House conservatives push for more power in Ryan's conference

Over 70% of the House Freedom Caucus supports Ryan
Over 70% of the House Freedom Caucus supports Ryan

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    Over 70% of the House Freedom Caucus supports Ryan

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Over 70% of the House Freedom Caucus supports Ryan 03:23

Story highlights

  • A group of House GOP and Freedom Caucus members met on Wednesday
  • They discussed potential rule changes in the upcoming Congress

(CNN)A handful of House GOP members met Wednesday at North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows' Washington apartment to discuss potential rule changes that could give them more power to influence the GOP leadership and the direction of their conference.

A source familiar with the meeting said attendees -- a number of whom are members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus -- discussed changes such as allowing committee members to select chairmen, which would effectively end the seniority-based system currently in place. They also weighed opposition to changing the vacate-the-chair resolution, which gives members a chance to effectively vote no-confidence in the House speaker.
Another topic discussed: having one of their own serve on House Speaker Paul Ryan's leadership team.
Whether Ryan is open to any of these potential changes remains to be seen. But the proposals will be part of the post-election talks that begin next week, as Ryan looks to shore up support within the conference ahead of leadership elections.
Meadows detailed the deliberations that took place at his residence during an appearance Thursday on CNN's "New Day."
"It was a private meeting, so I don't want to comment too much on that," he told CNN's Alisyn Camerota. "I can tell you that the real focus of that particular meeting was really looking about trying to be prepared for a Trump administration as we go forward."
Meadows said the group was enthusiastic about Donald Trump's call for congressional term-limits -- "you know, this whole drain the swamp idea that Trump has talked about" -- and that they hoped to be prepared to "hit the ground running" under a potential Trump presidency."
The North Carolina Republican also downplayed speculation about the group's discussion of Ryan and whether they would oppose him in the Republican conference's upcoming leadership elections.
"You know, there really wasn't any focus on leadership elections. We tried to keep our focus primarily on how we can best legislate during the lame-duck session and be prepared for a new Congress," he said.
"Is it true that the Freedom Caucus is looking for more of a voice and looking for more leadership roles?" Camerota asked.
"Well, I mean, it is true that we are, obviously, looking to try to make sure that we can best represent our constituents," Meadows said. "But again, that was not the main focus. It was trying to focus on some of those legislative matters that we believe are important to the American people."
Meadows was also asked what House Republicans and Freedom Caucus members would prioritize if Hillary Clinton were elected president. He said that "I still think term limits will be a great thing" if Clinton wins, but added that "I don't think that's going to happen."