HARRISBURG – WHTM is reporting… Pennsylvania House Republicans have created their own version of the Freedom Caucus promising to “stand on freedom and liberties.” The group was introduced on Monday in Harrisburg with U.S. Congressman and the Chair of the Congressional Freedom Caucus Scott Perry on hand. “What you’re seeing behind me is an inspired group of leaders,” said Rep. Perry (R-Dauphin). “People don’t vote for Republicans to come to the state capitol and work out deals in back room with leftist Democrats.”
State Rep. Dawn Keefer (R-York/Cumberland) will chair the caucus in Harrisburg. She says the group wants less government spending, regulation and overreach, and greater personal freedoms. They also want to be consulted. “It can’t be two or three members in a room coming up with an idea at the last minute and then calling on the caucus to hit a red or green button,” said Rep. Keefer.
Democrats in Harrisburg find it curious that a minority of what is now the minority caucus is trying to flex its muscle after a disappointing election, “Forming caucuses to be divisive rather than working on issues that are going to affect all Pennsylvanians is not necessarily what the voice was of the electorate November 8,” said State Rep. Mary Isaacson (D-Philadelphia).
Pennsylvania is now the eight state legislature to adopt a Freedom Caucus. Keefer says she has about two dozen members but Republican leaders were less than enthusiastic in a statement, “To the extent that any individual group participates in policy formulation that aligns with our overall goals, we appreciate the ability to have that dialogue,” said Jason Gottesman. But in a closely divided state legislature, the Freedom Caucus could make a difference and it won’t be shy. “Let’s get a plan let’s get everybody at the table,” said Keefer. The caucus did not identify all of the roughly two dozen members who they say have joined.