A new ultraconservative House "Freedom Caucus" was announced on Monday, and group members believe they played a big role in the decision by House leadership to delay an immigration bill that was scheduled to hit the floor this week.
Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., who hasn't yet been named as part of the caucus but has been in the meetings, said, "The communications were made to the House leadership by our Freedom Caucus last week, and all of a sudden this week you see the bill has been delayed," Breitbart reported.
The official explanation from Republican House leadership is that the bill was delayed due to inclement winter weather and a short week.
"What about the weather? We're voting on legislation today and tomorrow," Brooks quipped, adding that the Freedom Caucus decided they would only support the bill if the Senate first voted on a spending bill that included measures to defund President Barack Obama's executive amnesty actions.
The new caucus was announced on Monday as an offshoot of the Republican Study Committee (RSC), which some conservatives believe has become too close with House GOP leadership, especially considering the new RSC chairman, Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas, said upon election that he would never criticize GOP leadership.
The nine founding Freedom Caucus members are mostly outspoken critics of Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and many voted against his recent reelection as speaker.
The invite-only group is "considerably larger" than nine, according to Breitbart, with some who spoke under the condition of anonymity suggesting its membership numbers are closer to 40.
Along with Brooks, another member who was not named as an official participant in the announcement but has been attending meetings is Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz.
"I may not have been listed, but I'm in the room," Gosar said, according to Breitbart.
Bylaws have yet to be formed and a leader still hasn't been named, and the invite-only policy has apparently caused a stir behind-the-scenes.
Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, who obtained three votes in his bid against Boehner during the recent speaker election, said that he "wasn't part of that group."
The mission statement of the Freedom Caucus is to give "a voice to countless Americans who feel that Washington does not represent them" and to advocated for limited government, reported The Hill.
"The House Freedom Caucus gives a voice to countless Americans who feel that Washington does not represent them. We support open, accountable and limited government, the Constitution and the rule of law, and policies that promote the liberty, safety and prosperity of all Americans," its mission statement says.
The nine listed members of the caucus include Reps. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, John Fleming, R-La., Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., Justin Amash, R-Mich., Raúl Labrador, R-Idaho, Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., and Mark Meadows, R-N.C.