It appears that Republican infighting could resurface and become an obstacle in advancing legislation if the party takes control of the House in November's midterms.
The conservative House Freedom Caucus already is turning up the heat on Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who's in line to become speaker if the GOP regains the House majority, The Hill reported.
"[Former Speaker] Paul Ryan [R-Wis.] used to say it's like keeping frogs in a wheelbarrow," one House Republican told The Hill. "It's going to be a great challenge to keep everybody together."
The Freedom Caucus currently consists of about three dozen members, with some retiring and other GOP candidates hoping to join the group.
So far, McCarthy has no challenger to the speakership, partly because he has given the caucus a seat at the table.
Still, the conservative group already has started a battle over House rules that would chip away at leadership's power. The Freedom Caucus released a set of rule changes aimed at giving more power to individual members.
The Hill reported that among the proposed rule changes is restoring the ability of any member to make a "motion to vacate the Chair" — essentially serving as a motion to oust the speaker.
The motion was last used by the Freedom Caucus against former Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, in 2015. Soon after that, Boehner retired.
Freedom Caucus members, in House GOP conference meetings, have pressed Republican leaders to hold a vote on the conference rules before a vote on House GOP leadership to prevent leaders from writing the rules that they want, The Hill said.
That request was tabled, with leadership telling members that they should stay focused on winning the majority.
"I thought that was sort of an untoward response to the proposals," Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C. said, The Hill reported.
"[The vote order request was] essentially dismissed without being defended by leadership," Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., said. "I don't understand, you know, why we would be asked to vote on rules that we have not seen a week after the election. That's what happened two years ago, and I fear it will happen again."
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Scott Perry, R-Pa., recently met with Republican leaders to discuss the rules change requests, and said the meeting lacked commitments.
"I'm disappointed that we're still not really moving the chains, here. We're not moving the ball down the field," Perry said, The Hill reported.
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