Washington, D.C. -- On Wednesday evening, Congressman Mark Meadows’ bill, H.R. 5233, the Clarifying Congressional Intent in Providing for D.C. Home Rule Act of 2016, passed the House of Representatives.
The bill would repeal the District of Columbia’s "Local Budget Autonomy Amendment Act," passed in 2012 by the D.C. city council, and reaffirm Congress’ authority in D.C. budgetary matters as established under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution.
“I am pleased to hear that H.R. 5233 passed the House today,” Congressman Meadows (R-NC) said. “Our most important duty as members of Congress is to uphold and defend the Constitution, and the Constitution clearly provides Congress the authority over the budget process in the District of Columbia.”
When our founders wrote the Constitution, they specifically provided Congress the authority to “exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over . . . the Seat of the Government of the United States.” The purpose of this arrangement was to prevent D.C. from gaining any improper leverage against other states due to its proximity to the federal government.
In 1973, Congress gave the District of Columbia a limited form of Home Rule, specifically the ability to pass legislation on strictly local matters, by passing the “Home Rule Act.” Yet the Home Rule Act expressly prohibited the District from altering the budget process and maintained the role of the Federal Government, specifically Congress’ role, in appropriating D.C. funds. However, in 2012, D.C.’s city council chose to pass their own budget autonomy act anyway, bypassing Congress and violating Article I. H.R. 5233 will strengthen prohibitions in the Home Rule Act to prevent the District from unilaterally amending or repealing any aspect of the budget process in the Home Rule Act, protecting Congress’s Constitutional role.
“Our founding fathers gave Congress control over D.C. in the Constitution for a very specific reason,” Meadows said. “The actions of the D.C. city council directly undermined the law and could potentially set a dangerous precedent if left uncorrected. My hope is that this bill will be a step in the right direction of enforcing the rule of law and reaffirming that the Constitution is the law of the land.”
The bill was originally cosponsored by Congressman Andy Harris (R-MD).
Washington, D.C. – On Wednesday, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) introduced the Credits for Kids Act—a bill that could help families in need while saving taxpayers billions by tightening Additional Child Tax Credit loopholes.
The Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) gives parents access to tax refunds to offset costs associated with raising a family, even if the family does not owe income taxes to begin with. Unfortunately, loopholes within the ACTC make it easier to commit fraud, as confirmed by IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in an Oversight Committee hearing, who noted that the current process allows applicants to receive a child tax credit refund without the parent’s social security number or any serious verification. The result of this policy has been an alarming increase in improper payments, costing taxpayers billions of dollars. Rep. Meadows’ bill will establish that the child tax credit can be awarded if state agencies can verify that the children have been living in the parent’s home within the last 6 months.
“The Additional Child Tax Credit includes a serious loophole that hurts working families and passes on a tremendous cost to the American taxpayer,” Rep. Meadows said. “Without requiring social security numbers, the IRS is allowing payments to individuals whose children cannot be verified to even reside in the United States. This bill will play a crucial role in making sure families in need have access to help while eliminating wasteful loopholes and reducing fraud in the current system.”
The bill is similar to legislation introduced by Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) in the 114th Congress. In 2016, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated Rep. Johnson’s bill would save taxpayers nearly $20 billion over 10 years. Rep. Meadows’ bill is expected to receive a similar estimate.
Washington, D.C. —On Monday, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory announced his decision to file a lawsuit against the Department of Justice over a challenge to House Bill 2, the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) released the following statement:
“I fully support Governor McCrory’s decision to sue the Department of Justice (DOJ) over their efforts to pull federal funding from North Carolina. This action by the DOJ is yet another example of the federal government attempting to bully states by engaging in serious executive overreach and rewriting state laws to fit their own agenda. Furthermore, the Department of Justice’s interpretation of the Civil Rights Act is a radical departure from the original intent of the law and shows a troubling willingness of the Obama Administration to selectively enforce laws at their own discretion.
In a time where acts of courage from our government are few and far between, it is refreshing to watch leaders from my home state of NC act on the will of their constituents. In addition to Governor McCrory, I want to thank Speaker Tim Moore, Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger, Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest, and the NC State Legislature for their commitment to serving the great people of North Carolina.
Washington, D.C.— President Obama announced on Wednesday the appointment of Merrick Garland, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, as his nominee to the Supreme Court. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) released the following statement:
“For the President to appoint a lame duck Supreme Court nominee months before an election amounts to silencing the will of the American people and runs counter to our Constitutional values. No lifetime appointment should be made by a President who is on his way out of office. The American people have a right to make their voices heard on Election Day by selecting the candidate they believe is best suited to appoint a new Supreme Court Justice.
I support Senate Republicans’ in their decision to decline to hold confirmation hearings on a nominee and believe it is well within the framework of the Constitution. Thank you to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley for their unwavering stance against confirming a lame duck Supreme Court nominee.”Read More
Washington, D.C.— President Obama announced from the White House Tuesday his plans to close the Guantanamo Bay military base. Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement:
“President Obama’s plan to close Guantanamo Bay is woefully misguided and poses a grave security threat to both the homeland as well as our armed forces serving abroad. We’ve already seen cases in which Gitmo detainees return to terrorism upon release. Most notably, Ibrahim Qosi, also known as Sheikh Khubayb al Sudani, is now an al Qaeda leader in Yemen.
Releasing Guantanamo terrorists abroad amounts to granting amnesty to terrorists. Further, transferring Gitmo prisoners to U.S. facilities violates the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015, which specifically barred relocating Gitmo prisoners to U.S. soil. The majority of Americans continue to oppose closing Guantanamo Bay because they understand the security threat posed by housing convicted terrorists on American soil.
I strongly urge the President to rethink this flawed and dangerous plan. Our national security is more important than the President’s attempts to make good on 2008 campaign promises.”
Washington, D.C.— Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Chief Information Officer Donna Seymour, who oversaw the agency’s cybersecurity preparedness during the OPM data breach, announced her retirement Monday. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations, released the following statement:
“I welcome Ms. Seymour’s retirement and hope that it will represent an important turning point at an agency plagued with mismanagement and negligence at the highest level. Last year, OPM fell victim to the worst cyber-attack in United States’ history largely due to internal failure within the agency to implement proper cybersecurity measures. Throughout the course of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s investigation into the hack, it came to light that OPM officials ignored an Inspector General’s cybersecurity recommendations, leaving the personal information of millions of federal employees, members of the U.S. military, and intelligence officials vulnerable to a hack.
The OPM attack was a failure at every level and will have security implications for decades to come. I look forward to a new day ahead at OPM and am eager to work to ensure that the necessary measures are taken to prevent a data breach of this magnitude from ever happening again.”
*Ms. Seymour was previously scheduled to testify this week before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. That hearing has since been postponed.
Rep. Mark Meadows Introduces D.C. School Choice Bill
Sen. Ted Cruz introduced the companion bill in the Senate
Washington, D.C.— Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) introduced the Educational Freedom Accounts Act (H.R. 4426) on Tuesday, which creates a school choice program in Washington, D.C. This legislation was originally introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in the Senate.
The Educational Freedom Accounts Act would create an innovative school choice program built around establishing Education Savings Accounts for students in the District of Columbia.
“Parents – not the government – know what's best for their children,” Rep. Meadows said. “I’m proud to join Sen. Ted Cruz, a long time defender of school choice, in support of this important legislation that empowers parents to choose the best education to meet the individual needs of their children. Education shouldn’t be one-size-fits-all. Education Savings Accounts make it possible for parents to create customizable education plans that are tailored to the needs of their child. This is the sort of commonsense policy that deserves widespread bipartisan support.”
“School choice is the civil rights issue of our era. Each and every child has the right to access a quality education,” Sen. Cruz said. “Not only does school choice give low-income children the same choices and opportunities that children from wealthy families have always had, it also improves public schools, making them stronger and more effective. This legislation ensures that all children in Washington, D.C., regardless of race, ethnicity, or zip code, have the same opportunity to choose the schools that best fit their needs and will help them achieve their very best. I am honored to work with Rep. Meadows on this issue.”
Read the full text of the bill here.
Fifteen years after the September 11 terrorist attacks, the United States government still has little idea how many foreign travelers overstay their visas annually and remain in the U.S. This, despite the fact that two September 11 hijackers, Satam al-Suqami and Nawaf al-Hazmi, overstayed their visas before carrying out the deadly attacks that left nearly 3,000 Americans dead. Two other 9/11 hijackers had also previously overstayed their visas.
Foreign travelers overstaying their visas to remain in the U.S. illegally represents one of the gravest national security threats to the homeland. We know the risk posed by not enforcing our visa laws—it’s unacceptable that we are turning a blind eye to these violations.
Federal law requires that agencies of jurisdiction annually report to Congress an estimate of the number of individuals who have overstayed their visas. However, in flagrant violation of that Congressional mandate, neither the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) nor its predecessor has submitted a report since 1994.
After numerous Congressional requests and inquiries, DHS released a report this past week indicating that 500,000 foreign travelers overstayed their visas in 2015 to remain in the U.S. illegally.
However, that figure does not represent the full number of visa overstays in the U.S., since the data is only for those who came into the United States through certain modes of entry and does not include some visa types including student and fiancé visas. Tashfeen Malik, who carried out the deadly terrorist attack with her husband in San Bernardino, had come to the U.S. on a K-1 or fiancé visa.
And it gets worse.
Since 1996, Congress has required the agency of jurisdiction—now DHS— to set up a biometric exit system to track visa overstays.
Yet here we are in 2016 and it has yet to be implemented. Exit checks are absolutely critical to monitor if those who come into the U.S. on visas actually do in fact leave the country when their visa is up. Estimates reveal that at least 40 percent of illegal immigrants come to the U.S. on temporary visas and simply overstay.
Annually, Congress has appropriated hundreds of millions of dollars to go towards the implementation of the biometric exit program, yet it still isn’t operational.
It’s absolutely ludicrous that these basic security measures have not been put in place to track the flow of visitors coming and going in and out of our country. It’s not just irresponsible of DHS—it’s inexcusable.
When we talk about the national security threat posed by visa overstays, we are not speaking in hypotheticals. We are facing the reality of recent history.
Two of the 9/11 hijackers exploited the security vulnerabilities in the United States’ visa program and were able to carry out their attacks. It is astounding that over a decade later DHS still has done little to fix the problem.
Republican Mark Meadows represents North Carolina in the U.S. House of Representatives and serves on the Foreign Affairs Committee.
Read the full op-ed at Fox News here.
Washington, D.C.— On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a report indicating that more than 500,000 foreign travelers had overstayed their visas in 2015 and remained in the U.S. illegally. Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations Mark Meadows (R-NC) released the following statement:
“Foreigners overstaying their visas to remain in the U.S. illegally represents one of the gravest national security threats to the homeland. Two of the 9/11 hijackers overstayed their visas at the time of the attack that left nearly 3,000 Americans dead. Furthermore, two others involved had previously overstayed their visas. We know the risk posed by not enforcing our visa laws—it’s unacceptable that we are turning a blind eye to these violations.
The 500,000 figure does not represent the full number of visa overstays in the U.S., since the data is only for those who came into the United States through certain modes of entry and does not include some visa types including student and fiancé visas.
Since 1996, Congress has required the agency of jurisdiction—now DHS— to set up a biometric exit system to track visa overstays. Nearly 20 years later, that system has yet to be put in place. DHS must immediately take measures to implement a thorough exit screening system to ensure that anyone who enters the U.S. on a visa actually leaves. There is no excuse not to.
For months, the Oversight and Government Reform Committee has worked tirelessly to get to the bottom of the number of visas overstays in the United States. I personally requested these figures directly from senior DHS officials on numerous occasions. This is a matter of national security and of the highest priority. DHS must be quicker to comply with Congressional requests.”
President Barack Obama delivered the final State of the Union speech of his presidency on Tuesday night, hours after the Pentagon confirmed that Iran apprehended a U.S. Navy boat and is detaining 10 American sailors. Rep. Mark Meadows, a Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement:
“What an unfortunate juxtaposition for the President: as he took to the podium to defend his Iran nuclear deal and other foreign policy initiatives, American sailors were being detained in Iran. Make no mistake, the signing of the Iran Deal has only been emboldened the Iranian regime and Tehran grows increasingly more hostile to the West by the day. Let us not forget that in addition to these sailors being held, four innocent Americans have remained imprisoned in Iran for years.
The world is becoming a more dangerous place because of the Obama Administration’s failed foreign policy that fundamentally misunderstands America’s enemies. At nearly every turn, the President has unilaterally made foreign policy decisions that baffle the American people. From failing to temporarily halt Syrian refugees from being admitted into the U.S. until we improve our vetting system, to bypassing Congress and unlawfully initiating the transfer of Guantanamo detainees, the American people are perplexed by the Obama foreign policy.
More than a year into the conflict with ISIS, the U.S. is engaging in anemic airstrikes with no clear strategy, creating a vacuum for Russian leadership in a conflict that demands American leadership. There’s no such thing as a lame duck President in times of war—and that is precisely what the United States is engaged in with ISIS. The President must fundamentally alter his foreign policy—and quickly—or there will be repercussions for decades to come.
After 7 years in office, it’s time President Obama try a new strategy: working with Congress to address these critical issues for the American people.”Read More
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.
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Enjoyed meeting with Jonathan Szucs, recently appointed Vice Chairman of the NC District Export Council! https://t.co/oY6srYCYau
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I joined my friends Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) and Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH) in an op-ed on how we can fix our broken welfare system. Congressman
President Obama just issued a #veto threat on my bill, H.R. 5233, which would repeal the Washington D.C. city council's "Local Budget Autonomy
Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald says "Disney doesn't measure wait times, so why should the VA?" Even Tweedledee and Tweedledum know
Had an opportunity this weekend to visit and work with the folks at the Habitat for Humanity in Henderson County. The work of this organization