Speech at Family Research Council’s “Values Voters Summit”
Last week I was honored to speak at the Family Research Council's "Values Voters Summit"--speaking just before President Donald Trump! It was great to see the President—he sends his best wishes to the people of North Carolina and remembers your voices well from the campaign season. How encouraging it is to have a President that has not forgotten the men and women who put him in the White House.
Bipartisan Tax Reform Efforts
A tax reform update: my House Freedom Caucus colleague, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), and I are in conversations with some of our Democrat colleagues to see if we can find some common ground on tax principles.
We're committed to seeing if we can work across the aisle to get something done--making our tax code simpler, fairer, and better for middle class families is a bipartisan issue. We’re very hopeful about where some of the discussions might lead in the coming days. Ultimately, this isn’t about party or politics—it’s about delivering results to the voters who put us in office.
You can read more about our discussions here. I also joined Dana Perino on her new Fox News show, ‘The Daily Briefing,’ to discuss progress on tax reform, along with other issues like healthcare and trade. You can watch the segment here.
Support for Vice-President Pence
As you may have seen on the news, Vice-President Pence chose to leave the Indianapolis Colts-San Francisco 49’ers game after players chose to kneel during the presentation of the flag and the singing of our national anthem.
I support Vice President Pence’s principled stand on supporting the flag. He and President Trump are right—the national anthem is a time to honor our Flag and Veterans, not a time to make a political statement.
The President Keeping Promises
For those of you that may be feeling discouraged about not enough getting done in Washington, I want to reassure you that even while Congress may be fumbling, the President is working relentlessly to keep his promises to you in several crucial areas.
Number one, this week the President announced he will not re-certify the Obama Administration's 'Iran Nuclear Deal—an ill-advised agreement that gave Iran an estimated $100 billion, accelerated Iran's nuclear proliferation, and handed over every U.S. bargaining chip to the Iranian regime. The deal will now be sent back to Congress, which can restore sanctions or make changes to the law.
The President is right to send this back to Congress and force us to do our jobs--to develop a comprehensive strategy on how to proceed with Iran using diplomacy rather than ineffective appeasement. You can read my statement on the Iran Deal here.
Number two, the President signed an executive order that will roll back some Obamacare restrictions and allow for more flexible, cheaper insurance plans. The executive order expands association plans, increases the number of health insurance options, and allows small businesses to band together to purchase insurance across state lines—allowing for a system that gives greater flexibility at a better price.
These changes are a positive step, but there is still more work to be done. Congress would do well to follow the President’s lead and renew our push to keep our seven year promise to repeal Obamacare. Failure on that end should not be an option. You can read my statement on his executive order here. You can also watch my Fox Business interview on this issue here.
Third and finally, the President kept his long-held promise to reverse President Obama’s ‘birth control mandate,’ which forced employers to provide birth control and potential abortifacients to their employees regardless of religious convictions they may hold.
This is a significant win for religious freedom in the U.S. and reaffirms the long-held principle that private companies should not be forced to engage in conduct that violates their religious beliefs or moral convictions. Once again, the President kept his promise. You can read more about it here.
Congress needs to get its act together, and I believe we will—but be assured that your voice is being represented in Washington. We will keep pushing forward until we keep all of our promises to you.
Farm City Day
I really enjoyed stopping by "Farm City Day" last weekend at Jackson Park in Hendersonville, N.C.! They always say “if you ate today, thank a farmer”—and for good reason. This is a great event celebrating some of NC's farmers and most famous farming traditions. Thanks to our great farmers for all they do for our community.
United South and Eastern Tribes
It was great to welcome the United South and Eastern Tribes to Cherokee, NC last week! They were incredibly gracious and the special events throughout the day were fantastic. Thanks to everyone who said hello!
With some of the Miss Cherokee Award winners
If you’ve turned on the news and heard any of the outrage from Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and others on the left accusing President Trump of “vast, pointless sabotage,” you might assume that the president had repealed the Affordable Care Act last week through executive fiat.
Hysteria makes for a nice messaging tactic, but facts are stubborn things. Let’s put the House and Senate minority leaders’ talking points aside and look at what’s really happened with this executive order.
For starters, President Obama’s “cost sharing reimbursements” (CSR’s) to insurance companies were illegal. The executive branch cannot allocate money that Congress hasn’t appropriated. Avik Roy wrote a piece in Forbes this weekend that appropriately characterized President Trump’s decision to end CSR payments as “not a health policy decision, but rather a constitutional one” because “it is simply illegal for the federal government to spend money that Congress hasn’t authorized it to spend.” David French also outlined this idea in National Review when he said, “They [the CSRs] were never lawful because Congress never appropriated the money.”
Ultimately, this alone should be enough to justify the president’s decision. It was not a “sabotage” of ObamaCare, as Schumer and Pelosi called it. It simply restored the rule of law by undoing the unconstitutional actions of the Obama administration.
But looking at Pelosi and Schumer’s accusations in context, it’s ironic they are accusing the president of sabotaging ObamaCare given the fact that they were the ones who sabotaged our nation’s health care by passing ObamaCare in the first place, before even knowing what was in it.
Remember: ObamaCare was sold on false promises that could never be kept. Recall what they told us in order to sell this bill: If you like your health care plan, you can keep it; if you like your doctors, you can keep them; premiums will go down – and for families they’ll go down by an average of $2,500; deductibles will go down; emergency room visits will go down.
All of these assertions were false. Seventy-five percent of the ObamaCare-created state health care co-ops have gone out of business. Premiums have gone up drastically. Deductibles have risen. People lost their health care plans and couldn’t keep their doctors. This law made health insurance costlier and it made the business of offering it riskier.
Sadly, such deception was knowingly used to sell this disastrous health care law. Jonathan Gruber, who the New York Times called the “architect of ObamaCare,” told us as much when he said, “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical to get for the thing to pass.”
It’s difficult to explain your motives any more clearly than that.
But then again, the law wasn’t designed to improve the nation's health care system - it was designed to sabotage and undermine health care as we knew it. Former Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid told us as much when he was asked in 2013 whether the country would have to have a health care system that “abandoned insurance as the means of accessing it.” His answer? “Yes, yes. Absolutely, yes.”
So let’s be honest about what has happened here: Democrats, led by Pelosi and Schumer, rammed through a government takeover of health care that was nothing more than a leap toward single-payer health care deceptively sold as a market-based solution. And as the system collapsed, it has become evident that ObamaCare, through skyrocketing premium increases and taxpayer-funded CSRs, was designed to fail. Now that it’s failing, they’re blaming Republicans and calling for single-payer.
The Pelosi and Schumer outrage is baseless, but the American people’s outrage is not. They elected President Trump because they are tired of politicians who say one thing and do another. They’re tired of their elected officials making promises and then abandoning those commitments once they get in office. That must end. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said it well: If you’re not strong enough to do what you said and vote to repeal ObamaCare, you don’t deserve to stay in office.
President Trump was right to restore law and order to our health care system. And he was right to remind Congress that Americans are tired of inaction, and want us to repeal ObamaCare. Now it’s the Republican Party’s turn, and we must deliver on our promise. Failure would be truly outrageous.
Republican Mark Meadows represents North Carolina's 11th Congressional District and is chairman of the House Freedom Caucus and a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Republican Ralph Norman represents the 5th District of South Carolina and is a member of the House Freedom Caucus.Read More
Rep. Meadows' Statement on Alexander/Murray Agreement
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) released the following statement on the deal between Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) to fund cost-sharing subsidies:
“At this point in time, the central purpose of our discussions on healthcare should be aimed at one goal: lowering premiums for Americans. There are elements in the Alexander-Murray plan that we can build on, but much more work needs to be done. I applaud Senators Alexander and Murray for their hard work to address this issue and their agreement is a good start and a welcome expansion from earlier discussions. Expanding health savings accounts, providing for limited duration plans, and giving states more flexibility on waivers are all positive changes to the current system. I look forward to getting to work with my colleagues, both in the House and in the Senate, on how we can move forward and improve healthcare costs for the American people.
Most importantly, it bears repeating: Republicans cannot allow short term solutions to become a distraction to repealing and replacing Obamacare—something we’ve promised to do for seven years.”
Rep. Meadows' Statement on Decertification of Iran Deal
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) released the following statement on President Donald Trump’s decision to decertify the Iran Deal:
“The President’s decision today to decertify the Iran Deal is a major step in the direction of a much safer and more secure America. The Iran Deal was an ill-advised agreement that gave Iran an estimated $100 billion, accelerated Iran's nuclear proliferation, and handed over every U.S. bargaining chip to the Iranian regime. Meanwhile, we have strong evidence that Iran has continued ballistic missile testing, exporting weapons to Hezbollah and other terrorist groups, and failing to comply with the agreement, which requires minimal oversight.
The President is right to send this back to Congress and force us to do our jobs--to develop a comprehensive strategy on how to proceed with Iran using diplomacy rather than ineffective appeasement. This new direction will allow the United States to focus on neutralizing Iran’s reckless behavior in the Middle East and preventing the hostile Iranian regime from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
As I said two years ago when the agreement was announced, the Iran Deal was a historic victory... for Iran. Today is a victory for a safe and secure America.”
Rep. Meadows' Statement on President Trump's Healthcare Executive Order
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) released the following statement on President Trump’s executive order to expand access to more affordable healthcare options:
“Once again, President Trump has delivered. Today’s executive order makes reasonable, practical changes to the nation’s healthcare system to provide consumers, particularly middle-income Americans, more options and choices through increased competition in the healthcare marketplace, and help bring down premiums for struggling American families. By expanding association plans and increasing the number of health insurance options, the administration is allowing for a system that gives greater flexibility at a better price.
These changes are a positive step in the right direction, but there is still more work to be done. Congress would do well to follow the President’s lead and renew our push to keep our seven year promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. Failure on that end should not be an option.”
Rep. Mark Meadows, the conservative hard-liner and chairman of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, is playing an unlikely role in the push for tax reform: liaison to Democrats.
In a bid to help shape and build support for the tax package, the North Carolina Republican has been reaching across the aisle to a handful of moderate Democrats, he told The Hill in an interview. The outreach includes Rep. John Delaney (Md.), who has said he’s president in 2020, and Rep. John Garamendi, the former California insurance commissioner and lieutenant governor.
Meadows’s top ally, former Freedom Caucus chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), has taken part in many of those informal, bipartisan discussions.
A number of skeptical, moderate Republicans could peel off from the GOP tax-reform bill, so Meadows and Jordan are looking to make up for those losses with Democratic votes.
“Jim Jordan and I believe that tax reform is a critical component that we must deliver on and that it doesn't necessarily follow along a Republican or conservative line as much as it follows along a line that supports all the hard-working American taxpayers across the country,” Meadows told The Hill in an interview.
“So we've been reaching out to Democrats to find areas of consensus and agreement that might ultimately end up in a final bill that reaches the president's desk,” he added.
Meadows, a real estate developer elected to Congress in 2012, first stormed onto the national stage in 2015, when he forced out then-Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), mostly for cutting too many spending deals with President Obama and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.).
Now it’s Meadows who’s wheeling and dealing.
The Democrats have been gauging whether the Freedom Caucus leaders are interested in pairing tax reform with infrastructure. Delaney has introduced two bills aimed at tapping into cash stored overseas. One measure would establish a $50 billion infrastructure bank to finance local transportation, energy, water and education projects.
The other bill, co-authored by Freedom Caucus Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), would allow U.S. multinational corporations to bring back, or repatriate, their earnings at a mandatory, one-time tax of 8.75 percent — a discount on the current 35 percent rate and deferral option.
“What I’ve said is: If tax reform included infrastructure, there’s the basis for starting to have a conversation with Democrats,” Delaney told The Hill on Thursday. “A large-scale bipartisan bill creates a pathway for money to come back overseas as a part of building infrastructure. And Jim [Jordan] was a co-sponsor. So that’s the nexus.”
Garamendi, a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, recently hosted Meadows in his Rayburn office to discuss tax reform. The California Democrat said he’d meet next time in Meadows's Longworth office — so long as the conservative chairman serves coffee.
“Mark and I know each other very well. There is very little policy that we agree on, but we like each other. … We get into the underlying policy, and he knows that I’ve had a long history with tax reform,” said Garamendi, who spent decades in the California legislature working on tax policy.
“We’re coming at this from very different directions, but if there is going to be tax reform, I want to talk about it. If there is going to be tax reductions, I want to know who wins and who loses,” Garamendi continued. “We really both talk about the middle class and the working men and women, and we talk about small businesses. There is general agreement that that’s where we ought to focus.”
Since its creation nearly three years ago, the Freedom Caucus — a band of roughly 30 conservative rabble-rousers — has been a thorn in the side of Republican leaders.
But late last month, the group immediately endorsed the tax-reform outline from White House and GOP congressional negotiators, giving the Republican plan a boost right out of the gate.
With their endorsement, Meadows and Jordan, close allies of President Trump, now have a vested interested in seeing Congress pass the first major overhaul of the U.S. tax code in three decades.
“We want to make sure we get a package that passes,” Jordan told The Hill. He noted that he previously had teamed up with liberal former Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) on civil liberties legislation. “I work with all kinds of people, including Democrats.”
“John Delaney is a sharp guy,” Jordan said, but jokingly added: “He can’t beat Trump” in 2020.
Meadows and Jordan aren’t just reaching out across the aisle on tax reform. They’re walking across the Capitol, too.
The Freedom Caucus chairman has been a frequent visitor on the Senate side in recent weeks. He said he’s been meeting with a number of senators on budget and tax-reform matters. House and Senate Republicans still need to agree on a fiscal 2018 budget resolution, which would allow them to pass their tax-reform package in the Senate with a simple majority.
“This is going to have to be answered in a bicameral way. The more we talk, hopefully the better result for the American people we’ll see,” Meadows said during a recent interview as he emerged from the office of Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the powerful Foreign Relations Committee chairman who’s been feuding with Trump.
“I can tell you that I’ve talked to no less than eight different senators,” he said.
Corker, who isn’t running for reelection next year, is a wild card because he’s said he’d be opposed to any tax package that adds to the debt. Asked about his budget meeting with Corker, Meadows replied: “I’m just making sure he understands where we are and I understand where he’s coming from.”
“We’re both deficit hawks,” Meadows added, “and I just came over to make sure he has direct contact with some of the deficit hawks on the House side.”
In an interview, Corker said making Trump’s tax plan work would require closing $4 trillion in corporate loopholes.
“If you don’t do that, you really can’t have tax reform. That is what tax reform is all about,” Corker said. “Otherwise you move to a simple tax cut which is nothing but giving money away.”
Still, Corker said he’s agnostic as to what specific loopholes should be closed.
“That’s the tax writers’ problem. That’s what I’ve been trying to raise Cain about,” he said.
“All people are talking about is the sugar — cutting rates and doing all this. They haven’t talked about the spinach part, which means you’ve got to have the intestinal fortitude to close $4 trillion in loopholes.”Read More
Conservative representatives in the House Freedom Caucus want President Donald Trump to take a hard line on his 70-point list of demands for granting legal status to so-called “dreamers.”
Progressives were apoplectic after Trump released the list over the weekend. It included building a wall along the Mexican border, beefing up immigration enforcement, cracking down on visa abuse, and making legal immigration more restrictive.
Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) told LifeZette that the president should stop any amnesty that does not include major concessions from Democrats.
"We would certainly encourage the president to veto it and would have that as a strong desire," he said Wednesday. "We would actually be passing a bill to address a symptom of an open and porous southern border without fixing the root cause of that."
Meadows said he is trying not to "draw too many lines in the sand" but added that any deal would have to include stronger border and interior enforcement; a mandate that all employers use the E-Verify system to confirm the legal status of job applicants; and a measure to curtail "chain migration" that allows citizens to sponsor extended family members for permanent residency.
Democrats, meanwhile, are pushing in the opposite direction. Several members of Congress have called for no compromise over the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, which would grant legal status to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children. They have called for forcing Trump’s hand by attaching the DREAM Act to must-pass legislation, such as bills raising the government’s borrowing limit, renewing the Children's Health Insurance Program and reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration.
Congress is dealing with a deadline of March 5 that Trump set when he named that date as the point at which permits issued under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program would begin to expire.
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), another member of the Freedom Caucus, suggested he would not be willing to trade away much from the list Trump issued.
"I hope President Trump will draw as hard a line as possible to protect the interests of American citizens and put the interests of citizens first and not last, as is so often the case with these immigration debates," he told LifeZette. "I would fight for all or almost all of the principles on the Trump immigration policy principles, and not retreat on any of them."
Polls suggest the public views dreamers sympathetically because they were too young to make the choice to violate immigration law. And a number of Republicans support some version of amnesty for them. That raises the possibility that a bill could pass even without consensus among Republicans.
"The first issue if something like that came up is would [House Speaker] Paul Ryan rely on the Hastert rule?" said immigration activist Chris Chmielenski, referring to a rule set by former Speaker Dennis Hastert that legislation would not move unless it had the support of the majority of the Republican caucus.
Meadows noted that Ryan became speaker, in part, because his predecessor angered conservatives by passing legislation mostly with Democratic votes. Ryan assured conservatives he would not do that.
"The speaker would have to violate his commitment that he made to a number of conservative members before he become speaker," Meadows said. "And that promise has been reiterated a number of times prior to us getting into this latest negotiation … And so, I can’t imagine the speaker going back on his word, especially if they look at passing a dreamer act that only had a handful of Republicans along with all the Democrats. It would be a politically perilous position to take."
Chmielenski, director of content and activism at NumbersUSA, said the Hastert rule might not even apply if momentum for amnesty picks up.
"Scary as it sounds, I’m not sure it wouldn’t get 50 percent of the caucus," he said.
Meadows said it would be disastrous for the GOP.
"We haven’t been able to repeal and replace Obamacare. We still have not built a wall. We are in the middle of tax reform and trying to deliver there," he said. "And to suggest that the first piece of major legislation that we send to the president’s desk is a clean dreamer bill would defy not only those who elected most members of the Republican conference but certainly would send a bad message that we failed to adhere what the American people said on Nov. 8th."
Even if a bill did pass, it likely would not become law, Brooks said.
"I’m not worried at all provided that the Trump administration will veto it," he said. "We certainly have the votes to sustain a veto."
Meadows said Democrats would demonstrate that they are not willing to negotiate in good faith if they insist on a clean DREAM Act.
"If they say that it is the dreamer act or nothing, then it will end up being nothing," he said.Read More
Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC) told Breitbart News that Republicans will only succeed in the midterm elections if “they get behind the Trump agenda.”
The congressman said that the Freedom Caucus remains committed to passing a dynamic tax reform package for middle-class families as well as repealing and replacing Obamacare. Meadows also cheered the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed repeal of Obama’s Clean Power Plan.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced on Tuesday that he will propose to repeal the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP). An EPA analysis revealed that repealing the Clean Power Plan will save roughly $33 billion in compliance costs in 2030.
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC) cheered the EPA’s repeal of the Clean Power Plan. Meadows said, “Well it’s a good day for businesses across the country and not just in coal country when we really look at the compliance costs and economics of compliance a lot of times the cost benefits that was done under the previous administration would take credit for things that the rules and regulations accounted for and yet really didn’t take consideration for the cost and emphasize of that particular administrative action. I look at this repeal as a welcome day not just for coal country but all businesses in making sure that we have proper accounting for the cost-benefit analysis.”
Meadows added, “We should really focus on an American First agenda, and these climate pacts and climate regulations have been designed to not necessarily give American workers and the American environment a head start. It really gives our competition a greater ability to compete internationally and disadvantage American companies. I look forward to a reset that still emphasizes clean air and clean water.”
Meadows told Breitbart News that he remains optimistic about Congress’ ability to pass a tax reform package.
One thing that Washington D.C. does not do well is cut spending. We have to get the economy going again and getting tax cuts to wage earners and make sure that our businesses are competitive again. I’m optimistic that despite the rhetoric that we’re hearing, we’re going to be deliver finally on a major campaign promise that the president made to the American people, and that is to put more money back in Americans’ pockets.” Meadows said. “It is critically important that we deliver on tax reform. I believe it is bold and aggressive it may increase the deficit in the short-run, but over the long-term, the economic growth and the power of unleashing economic power of the American worker will certainly help us balance our budgets that Congress has never been able to do with just cutting the budget and limit the spending.
The House Freedom Caucus chairman then revealed that he and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) will try to find Democrats to work with and who want to pass a tax reform package. The North Carolina congressman explained, “I can tell you that Jim Jordan and I are working to identify a number of Democrats in the House and the Senate to work with that will truly tax reform bipartisan which will put more money in the middle-income wage earner’s pockets. This should be a bipartisan topic. I want to make sure that we have a tax code that makes sure that everyone benefits, including those in poverty and those middle-income wage earners and those that have already lived the American dream as well as making sure that everyone can receive the benefits of a robust economy and not just the select few.”
President Donald Trump plans to sign an executive order that will lower health care prices. Given that Obamacare repeal has stalled in Congress, the president declared that he will take executive action to alleviate Americans’ skyrocketing premiums and deductibles created thanks to Obamacare.
President Trump worked with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on an executive action that would expand Association Health Plans (AHPs) that would allow small groups, small businesses, and individuals to band together to create their own health insurance pools.
Chairman Meadows cheered Sen. Pauls’ initiative to lower Americans’ health care costs. Meadows told Breitbart News:
Rand Paul has done a very good job of focusing on association plans, and that goes back for eight or nine months. It has been my belief that since we did not get it done through the legislative initiatives that the president through the rulemaking authority that exists under the Affordable Care Act can put forth the ability for associations to provide insurance policy. It will put down real pressure to bring down premiums I applaud the effort and fully support it.
I will tell you that the president is serious about making sure that premiums get lowered so whether it is executive action on association plans or other executive actions, this administration continues to contemplate other actions as a backup in case Congress failed on repeal and replacement efforts. I think you’re going to see a real push to make sure premiums come down form this administration. It’s critically important that executive action will be followed with real legislation that lowers premiums and codifies them in law and not just an executive order that can be repealed through future administrations but we can get them in law while we have the majority in the house and the Senate and control the white house.
Breitbart News reported on the “league of extraordinary candidates,” which consists of populist Republican candidates who remain committed to accomplishing the president’s agenda. Meadows argued that the only Republican candidates that will succeed in the midterm elections are those that “are willing to get behind the Trump agenda.”
Meadow told Breitbart News:
The fundamental question for Republican running all across the country is: are you going to stand with the American people like the president campaigned on and won on November 8? Or are you going to just talk about standing with the American people? The American voter is not going to accept talk any longer. It’s time to show the real proof of each candidate is made of and how they will fulfill that promise.
I think that the anger and the frustration that is prevalent still on the main streets across America will have a profound effect on the midterm elections and Republicans will only succeed if they get behind the Trump agenda.
Meadows explained that the Freedom Caucus remains committed to passing tax reform and passing an Obamacare repeal package. Meadows told Breitbart News that some Freedom Caucus members continue to look towards attaching an Obamacare repeal bill in must-pass legislation. Meadows said, “Well we’re obviously focused on tax reform, and we got to push even harder for a repeal and replacement effort, and there’s a number of us that are working on other ways to make sure that we attach repeal bills to must-pass legislation. Another emphasis for the Freedom Caucus is trying to support the president and identifying those regulations that have to be rolled back.”
Meadows concluded, “It’s all about representing the forgotten men and women, to make sure that they have a voice and members of the Freedom Caucus take that very seriously.”Read More
Pray for Las Vegas
Our hearts are broken after hearing the terrible news out of Nevada. To the victims of the heinous, cowardly act of violence in Las Vegas—Debbie and I are praying earnestly for you and grieving with you. And to the first responders who have been working around the clock since—thank you for your courage, your bravery, and your service.
Welcoming Heroes – Honor Flight Program
Last weekend, I was honored to welcome a group of veterans and heroes of the Korean War to Washington, DC, as part of the Blue Ridge Honor Flight Program. The Honor Flight program provides free flights for veterans across the country to visit Washington, DC, and see the monuments that recognize their heroic service. What a privilege it is to thank these veterans personally and hear their stories.
I encourage you to read this article here from WLOS to learn more about the Honor Flight Program and my friend Jeff Miller’s efforts. This is a tremendous program that does a fantastic job recognizing the heroism of our veterans.
Welcome back Steve Scalise
Last week we received some of the best news in a long time: Congressman Steve Scalise (R-LA) is back at work! We are thrilled to see him recovering from his injuries and doing well—please continue praying for him and his family.
I joined Chuck Todd on Meet the Press Daily to talk about Congressman Scalise’s return to the House floor—you can watch the full interview here.
Some major news from last week: the House Freedom Caucus endorsed the framework for a new tax reform plan, and Congress passed the budget resolution vehicle for allowing tax reform to be considered under reconciliation rules (letting the Senate approve the bill with only 51 votes instead of 60). This is an exciting development and a major step toward finally cutting your taxes and getting this plan passed.
The framework for the plan, released this week, slashes small business tax rates to 25%, lowers corporate tax rates to 20%, doubles standard deductions, and allows individual Americans to keep more of their hard-earned money. This is a productive move toward pro-growth, pro-family tax reform that will benefit hard-working taxpayers.
My conversations with President Donald Trump on the issue have been very encouraging – he is 100% focused on getting this done for you, and I believe we will.
From this point, I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues to develop a full plan that keeps our commitments to the voters. It’s time we get serious about growing our economy and pass real tax reform by Thanksgiving. This is a must-win opportunity. Let’s get it done.
To read more about the Freedom Caucus’ endorsement, click here. I also spoke with Neil Cavuto on Fox News here and did an interview with Morning Joe here to explain why cutting the small business tax rate is so important to growing jobs and the economy. Additionally, you can visit my website and read my statement on the budget vote here.
H.R. 36 – the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act
I was honored to vote in favor of H.R. 36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act—a bill to protect the lives of unborn children and ban late-term abortion after 20 weeks. Thank you to my friend and colleague, Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ), for introducing the bill and seeing it through.
Service Academy Day
It was an honor to see and meet some of the outstanding young men and women at our annual Service Academy Day! This is an event we put on to help students, teachers, and parents learn more about opportunities available through the service academies.
Thanks so much to everyone who came and said hello!
Thanking some of the parents and students for coming
HFC chairman statement on Trump administration's immigration policy priorities
Washington, D.C. — House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows made the following statement related to the Trump administration's release of its policy priorities related to immigration:
"The immigration reform policies outlined yesterday by the Trump administration reinforce the President's pledge to the American people to fight for their interests and restore law and order. We applaud the administration's leadership on principles that will be critical to any immigration policy changes.
"Members of the House Freedom Caucus continue to work with the administration and other congressional Republicans on potential fixes to the unconstitutional Obama-era DACA program. We look forward to the administration's insistence on these principles in any deal that is signed into law."
Mission statement of the House Freedom Caucus:
“The House Freedom Caucus gives a voice to countless Americans who feel that Washington does not represent them. We support open, accountable and limited government, the Constitution and the rule of law, and policies that promote the liberty, safety, and prosperity of all Americans.”
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.
Our tax code should be one that allows small businesses to grow, job creators to thrive, and families to keep more… https://t.co/Bao9ARtzN3
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