When asked why his advocacy group earned the moniker the “Freedom Caucus”, the Texas representative and former Navy SEAL defended its members and their votes on health care and infrastructure.
“I think it’s the view of a few select members of the Freedom Caucus,” he said. “If that has become a label that’s widely used, then it’s reflective of the views of the members.”
Rosenfeld took office late last year after being elected as a freshman representative from Texas’s 23rd congressional district, where he defeated his Democratic challenger last November. Previously, he served as a councilman in the West Texas town of Sealy.
He is in his first year in office, and is most know as a member of the House Freedom Caucus, a conservative GOP group that has become a thorn in the side of House leaders. House GOP leaders had to settle on a compromise during the government shutdown, which allowed many members to stay home in their districts, while those who were at home rallied for their voting rights and condemned the deal as a cave-in. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls them “the Freedom Caucus Republicans”.
The Freedom Caucus eventually became the crown jewel of the conservative Red State Movement, or the “big red state caucus”, a movement that exists to spread the “we’re not all Ted Cruz” ethos, as they’re often referred to. Cruz, who was elected to the US Senate from Texas in 2012, made his name as the newly elected Senate’s most influential conservative.
Rep Dan Crenshaw speaking to the 2018 CPAC conference at National Harbor, Maryland. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
“We’re not looking to be universal heroes, but we’re looking to create a new standard,” said Röhrlich. He held up a family portrait of himself and Crenshaw, and another of Crenshaw wearing a cowboy hat. “Those are two of my most important friends.”
“We live in a country where I shouldn’t have to apologize for being different, for having a different set of values, for enjoying what makes life fun,” he said. “I don’t care what people think of what I say.”