A group of House Republicans is forming a new caucus that focuses on nationwide election reform, limiting the power of Big Tech, and cutting down on illegal immigration.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) is leading the creation of the America First Caucus (AFC), reported Punchbowl News, which published a seven-page document (pdf) that outlines the caucus’s platform.
The document says the caucus “exists to promote congressional policies that are to the long-term benefit of the American nation” and that it will follow in the footsteps of former President Donald Trump.
“It is the firm belief of this caucus that American policy-making needs to get back to first principles, restore a long-term time horizon amongst our nation’s leaders, and instill a greatly internalized sense of service to the American people on part of our elected leaders,” the document states. “As long as these principles are put and kept in practice, the interests of the American people will be safeguarded.”
An aide to Greene did not respond to a request for comment. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), who is also reportedly involved with the new caucus, declined to comment through a spokesperson.
Greene’s spokesperson confirmed to CNN that Greene is helping form the new caucus, which he said will be “announced to the public very soon.”
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) told reporters on Capitol Hill that the caucus is real and Greene and Gosar are involved in its creation.
A key focus is ensuring America is strong so it can help other countries, he said.
“As I understand it, it’s following up a bit like—we’re taught when we get on an airliner, and that is before you help somebody else, you put your own mask on first so that you are capable of helping somebody else,” Gohmert explained.
“And if we let our country go without taking care of America, making sure we’re viable for the future, then we’re not going to be in a position to help the other countries, and that will be a tragedy for the world so it’s not selfish. It’s just trying to get our own country in order so it’s sustainable, and is sustained.”
Gohmert said he was mulling joining the caucus. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said he is joining it.
“We will end wars, stop illegal immigration & promote trade that is fair to American workers. This is just a hit piece from the America Last crowd in Big Media, Big Tech & Big Government,” he wrote in a tweet.
A spokesperson for Rep. Barry Moore (R-Ala.), who was linked to the new caucus, told The Epoch Times via email: “Congressman Moore wholeheartedly supports President Trump’s America First agenda and policies that prioritize hardworking Americans. He will not agree to join any caucus until he’s had an opportunity to research their platform, which he has not had the chance to do so with the America First Caucus and therefore has not joined.”
Critics took aim at how the caucus trumpeted America’s “uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions,” accusing it of being racist.
“The hatefulness of this statement is only surpassed by its ignorance of American history and values,” Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) wrote in a tweet.
Buck is a member of the House Freedom Caucus, along with Greene and Gosar.
House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), perhaps the most prominent Trump critic in the lower chamber, did not directly address the caucus but tweeted that GOP members “believe in equal opportunity, freedom, and justice for all.”
“We teach our children the values of tolerance, decency, and moral courage. Racism, nativism, and anti-Semitism are evil. History teaches we all have an obligation to confront and reject such malicious hate,” she added.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) added that the Republican Party “is the party of Lincoln and the party of more opportunity for all Americans—not nativist dog whistles.”
Democrats also piled on.
“As a Congressman of Anglo-Saxon heritage, let me be the first to decline to join this White Nationalism Caucus,” Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) wrote on Twitter.
Gohmert responded to critics by saying, “It’s not supposed to be about race at all.”
“We’re stronger [when we’re] diversified,” he added. “But there’s some things that help make us strong.”