- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The conservative House Freedom Caucus, which is at the forefront of a spending fight over Planned Parenthood that threatens to result in a government shutdown at the end of the month, has lost a member who said he quit because the group’s tactics were backfiring.

Rep. Tom McClintock, California Republican, said he was resigning from the House Freedom Caucus because its proclivity for breaking with Republican leaders has not advanced a conservative agenda but instead empowered the chamber’s Democratic minority.

“I have strongly opposed the public funding of abortions throughout my 29 years in public office, but this tactic promises only to shield Senate Democrats from their responsibility for a government shutdown and to alienate the public from the pro-life cause at precisely the time when undercover videos of Planned Parenthood’s barbaric practices are turning public opinion in our favor,” Mr. McClintock said in a resignation letter to Rep. Jim Jordan, chairman of the Freedom Caucus.

“When the House Freedom Caucus formed in January, I fervently hoped that it would provide responsible and effective leadership to advance conservative principles in the House of Representatives,” he wrote. “I know that every member of the HFC sincerely supports these principles, but … I believe the tactics the HFC has employed have repeatedly undermined the House’s ability to advance them.”

The Freedom Caucus has about 30 members.

Mr. McClintock said the Freedom Caucus’ tactics had backfired in the spending battle over President Obama’s deportation amnesty, in the vote to give the president power to fast track trade bills and in the vote on the Iran nuclear agreement.

“A common theme through each of these incidents is a willingness — indeed, an eagerness — to strip the House Republican majority of its ability to set the House agenda by combining with House Democrats on procedural motions,” he wrote. “As a result, it has thwarted vital conservative policy objectives and unwittingly become Nancy Pelosi’s tactical ally.”

Mr. Jordan responded by praising Mr. McClintock for being a “principled conservative and a valuable member of the House Republican Conference.”

“The House Freedom Caucus looks forward to continuing to work with him, as well as every one of our colleagues, to give a voice to countless Americans who feel that Washington does not represent them,” Mr. Jordan said in an email to The Washington Times.

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