, R-LA, Rep. Matt Salmon, R-AZ, Rep. Justin Amash, R-MI, Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-SC, Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-FL and Rep. Mark Meadows, R-NC.

“I think we’re all small government, limited government, Constitutional conservatives that want to move a positive reform agenda here in Washington,” Labrador says.

Labrador will no longer be a part of the Republican Study Committee. On Monday, he told The Daily Signal that others forming the new conservative group will determine if they'll remain part of the RSC "on a case-by-case basis."

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