Last November the American people went to the polls and resoundingly rejected the “open borders” policies of the Obama administration. They made it very clear that in an age of high tech drug smuggling, heinous human trafficking, and international terrorism, securing our border was a national security priority. Unfortunately, President Obama chose to ignore this problem – putting politics before people, and failed us when we needed him to succeed.
As the twenty-first century repeatedly demonstrates, the United States continues to face dynamic threats to our homeland. For decades, illegal immigrants and violent criminals have been able to cross our weak borders with little trouble. This has left Americans vulnerable to the types of tragedies we have become increasingly familiar with, like the murder of Kate Steinle, a young woman gunned down by an undocumented immigrant who had illegally entered the U.S. five times. While we pride ourselves on being a warm and welcoming nation, this kind of lawlessness is completely unacceptable.
Fortunately, things have changed. Now we have a partner in the White House who is committed to closing down illegal pathways to our country and restoring the rule of law. As President Trump made clear on the campaign trail, and in the first six months of his presidency, we need to build a wall on the most porous parts of our southern border and I couldn’t agree more. That is why I am proud to be an original co-sponsor of the Border Security for America Act.
This legislation, introduced by Chairman Michael McCaul of Texas, provides $15 billion to build a wall and other necessary infrastructure and technology along our border with Mexico. This bill takes a historic, multi-layered approach that will make it nearly impossible for drug cartels, criminals, and potential terrorists to slip through the cracks. This is the type of security Americans have long demanded and deserve. But it doesn’t stop there.
This legislation also improves ports of entry, making them more secure against those who seek to enter illegally, while helping to promote lawful trade and travel. We must also have more Border Patrol Agents and Customs Officers in place to enforce our laws and detain those attempting to enter illegally. McCaul’s legislation calls for a boost in personnel by 5,000 Border Patrol Agents and 5,000 U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers. These brave men and women who have or are currently serving our country shouldn’t face unnecessary hurdles to continue their service protecting our borders.
With the broad array of threats facing the U.S. at our Southern Border, the Border Security for America Act is an important first step. It’s important this critical legislation also be followed by a larger package of bills to secure the border and to defund sanctuary cities.
Americans have grown tired of the reckless policies from the past that threaten their families and, in many instances, have led to a free flow of drugs in their neighborhoods and the expansion of violent gangs in their communities. We have a responsibility to put tougher laws in place and give President Trump the power he needs to make America safe again. Failing to do so would encourage more lawlessness and be seen as a slap in the face to voters all across the country.
The time has come for Republicans to ditch the dangerous policies that have dominated in the past and fulfill our promise to the American people by securing our border. Chairman McCaul’s bold legislation and common-sense approach brings us one step closer to achieving that goal.
For the safety and security of our homeland, we need the Border Security for America Act.
Congressman Meadows represents North Carolina’s 11th District in the House of Representatives and is Chairman of the House Freedom Caucus.Read More
With Congress on summer vacation, it's an appropriate time to reflect on the number of laws it passes vs. the number of rules and regulations put out by the hundreds of federal agencies they (are supposed to) oversee.
There's been much talk in the new Donald Trump administration about cutting regulations, speeding up construction permitting, executive branch reorganization and the like.
There's also been talk of the "administrative state" (some have said "deep state") and the reality of agency bureaucrats digging in their heels to slow down Trump's reforms (with media sympathy: only some seven percent are Republicans) .
But these things matter no matter who's president, because increasingly, since the federal government is so pervasive, it can regulate private activity without waiting for Congress to pass a law, and without even going through the normal notice-and-comment rulemaking process to which agencies "must" adhere. That threatens conservative and liberal values alike.
The bottom line is that in today's America, most binding rules comes from agencies (unelected) rather than elected lawmakers.
Let's look at year-end 2016 for starters. Federal departments, agencies, and commissions issued 3,853 rules in 2016, while Congress passed and the president signed 214 bills into law—a ratio of 18 rules for every law.
The average has been 27 rules for every law over the past decade (see chart - https://blogs-images.forbes.com/waynecrews/files/2017/08/Public-Laws-Vs-Agency-Rules-1.jpg). Naturally, the rules issued in a given year are typically not substantively related to the current year’s laws, since agency output represents ongoing implementation of earlier legislation.
Looking back, there have been 88,899 federal rules and regulations since 1995 through December 2016, as the chart shows; but "only" 4,312 laws.
Another 2,419 proposed rules were in play at year-end 2016. Given the Trump administration moratorium, many of those were under review during 2017.
As the chart also shows, dozens or hundreds of rules each year are characterized as “major,” “economically significant,” or “significant.” There are differences between these defined in law and executive orders, but the frequent characterization is of at least $100 million in annual economic impact.
Notably, “significant” regulatory actions regularly exceed the number of duly enacted laws.
In the Trump era, things have slowed down considerably. While Trump's agencies have issued 1,748 rules since January 21 as of today, many were date-deferrals and such. Per Trump's 2-for-1 executive order, "economically significant" regulatory actions and guidances need to be offset.
If there's a desire in Washington to maintain a lower pace or even just to bring things into more balance, some of the measures in Congress, such as the bipartisan Regulatory Accountability Act(S. 951) to improve regulatory review would need to pass. It was introduced this year by Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND).
For a more limited move, Trump's one-in, two-out proposal would be a good one to enact in law. As it happens, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) has introduced H.R. 2623 legislation that put the in/out approach into law. It's called the "Lessening Regulatory Costs and Establishing a Federal Regulatory Budget Act" of 2017.
This cannot be deemed radical, since Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) proposed one-in, one-out, and other nations have enacted such policies. Warner called his approach Regulatory PAY-GO. The point is, this "Trump" idea has bi-partisan legs, even in today's heated Washington environment.
And Washington does have to deal with the federal budget, the approaching debt limit and federal spending priorities. The increasing interconnections between the fiscal and regulatory enterprises should offer, one would hope, at least some opportunities for collaboration on the idea of making regulation more accountable to someone -- even in a year like this one. Washington doesn't just spend our money, it makes the private sector spend on its regulatory priorities too.
Or, is an accumulation of over 3,000 rules, plus untallied and undocumented regulatory dark matter besides, going to remain OK with policymakers even if the economy turns. We shall see.Read More
Congressman Mark Meadows’ Statement on Charlottesville
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Mark Meadows (NC-11) released the following statement on the tragic, criminal events that took place in Charlottesville over the weekend:
"I was devastated to learn of the tragic events that took place in Charlottesville over the weekend. This type of violence, racism, and bigotry has absolutely no place in America, and those responsible for this weekend's act of terrorism should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. One of the things that makes our nation so great is that we are a melting pot of individuals from all races and creeds united together under the principles of liberty, freedom, and the rule of law. Vile acts like these fly in the face of what it means to be an American and have no place in our civil society. We as citizens must stand united in opposition to this hate and denounce it in no uncertain terms.”
Washington, D.C. – During Friday’s pro forma session, a petition to discharge H.Res 458, a clean repeal of Obamacare, became live for Members of Congress to sign onto. Freedom Caucus members Jim Jordan (R-OH), Tom Garrett (R-VA), and Scott Perry (R-PA) were on the House floor to sign the petition. In the coming weeks, members of the Freedom Caucus will encourage their House colleagues to sign the petition, which will force a vote on the repeal of the same Obamacare language that already passed Congress in 2016.
Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC) said: “It’s critical that we keep our promise to the American people and repeal Obamacare and replace it with a policy that works for American families. We cannot drag this process out any longer. This bill – with a two-year delay on implementation of repeal – will force Congress to come together on a replacement bill. President Trump is eager to sign repeal and replace, it’s time we get to work and send both to his desk.”
“We make this job too difficult. We need to do what we told the voters we were going to do. There’s no reason we should send less on repeal to President Trump’s desk than we sent to President Obama’s. Now is the time for Members of Congress to put on the record whether they’re truly for repeal of Obamacare.” –Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH) said.
“Ten months ago, the American People elected a President and Congress that promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). For 7 years, we’ve watched premiums skyrocket, choices dwindle and the cost of care increase exponentially under this “big government” approach. Doing nothing isn’t an option. The proposal we are offering passed unanimously in 2015. Now is not the time to shrink back, but to make good on the promises we made to the American people. I encourage my colleagues in the House and the Senate to move this legislation without delay." -Congressman Scott Perry (R-PA) said.
“In life, you can fight or quit. Keep your word or break it. I will fight. I will keep my word. This petition is open to all who think that Obamacare is broken. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama said it had problems and was crazy. This petition invites Democrats to the table and allows Republicans to keep their word.” –Congressman Tom Garrett (R-VA) said.
Rep. Meadows Hosts Three NC-11 Veterans' Seminars
Washington, D.C. – This week, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) hosted three seminars for NC-11 Veterans as part of his office’s fourth annual Veterans’ Solutions Seminars.
Rep. Meadows, in partnership with the Veterans’ Affairs Winston-Salem Regional Benefit Office, the Charles George VA Medical Center staff, and the NC Division of Veteran’s Affairs, hosted Veterans’ Solutions Seminars across the 11th district to provide practical assistance to those who have served our nation. Veterans and their families met with members of Congressman Meadows’ staff, representatives from the VA hospital, the benefit office, and the NC division of Veterans Affairs at the seminars to learn more about available assistance with issues surrounding VA benefits, healthcare, and disability.
“As a congressional office, nothing we do is more important than serving our Veterans and their loved ones who have sacrificed so much for our country,” Congressman Meadows said. “I’m extremely grateful to the VA Benefits Office, the Charles George VA Medical Center, and the countless staff who poured in so much time and effort to make events like these possible. Hopefully, through these seminars, we were able to play a small role in providing the assistance and resources these heroes deserve.”Read More
We hope to see you at my Town Hall event this Monday, August 7, at 6:00pm! I’m looking forward to having a great discussion on issues that many of you have been contacting my office about recently. You can find all the information in the photo below.
Speaking with constituents is a significant part of what helps me do my job of representing Western North Carolinians in Congress. If you can make it, I’d love to see you there.
Pray for Dr. Belcher
Please remember my good friend, Western Carolina Chancellor David Belcher, and his wife, Susan, in your prayers this week. Dr. Belcher just announced he is beginning new treatment after doctors recently discovered a recurrence of cancer.
The Belchers are dear friends, first class people, and beloved in the WCU community. Debbie and I wish them nothing but the best and are praying for strength for them both during this next phase of treatment! You can read Dr. Belcher’s full update here.
Veterans’ Solutions Seminars
Last reminder: My Veterans’ Solutions Seminars are this week! Our first session was this morning, and we still have two more to go. You can find all the information below or on my website here.
Nothing we do as an office is more important than serving our country's military heroes. If you or someone you know could use assistance in working with the VA, please come--we'd love to see you and help in any way possible!
House Freedom Caucus Urging Investigation of Lynch, Comey
It's time to investigate the investigators.
If Congress is seriously interested in transparency and holding our government accountable, we should appoint a special counsel to investigate the Obama Justice Department's handling of the Hillary Clinton investigation. Just because Secretary Clinton lost the election doesn't mean that the troubling activity by Attorney General Loretta Lynch and FBI Director Comey should go unaccounted for.
My colleagues Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and I are pushing a bill to require the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel for that investigation. We joined Fox & Friends last week to talk about it. The House Judiciary Committee, led by Chairman Goodlatte (R-VA), has also officially called on AG Jeff Sessions to appoint a second special prosecutor in a letter. You can read more about that here.
We also discussed the latest healthcare news and the critical need for Congress to push forward until we keep our promise and repeal Obamacare while finding solutions to lower your costs. Watch the full video here.
Hearing on Free Speech
Last week, my colleague Jim Jordan (R-OH) led a joint subcommittee hearing on free speech in higher education--examining the increasing level of attacks on first amendment and free speech liberties on college campuses. Witnesses included Ben Shapiro and Adam Carolla, among others.
Obviously, there are several major legislative battles going on in Congress right now, but nothing is more fundamental to our nation than the right to speak freely and peacefully exchange ideas. Attacks on First Amendment rights cannot and will not stand. I'm grateful to my colleagues on the House Oversight Committee for addressing this topic, and I'm hoping we can commit ourselves to setting an example for honest and healthy debate about critical issues facing America. We the people would all be better off as a result.
Healthcare Reform Update
In light of the news from last week on the Senate and Obamacare repeal moving forward, I want to make sure I'm clear on my message moving forward.
Obamacare repeal is not optional. American families are hurting under this broken law, and it's on Congress to keep working until we deliver on our promise to the voters. Nothing else should be acceptable to you. I'm committed to working around the clock until we see it done.
You can read more of my thoughts on the issue here, but make no mistake: the Obamacare repeal effort is not over. While I’m extremely disappointed in the result from last week, Republicans made a promise for seven years to repeal and replace this disastrous law. There is no excuse--zero--for us to stop working until we get it done.
It was wonderful to welcome the Bowen family from Hendersonville and the Watkins family from Asheville to the office this week! Thanks to all of them for stopping by.
If you’re ever in Washington, D.C., please be sure to stop by Longworth 1024 and say hello!
The Watkins family
Rep. Mark Meadows, a key negotiator in the effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, said a new effort is underway to write a bill that can pass the Senate that would include proposals offered by Sens. Lindsey Graham, Bill Cassidy, Ted Cruz, and Rob Portman.
"We continue to work on two different plans with our Senate colleagues," Meadows, R-N.C., told the Washington Examiner. "We will continue to do that over the next couple of weeks on a plan that can get to 51" votes in the Senate.
Meadows said he has talked to senators, including Graham, in the hours after this morning's failure to pass a "skinny" repeal bill, and the mood is "all hands on deck" to come up with a new deal.
"I believe we deliver, still, on healthcare," Meadows said. To suggest that everything is over is not understanding the dynamics going on right now in the Senate. It's not over."
Amendments sponsored by the four senators have yet to receive an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, which made them impossible to pass under special Senate rules that circumvent a Democratic filibuster.
Now there is time to get the information from CBO, Meadows said.
Cruz, of Texas, sponsored an amendment that would allow health insurers to offer a range of plans, which proponents believe would lower premiums, while Portman, of Ohio, offered a proposal to shore up Medicaid with additional federal spending to ensure low-income earners don't get shut out of healthcare. Graham, of South Carolina, and Cassidy, of Louisiana, have their own plan they are eager to try to pass, which would give states control of Obamacare dollars.
"We can be disappointed with the results," Meadows said. "At this point, this is one try on the Senate side. We probably have two more tries before we have to pack it up and go home."Read More
Conservative lawmakers still are holding out hope that Congress can strike a deal to repeal ObamaCare after the latest plan failed in the Senate, as Republican leaders signal they are ready to move on and focus on tax reform.
Senate Republicans have spent the summer repeatedly -- yet unsuccessfully -- trying to pass legislation that eliminates or overhauls former President Barack Obama’s 2010 health care law.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had hoped to pass a “skinny repeal” measure late Thursday. But when the vote finally took place early Friday morning, three Republicans -- John McCain of Arizona, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska -- joined with Democrats in opposition, killing the plan.
Speaking on the floor after the vote, McConnell lamented its failure and called it “a disappointing moment.”
“It’s time to move on,” he said.
Across the Capitol, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Friday he was “disappointed and frustrated” and encouraged the Senate to keep working toward health care. But he said the House will focus on other issues.
“At the top of that list is cutting taxes for middle class families and fixing our broken tax code,” he said.
McCain, whose vote sank the Republican bill, spoke to Fox News as he and his wife, Cindy, left the Russell Senate Office Building in the rain on Friday afternoon.
“You always have concerns about an important vote like that,” he said.
The Arizona senator, who was recently diagnosed with brain cancer, rushed back to Washington this week to help Republicans pass a procedural hurdle to consider the bill. But he opposed the repeal measure itself, saying he has concerns with the quick process in which it was considered.
McCain said in a Friday statement he wants to see the Senate “start fresh” on health care and return to “regular order,” where both parties work together to craft legislation.
“I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to trust each other, stop the political gamesmanship, and put the health care needs of the American people first,” McCain said. “We can do this.”
Meanwhile, House conservatives on Friday encouraged Republicans not to let up on their plans for a repeal of the health care law just yet.
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows said Republicans need to keep working a “perfect bill” that they could consider “in a couple weeks.”
“I'm optimistic we can still get it done,” Meadows, a North Carolina Republican, said on “Fox & Friends” Friday. “People are losing faith but we’re going to stay in.”
The House passed its own version repealing and replacing the law in May. But Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, another conservative member of the House Freedom Caucus, suggested on “Fox & Friends” that the House also pass a “clean repeal” bill like the one the Senate considered.
“That may give more pressure and motivation for the Senate to do the right thing and come together,” he said.
After the failed vote, President Trump took aim at lawmakers, like McCain, who voted against the bill.
“3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down,” the president tweeted. “As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!”
The president on Friday also called for the Senate to do away with the legislative filibuster and make it so all legislation could pass with 51 votes.
The Senate's latest health care bill still would not have passed, though, as it failed 51-49. The bill also was considered under special rules that required only a simple majority, and not 60 votes, to advance.
“If Republicans are going to pass great future legislation in the Senate, they must immediately go to a 51 vote majority, not senseless 60...,” Trump tweeted.
Fox News’ Peter Doocy contributed to this report.
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, insisted Friday that the fight to repeal and replace Obamacare is “not over.”
Meadows made the statement during an interview with the Washington Examiner just hours after three Republican senators voted with Democrats against the so-called “skinny repeal” of Obamacare, which some billed as a last-ditch effort to get rid of the 2010 law.
GOP Sens. John McCain (Ariz.), Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) joined with 48 Senate Democrats to kill the measure 51-49, which would have repealed some of the most unpopular parts of Obamacare. McCain said he voted against the legislation because “while the amendment would have repealed some of Obamacare’s most burdensome regulations, it offered no replacement to actually reform our health care system and deliver affordable, quality health care to our citizens.”
Democrats celebrated the defeat early Friday morning, but Meadows said he’s not giving up — at least not yet.
Meadows told the Examiner he is currently working with a number of senators on legislation that could pass both the House and Senate. Meadows said the plan, whose details lawmakers are still debating, will be able to meet the minimum vote thresholds in both houses of Congress.
Had just one of the three GOP holdouts voted for the bill, Vice President Mike Pence would have cast the deciding vote and the legislation would have passed.
In fact, Pence even went to Capitol Hill late Thursday night in anticipation of breaking the tie. Pence’s vote was not needed, however, as any chance of Republicans actually doing what they promised for seven years, seemed to fade entirely. No doubt a severe setback, Meadows remained optimistic about Republicans’ chances.
“I believe we deliver, still, on health care,” Meadows told the Examiner. “To suggest that everything is over is not understanding the dynamics going on right now in the Senate. It’s not over.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said early Friday morning, “I regret that our efforts were simply not enough this time.”
Over in the House, Meadows echoed the top GOP senator’s sentiment.
“We can be disappointed with the results,” Meadows said, according to the Examiner. But, he added, “at this point, this is one try on the Senate side.”
“We probably have two more tries before we have to pack it up and go home,” Meadows predicted.
Among the ideas that Meadows is reportedly working with Senate Republicans on are amendments by Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas), Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio) and Sen. Bill Cassidy (La.). The Examiner summarized each of these proposals in the following way:
“Cruz, of Texas, sponsored an amendment that would allow health insurers to offer a range of plans, which proponents believe would lower premiums, while Portman, of Ohio, offered a proposal to shore up Medicaid with additional federal spending to ensure low-income earners don’t get shut out of health care. Graham, of South Carolina, and Cassidy, of Louisiana, have their own plan they are eager to try to pass, which would give states control of Obamacare dollars.”
The amendments are currently awaiting a score from the Congressional Budget Office.Read More
“How long do the American people have to wait for Republicans to fulfill their promise? We call on House Republican leadership to hold an up or down vote on clean Obamacare repeal.” –Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (NC-11)
“I’m frustrated and the American people are frustrated. Every member of this body elected prior to last year’s election with an ‘R’ next to their name at some point voted on one of the many dozens of Obamacare repeals.” – Rep. Tom Garrett (VA-5)
“We introduced the clean repeal and said –let’s put the same bill we put on Obama’s desk on President Trump’s.” –Jim Jordan, Chairman Emeritus (OH-4)
1516 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
After working as a small business owner for 27 years, Representative Mark Meadows brings a business-style approach to Washington, D.C.
From owning and selling a successful restaurant to building a development company, Mark understands what the 63.7 million people in the United States who are self-employed or work for small businesses need to grow their businesses. He believes real job creation comes from the private sector, not the federal government. Mark recognizes that regulations are stifling job growth in this country and without a budget to set spending priorities, our federal government will continue to spend beyond its means.
While serving on the Committees on Oversight and Government Reform, Foreign Affairs, and Transportation and Infrastructure, Mark will hold the government accountable, protect American citizens and interests abroad, and ensure we have a modern transportation network which meets the needs of Western North Carolina and our country as a whole.
He is dedicated to providing top-notch constituent services to North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District and committed to upholding his Christian values and conservative principles while serving in Congress.
Mark lives in Jackson County with his wife Debbie. They have two college-age children, Blake and Haley.
Tragic news, and a striking reminder to thank our law enforcement officials every day. May God give peace to the fa… https://t.co/sFS1mhnZb0
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Jennifer and I are praying for those killed and injured in the terrorist attack in Barcelona. This evil has no place in our world.
Debbie and I send our prayers to the victims, along with their families, friends, and the first responders on scene.