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“Conflict Within: GOP Conference: ‘It’s Us Against Us’”

Divisions within the Republican Party were prominently displayed this week as U.S. Representative Kevin Brady made a speech at the GOP Conference in which he highlighted the stark contrast between the GOP’s two main camps. The two sides that Brady outlined include the more traditional Republicans who champion small government, free trade, and fiscal restraint, and a newer more conservative contingent that is pushing for stronger enforcement of existing laws and a focus on nationalist economic policies. The divide between these two groups of Republicans has become increasingly apparent over the past few years in the debate over healthcare, immigration, taxes, and other policies important to the party. Brady argued that it is essential that the party unite and be able to bridge the divide in order to maintain its relevance in the upcoming mid-term elections. He went on to call for greater internal collaboration and polite discourse between the two camps, as well as better outreach to minority and independent voters. The rift in the Republican Party is nothing new, and has existed since the party’s founding. However, it is particularly strange given that the vast majority of Republicans support most of the same key policies, such as reducing regulations, rebalancing corporate taxes, and opposing President Obama’s progressive agenda. The current divisions amongst Republican legislators are causing frustration amongst many GOP leadership members, as they are cognizant of the fact that strong and unified party support is required to be successful in the upcoming elections. The Republican leadership are now facing the difficult challenge of finding common ground and bridging the divide between its two main factions. It will be interesting to see how the GOP leadership manages to pull this off, and how effective it will be in helping to elect Republicans in November.