Skip to content
Sign up to receive our free weekday morning edition, and you'll never miss a scoop.
Members of the House GOP, like Chip Roy, are looking to November.

The House GOP’s November conundrum

Ask House Republicans what they are running on this year. They all say different things.

The House GOP is struggling to figure out what — if anything — to tout this November. The Republican Conference remains plagued by the bitter infighting and deep divisions that have overshadowed everything they’ve done during this Congress.

We spoke with roughly two dozen House GOP lawmakers about how they plan to convince voters to let them hold on to the majority. A few cited former Speaker Kevin McCarthy-era messaging bill wins, some played up their own individual efforts to bring money back to their district and others said they’ll simply run on the fact that they’re not Democrats.

“My Democrat colleagues are insane,” Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) said plainly. “We’ve at least got sanity.”

Yet Roy has been publicly criticizing his own party for months, even taking to the House floor to suggest Republicans have no accomplishments they can run on.

Here’s Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), another conservative hardliner. Norman said Republicans will have to campaign on what they tried to block, rather than what they actually secured.

“Look at what we stopped. They’re socialists,” Norman told us. “If you want socialism, vote Democrat.”

The House GOP is in a starkly different position than a year ago when the party was working through its “Commitment to America” plan spearheaded by McCarthy.

In part of 2023, House Republicans were at least passing party-line bills that could satisfy the GOP base, despite most of those measures being dead on arrival in the Democratic-led Senate.

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said Republicans can point to those bills, as well as oversight of President Joe Biden and other administration officials.

“The first few bills we passed, parents rights, H.R. 2 on immigration policy … we point to that and say ‘I’m sorry Chuck Schumer won’t take up good legislation,’” Jordan told us.

But while most conservative hardliners aren’t sweating their own reelection chances, there’s a large swath of the conference who says the poor optics of this Congress are impossible to ignore.

Vulnerable Republicans have publicly berated the party’s right flank for constantly plunging the House into chaos. Many of these lawmakers are worried the antics of a small House minority will reflect on them as well.

“It’s a small number of guys causing these troubles… but I think we have an uphill climb,” Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) said.

Other members are seeking to flip the script on the unproductive Congress, using the argument that democracy is messy — a phrase often deployed by Speaker Mike Johnson.

“We have individual voices that are being heard and individual agendas that are being pushed,” said Rep. Mike Garcia (R-Calif.).

Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.), who briefly launched a speaker bid last year out of frustration with House conservatives, said voters are the ones who can kick out dysfunctional members. Scott has backed House Freedom Caucus Chair Bob Good’s (R-Va.) primary challenger.

“Republican voters have the ability to correct that. We’ll see if they do,” Scott said.

– Mica Soellner

Presented by The Coalition to Project American Jobs

It’s taking the IRS years to process a small business tax credit. 1M+ small business owners who filed for the Employee Retention Credit are stuck in backlog or waiting on payment for their claims. Tell the IRS to lift the moratorium now.

Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. Political ads courtesy of AdImpact.