The most conservative faction of House Republicans plans to unify behind a single candidate for House speaker, a move they say will increase their leverage in the election to succeed John Boehner when he resigns next month.
"Clearly, conservatives are in the driver's seat," Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., told the Washington Examiner. "We are working together. I presume we'll be voting together."
Huelskamp, along with a few dozen other GOP lawmakers, belong to the newly formed House Freedom Caucus, which espouses the conservative political philosophy of the Tea Party movement that got many of them elected to Congress.
Members of that group admit they do not wield enough influence for one of their own members to win the speaker's gavel, which will require 218 GOP votes. But their bloc is large enough to potentially stop House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., the frontrunner to succeed Boehner.