“I think we’ve kind of changed the culture from a couple years ago,” said freshman Rep. Bob Gibbs, adding that as a result of their impact, Congress was now discussing “how much we’re going to cut” instead of how much to spend.
Rep. Steve Stivers said the large 87-member Republican freshman class, of which he was a member, had had an outsized impact.
“I think when you talk to most of the freshmen, they feel like they’re making a difference, and we feel like we’ve had an impact on Washington,” he said.
In several of the years’ largest fights that freshman class rebelled against Republican leadership, bending legislation and the conversation to the right.
Rep. Jim Jordan, who has served in the House since 2007, also agreed that the freshman class had had an outsized influence in legislating this year.
They were a "sort of a revolutionary class, insomuch as they were political outsiders very much in favor of limited government and less spending," said Jordan. "[T]hey were huge."