The conservative House Freedom Caucus has a new leader.
The hard-line group has elected Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) to be the new Freedom Caucus chief, replacing the current chairman, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.).
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Meadows, a founding Freedom Caucus member and one of President Donald Trump’s closest allies on Capitol Hill, will step down on Oct. 1 but is expected to remain on the group’s board.
“I’m grateful for the trust of my colleagues in selecting me to serve as the next chairman of the House Freedom Caucus,” Biggs said in a statement on Tuesday.
“The Freedom Caucus has revolutionized Capitol Hill because our members endeavor to keep our promises to the American people. Freedom Caucus members have shown that they will stand for principle over politics — every time.”
The Freedom Caucus, a band of roughly 30 conservative bomb throwers who spent years as a thorn in the side of leadership, has played a key role in some of the most high-profile fights in the House GOP, from the ouster of John Boehner as speaker to the government shutdown earlier this year. And with Meadows at its helm during Trump’s first two years in office, the group wielded even more power.
But with House Republicans now in the minority, the group’s influence has significantly waned. The Freedom Caucus has also come under fire for being unswervingly loyal to Trump, prompting one of its members, Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.), to quit the group earlier this year.
Meadows was initially expected to pass the baton to the next chairman earlier this year, but Freedom Caucus members decided to punt on leadership elections until the fall to give themselves time to settle into the new Congress.
“I’ve been honored and humbled to serve as chairman of the Freedom Caucus for the last two and a half years, and I can’t think of a better person to pass the torch to than Andy Biggs,” Meadows said in a statement.
Biggs came to Congress in 2017 and sits on the House Judiciary Committee, where Republican members serve as Trump’s first line of defense against possible impeachment.