A group of incoming Republican senators have been mocked for labelling themselves the “Freedom Force” as a counter-movement to the Democratic progressive led “Squad”.
Burgess Owens, who was elected in November to Utah's 4th Congressional District, spoke to Fox News about the new coalition of Republican women and minority lawmakers named the “Freedom Force” on Friday.
“We love our nation. This group will be talking against and giving a contrast to the hard left. We have the Freedom Force versus Squad,” Rep-elect Owens, a former Super Bowl champion, said.
The “Squad” has become the name of a group of progressive Democratic congresswomen: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib.
Rep-elect Owens highlighted the diverse nature of the new “Freedom Force” group and said they will work to combat the “evil of socialism and Marxism” and protect America’s businesses and middle class.
"We have ... a group of people who believe in God, country, and family; a respect for women and authority — and the other side that hates everything I mentioned," he said.
"The American people drift towards light. They are going to love the messaging and policies we put in place. We are all about the middle-class thriv[ing]."
When asked about the new group in an interview with NBC News, Rep Omar, who was re-elected last month to Minnesota's 5th congressional district, dismissed the retaliation as “ridiculous”.
"I mean it sounds ridiculous to me,” she said. “I think they think they're in high school. We're in Congress.”
The “Squad” got its nickname when the reps tweeted a group photo with the hashtag #SquadGoals, according to CBS News.
This year, the progressive group expanded their ranks with their re-election and the election of three more candidates who replaced longtime Democratic incumbents.
Twitter users also treated the new group with humorous scepticism, with some pointing out the group shared the same name as a government-sponsored supervillain team from the Marvel X-Men comics.
The “Freedom Force” includes a swathe of newly elected GOP freshmen including Nicole Malliotakis, New York; Maria Elvira Salazar, Florida; Michelle Steele, California; Stephanie Bice, Oklahoma; Victoria Spartz, Indiana; and Carlos Giménez and Byron Donalds, both of Florida.
Rep-elect Nicole Malliotakis told CNN that the newly elected Republican members of Congress, including a number of immigrants and children of refugees like herself, will "serve as a counterbalance to the values" of the other squad.