C-SPAN video of the House speaker election in January.

The tumult that broke out last month during the election of Kevin McCarthy for speaker illustrated the potential for profound dysfunction in the new House Republican majority. And the spectacle created by Republican lawmakers at the State of the Union address showed the unruly behavior of some in the G.O.P. rank and file that is becoming a new normal.

Many lawmakers who were leading a chorus of boos and heckling were familiar faces from the far right, including some who are poised to wield real power in the 118th Congress. The defining dynamic for House Republicans, who have a four-vote majority, may be the push and pull between the far right and the rest of the Republican conference.

Here is a closer look at the fractious House Republican caucus.

Departures and Newcomers

The caucus has shifted toward the right in other ways too, because of the departure of conservatives who bucked the party. Nearly three-quarters of Republican House members who did not run for re-election or who lost their primaries in 2022 voted to impeach Mr. Trump or to form the Jan. 6 commission. Almost all of that group also voted to certify the 2020 Electoral College results, in defiance of Mr. Trump and a vast majority of House Republicans.

Republicans who did not run for re-election or lost their primaries

A table shows House Republicans who lost their primaries or who left Congress, and had voted to impeach Mr. Trump or to form the Jan. 6 commission.

Voted to…
Former member Impeach Trump Form Jan. 6th commission Form Jan. 6 comm. Certify the 2020 election

Jaime Herrera Beutler Wash. 3rd

Beutler Wash. 3rd

Liz Cheney Wyo. At large

Cheney Wyo. At large

Anthony Gonzalez Ohio 16th

Gonzalez Ohio 16th

John Katko N.Y. 24th

Katko N.Y. 24th

Adam Kinzinger Ill. 16th

Kinzinger Ill. 16th

Peter Meijer Mich. 3rd

Meijer Mich. 3rd

Fred Upton Mich. 6th

Upton Mich. 6th

Rodney Davis Ill. 13th

Davis Ill. 13th

Trey Hollingsworth Ind. 9th

Hollingsworth Ind. 9th

David B. McKinley W.Va. 1st

McKinley W.Va. 1st

Tom Rice S.C. 7th

Rice S.C. 7th

Van Taylor Texas 3rd

Taylor Texas 3rd

Kevin Brady Texas 8th

Brady Texas 8th

Chris Jacobs N.Y. 27th

Jacobs N.Y. 27th

Madison Cawthorn N.C. 11th

Cawthorn N.C. 11th

Bob Gibbs Ohio 7th

Gibbs Ohio 7th

Fred Keller Pa. 12th

Keller Pa. 12th

Steven M. Palazzo Miss. 4th

Palazzo Miss. 4th

Because of redistricting, it is not possible to do a one-to-one match for every seat, but some newcomers who align more closely with the far right were elected to seats previously held by Democrats or Republicans who voted to impeach Mr. Trump or to create the Jan. 6 commission.

A look at some Republican newcomers

A table shows Republican newcomers to the House who denied the results of the 2020 election before they were elected to office or were supported by the House Freedom Fund.

Newcomer Denied 2020 election results Supported by freedom fund Replaced

Eli Crane
Ariz. 2nd

Ariz. 2nd
Democrat Dem.

Monica De La Cruz
Texas 15th

De La Cruz
Texas 15th
Democrat Dem.

Anna Luna
Fla. 13th

Fla. 13th
Democrat Dem.

Cory Mills
Fla. 7th

Fla. 7th
Democrat Dem.

Andy Ogles
Tenn. 5th

Tenn. 5th
Democrat Dem.

George Santos
N.Y. 3rd

N.Y. 3rd
Democrat Dem.

Harriet Hageman
Wyo. At-large

Wyo. At-large
Republican Rep.

Keith Self
Texas 3rd

Texas 3rd
Republican Rep.

Russell Fry
S.C. 7th

S.C. 7th
Republican Rep.

One of five newcomers who opposed Mr. McCarthy’s speaker bid, Representative Anna Paulina Luna, took over a seat previously held by a Democrat, Charlie Crist, who ran against (and lost to) Ron DeSantis for Florida governor. Ms. Luna has explicitly said the 2020 election was stolen and has joined the House Freedom Caucus.

Representative Harriet Hageman of Wyoming, who has also denied the 2020 election results, defeated Representative Liz Cheney in the primary. Ms. Hageman was appointed by Mr. McCarthy to the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, which will focus on finding evidence that the government has silenced and punished conservatives.

Representative Andy Ogles of Tennessee, the member who screamed, “It’s your fault!” when Mr. Biden called for an end to the fentanyl crisis during the State of the Union address, replaced Representative Jim Cooper, a Democrat who retired after redistricting diluted Democrats’ power in the Nashville-area district. Mr. Ogles also opposed Mr. McCarthy’s speaker bid and has explicitly said the 2020 election was stolen.

In all, more than one-third of the 41 Republican newcomers explicitly denied the results of the 2020 election, were supported by the House Freedom Fund, or both.

A Venn diagram shows the Republican newcomers in the House who either denied the 2020 election results, were supported by the House Freedom Fund, or both.

Denied 2020 electionSupported by Freedom FundBurlisonCollinsCraneHagemanLunaOglesSelfAlfordDe La CruzFryLuttrellMillsSantosStrongBrecheenMiller

About a half dozen political experts who spoke with The Times said that many members of the Republican caucus have learned there is value in being antagonistic and refusing to compromise — a harbinger of more chaos to come.

“Confrontation attracts attention and, you know, the attention economy has always been important for politicians,” said Richard H. Pildes, a professor at New York University’s School of Law. “But traditionally you had to go through a series of gatekeepers or mediating institutions to get that kind of attention. The average member of the House wasn’t able to generate that kind of attention for themselves in a way that they, of course, now can very easily.”

Beyond attention, being confrontational appears to have financial incentives as well.

The internet has enabled a flood of money from small donors, which, Mr. Pildes said, has allowed politicians to bring in large sums without having to rely on large donors or party funds. Indeed, a Times investigation last year found that objecting to the results of the 2020 Electoral College was politically profitable.

“We’ve come to recognize the role of more extremism and more outrage, provoking more attention, provoking more media coverage, provoking more small donor contributions,” Mr. Pildes said. “And I think that’s part of the story here.”



#Close #Chaotic #House #Republican #Majority

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