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Roy eyes ‘steamroller’ agenda if Republicans sweep in November

House Freedom Caucus policy chief says conservatives shouldn't accommodate ‘weak-kneed’ individuals in the party

Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, leaves a House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol Hill Club on Tuesday.
Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, leaves a House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol Hill Club on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Chip Roy laid out a game plan Tuesday for conservatives to go to war against “the radical left” if the GOP gains control of the White House and both chambers of Congress in the November elections.

The Texas Republican and House Freedom Caucus policy director said hard-liners will have to roll over fellow Republicans who want to scale back their agenda because of the 60-vote requirement for most legislation in the Senate.

“You’re going to have to get over the excuse that will be dropped on day 1, which is, Chip, we don’t have 60 in the Senate,” Roy said at a Heritage Foundation event Tuesday. “We got to plan now driving a steamroller over the weak-kneed individuals in the Congress that will use 60 as the excuse not to fight for you.”

Heritage billed the event Roy spoke at as “Defunding the Left: The Strategy to Save America.”

Roy said his priorities in the next Congress are to cut spending to stop funding left-wing policies such as tighter emissions requirements for cars, securing the border and restoring a “peace through strength model” for the military. He said he wants a “strong, focused military, sparingly used.”

Calling it a “third way,’ Roy said: “It’s not isolationist and it’s not endless wars.”

Roy said funding national defense has wrongly been used as an excuse to go along with Democratic spending priorities that conservatives oppose.

“We just default to fear and we use the national security and defense complex to run over everything else,” he said. “We just did it last week with the foreign aid bill,” the $95.3 billion emergency supplemental providing aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan and requiring TikTok’s Chinese owners to sell the app or face a U.S. ban.

“Getting the defense increase was the leverage and excuse for funding the entire omnibus in the first place without getting the reforms we wanted on any of these other issues,” he said. According to Roy, Republicans tell him when appropriations are being negotiated, “We just can’t risk defense.”

“Well if that’s what you do, you’re never going to change the town,” he said.

Roy, among a handful of Republicans appointed to the House Rules Committee who have blocked leadership efforts to pass legislation, made no apologies for “breaking the place.”

He said it was an “enormous accomplishment” that a majority of the House GOP conference opposed the $60.8 billion Ukraine aid portion of the supplemental, though by a narrow margin with 112 Republicans opposed and 101 in favor. He applauded the fact that 55 Republicans voted against the rule for floor debate on the package.

“And people say, well, Chip, that’s breaking the place. …Yes, yes,” Roy said. “We need to change the way this place is not working.”

Reviewing the current Congress, Roy said Republicans have “in my opinion kept the ball on our side of the field.” Specifically, he said, the GOP has held nondefense discretionary spending flat and kept “amnesty” for undocumented immigrants off the table.

“All we talked about this last year and a half was border security,” he said. “We didn’t achieve it. But we didn’t allow the Democrats to start moving the ball down the field and have a debate about amnesty.” He added, “It matters where you set the goal post and how you set your mission.”

But Roy complained about some areas where he thinks Republicans have fallen short. That includes appropriating billions of dollars for the Department of Homeland Security, spending money to provide food, shelter and health care to “illegal aliens,” and funding the Pentagon without peeling back “the diversity, equity, inclusion requirements,” which he said are “tearing down the morale of the Department of Defense.”

Roy said the biggest challenge for conservatives is to reverse the policy trajectory espoused by a “small little enclave of elites that are using an outsized amount of money to go disrupt this great country.”

He said those policies are “driving up the cost of everybody’s way of life” and “making it impossible for the hard-working American to figure out how to achieve the American dream.”

Roy said the answer is to “use the power of the purse.”

“Literally just stop writing the check and then you can wrest away that growing and obscene government that’s killing the American dream for the average American,” he said.

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