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GOP leaders make new rules after ‘conservative’ caucus forms

July 20, 2018

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Republican legislative leaders have a message for some more conservative party members who formed their own caucus: you’re either in or you’re out.

The leaders sent a memo this month to Republican lawmakers and candidates saying they must sign an agreement to belong exclusively to the existing GOP caucus in each chamber if they want to join.

The move comes after some lawmakers formed a separate “conservative Republican caucus.” House Majority Leader Lee Qualm says legislators who join that group won’t be part of the House and Senate Republican caucuses.

The movement for the more conservative splinter caucus comes because some Republicans are unhappy with what they call the liberal direction GOP lawmakers are moving in.