New Freedom Caucus leader fires warning shot as conservatives rebel against must-pass defense bill

EXCLUSIVE: The new chair of the House Freedom Caucus is sending a somber warning to Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., and GOP leaders as Congress readies to pass its annual defense policy bill Thursday. “I’ll just say I think it’s a terrible mistake. A colossal failure,” Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., told Fox News Digital in an interview Wednesday afternoon. When pressed on whether House Republican leaders could face retribution from their right flank, Good smiled slightly and said again, “I think it’s a terrible mistake. I think it’s a colossal failure.” GOP hardliners have been criticizing House Republicans over this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) after the text of the compromise with the Democrat-controlled Senate removed a number of conservative policy goals on transgender surgeries and abortion, among others. CHINA BOOSTS MILITARY SPENDING BY BILLIONS AS US WARNS OF POTENTIAL TAIWAN INVASION They’re also angry about its inclusion of a short-term extension of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act’s (FISA) Section 702, which critics say has been misused to spy on private U.S. citizens without a warrant. Supporters of the tool say it’s critical to prevent terror attacks from overseas. That provision is also opposed by several progressives. “I think the NDAA/FISA combination represents everything that’s wrong with Washington. I think it’s an abysmal failure,” Good said. “We passed a good NDA back in the summer … that reversed the harmful, woke, damaging policies by the Biden administration that are destroying our military.” PENTAGON’S $1.8 BILLION AI REQUEST KEEPS US IN ‘RACE TO ACHIEVE SUPERIORITY’ OVER CHINA The House Freedom Caucus is circulating an internal talking points memo to members arguing that negotiation over the NDAA was done “behind closed doors” rather than through the conference committee appointed by the House and Senate to negotiate.  The memo, which a source sent to Fox News Digital, also pointed out that the White House has signaled President Biden will sign the bill if it gets to his desk.  “It’s no surprise that the Biden administration has blessed the bill and urged its passage as it surrenders on many of the policies that House Republicans claim to fight for,” the memo said.  House leaders are bringing the NDAA to the floor under suspension of the rules, meaning it will forgo an initial procedural vote but will need two-thirds support, rather than a simple majority, to pass.  SENATE AND HOUSE HEADED FOR SHOWDOWN OVER DEFENSE BILL “You had a four corners backroom secret deal that’s now being brought under suspension of the rules because they fear it wouldn’t pass … otherwise, when they’re attaching FISA to it,” Good said Wednesday. “I’m doing everything I can to influence members to vote against it. It takes a two-thirds vote. That means we need close to half of Republicans to vote against it, depending on how many Democrats might vote against it, for probably different reasons. But it’s an abysmal failure.” The NDAA is expected to get a vote Thursday morning if it passes the Senate by then.  Good’s warning comes after more than 50 lawmakers, both Republicans and Democrats, signed a letter to congressional leaders on their opposition to a “clean” extension of the current FISA in late November.
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