Former FBI Director James Comey misled the American people during last year’s presidential campaign when he referred to the Clinton email scandal as a “matter,” not an investigation. He did it willfully. He did it intentionally. And he did it at the direction of Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
Mr. Comey misled the American people in the early weeks of the Trump administration by furthering the perception that President Trump was under investigation, when in fact he was not. He again did this willfully and intentionally.
Comey recently admitted that, after being fired from the FBI, he had a friend leak an internal FBI document to the New York Times detailing a conversation Comey had with President Trump. Comey testified under oath that he ordered the leak to help create public momentum for the appointment of a special counsel, which we now know is Comey’s mentor and predecessor, Robert Mueller.
The American people want justice to be blind. They want equal justice and equal protection for everyone. But Mr. Comey’s actions continue to call his impartiality, and the impartiality of the Holder and Lynch Justice departments, into question.
On May 7, 2014, the House of Representatives passed a resolution calling for a special counsel to investigate the IRS targeting of conservatives for their political beliefs. Comey and Attorney General Eric Holder blocked the appointment. This despite the fact that the lead investigator they assigned to the case, Barbara Bosserman, was a max-out contributor to President Obama’s reelection campaign.
This is the type of unequal justice that Americans despise. No special counsel in the IRS targeting investigation. No special counsel for the Clinton email investigation. But if it’s about protecting Comey’s reputation and hurting President Trump, then of course there has to be a special counsel.
Throughout 2015 and 2016 there were calls from Congress for a special counsel in the Clinton email scandal. Again the Justice Department refused, even after it was revealed that Attorney General Loretta Lynch met privately with Bill Clinton less than a week before the FBI interviewed Hillary Clinton. No special counsel was established, even after some unusual Justice Department immunity deals were revealed, including those designed to protect Secretary Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills, and Bryan Pagliano, who set up the email server in the first place.
This is the type of unequal justice that Americans despise. No special counsel in the IRS targeting investigation. No special counsel for the Clinton email investigation. But if it’s about protecting Mr. Comey’s reputation and hurting President Trump, then of course there has to be a special counsel.
We appreciate Mr. Mueller’s service to our country, but his past testimony as FBI director before the House Judiciary Committee did not inspire confidence about his impartiality. Just four weeks after the treasury inspector general released the report on the IRS targeting scandal and the Justice Department began their “investigation” into the matter, Mr. Mueller could not answer even the most basic questions about the investigation. He was asked: “Who is the lead agent?” “How many agents have been assigned to the case?” And, “Have any victims been interviewed?” His responses were, “I don’t know,” “I don’t know,” and “I don’t know.”
Investigating the targeting of conservatives by the IRS, which was the biggest story in the news at the time, was clearly not a priority for Mr. Mueller. As FBI director, he didn’t even know who was doing what.
But as special counsel investigating the Trump administration? You’d better believe Mr. Mueller has handpicked the exact team he wants.
James Quarles, a partner at WilmerHale, was a $10,000 contributor to House and Senate Democrats. He also has a long history of supporting Democratic presidential candidates, including Dukakis, Gore, Kerry, Obama and Clinton.
Jeannie Rhee, a senior adviser to former Attorney General Eric Holder, was an Obama and Clinton supporter. She also represented the Clinton foundation in litigation, and personally represented Hillary Clinton.
Andrew Weissmann, a former Justice Department official, was also an Obama contributor.
In fact, of the dozen people named to Mueller’s investigation team so far, none have similarly supported Republican presidential candidates.
The House has a responsibility to defend the deeply-held American principle of equal justice under the law. That’s why we believe it’s time for the House to have hearings on the troubling matter of the motivation and organization of this investigation.
The past actions of Mr. Mueller and Mr. Comey as part of the Holder and Lynch justice departments call into question their impartiality. If this investigation is to be taken seriously, it is important that the American people get the answers they deserve.
Republican Jim Jordan represents Ohio's Fourth District in the U.S. House of Representatives and is a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
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 Jody Hice serves Georgia's 10th Congressional District and is a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.Read More
Pray for the Shooting Victims
As many of you know, there was a shooting last week at the Republican Congressional baseball practice in Alexandria. In light of the terrible news, please be sure to pray for my friend Congressman Steve Scalise, Capitol police officers David Bailey and Crystal Griner (both of whom were injured while protecting everyone on the field), and the injured staffers Matt Mika and Zack Barth. Doctors are hopeful that all of them will make a full recovery—Congressman Scalise was upgraded to “fair” condition recently which is outstanding news!
Weeks like this one are a reminder that we cannot thank our Capitol Police officers enough for what they do every day. This situation could have been so much worse had they not been there in the line of duty. Please say a prayer for them. We often forget how much we really rely on our police until moments like these.
Senator Rand Paul was actually at the field at the time of the incident and said he saw officers Bailey and Griner continuing to protect the scene even after being shot. That's what courage and heroism look like. Thank God for them.
I joined MSNBC to talk about the incident. You can watch here.
Freedom Caucus Calls to Cancel August Recess
The House Freedom Caucus is officially calling on Republican leadership to cancel the August district work period so that we can continue legislation and do what we promised.
With repealing Obamacare, tax reform, budget items, and other issues left to finish--Congress has too many important commitments to keep and far too few accomplishments made so far to go home for a month. If we don’t make real, definitive progress on our goals by the end of July, then we should work in Washington, D.C. through the recess until we finish the job.
You can read more about our position here.
Interviews with CNBC and Fox News
Speaking of canceling the August district work period, I interviewed with Fox News and CNBC on that very issue—getting our jobs done and making sure that we get effective, comprehensive proposals on President Trump’s desk to sign before we leave. If we don’t do that, we shouldn’t go home.
Heritage Foundation Forum on Tax Reform
I really enjoyed attending a forum at Heritage Action on the issue of tax reform. Three of my House Freedom Caucus colleagues (Congressmen Jim Jordan, Dave Brat, and Warren Davidson) and I took part in a Q&A where we outlined some goals for a tax reform package. There are two key principles to know:
1) There is no consensus for the "Border Adjustment Tax" in Congress. We need to move on and debate a better proposal that benefits American families.
2) Timing is critical. It is absolutely essential that we have a finalized Tax Reform proposal ready to debate before August--and if we don't, we should cancel the August recess and keep working until we finish.
Interview with Bloomberg News
Right after the tax forum concluded, I got the chance to speak with Bloomberg News and recap some of the issues going on in Congress.
I’d encourage you to watch the full interview. You can do so here. Thanks to Kevin Cirilli and the outstanding team at Bloomberg for making the interview happen.
Visit from the NC-11 Classical Scholars
Some of the NC-11 "Classical Scholars" visited my DC office this week! This is an outstanding group of young people. Thanks to them for stopping by the office and giving us the opportunity to take them on a Capitol tour.
Visiting with the Classical Scholars!
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC) released the following statement in memory of General Frank Earl Blazey, who passed away on Monday, June 19:
“When I think about those who represent the best of our nation, both in service and in sacrifice, General Frank Blazey is among the first to come to mind. General Blazey was not only a military hero but someone who never hesitated to pour himself out to his community, including his involvement in the Blue Ridge Honor Flight program and his work on my office’s Service Academy Board. Debbie and I are saddened to learn of his passing, and we send our thoughts and prayers to his family. He will be missed.”
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) released the following statement on the appointment of Cynthia Breyfogle as MidSouth Healthcare Network Director:
“There is little I could say that would do justice to the kind of asset that Cynthia Breyfogle has been to North Carolina public service, particularly in the care of our veterans. In my time serving in Congress, I’ve come to know Cynthia as a true professional, a dedicated worker, and someone with a deep commitment to serving families at the VA. When you look at the reasons why the Charles George VA Medical Center has been one of the best service facilities in the country, Cynthia’s outstanding leadership is right there at the top of the list. I wish her nothing but the best in her promotion. MidSouth Healthcare Network chose the right person for the job.”
Washington, D.C.— The House Freedom Caucus Board released the following statement:
“Government surveillance activities under the FISA Amendments Act have violated Americans’ constitutionally protected rights. We oppose any reauthorization of the FISA Amendments Act that does not include substantial reforms to the government’s collection and use of Americans’ data.”
The House Freedom Caucus wants to “go big” on a tax reform package to include welfare reforms, but likely wouldn’t include a tax on imports, or a border adjustment tax.
“There is not consensus for the border adjustment tax,” Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., said Friday during a panel of four House Freedom Caucus members at The Heritage Foundation. “The sooner we acknowledge that and get on with a plan that actually works and actually can build consensus, the better off we will be.”
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, has proposed the border adjustment tax as part of a broader tax proposal. The border adjustment tax would slap a levy on imported goods into the United States, but make exported goods tax free, a move viewed in part by supporters of the tax as a means to keep American jobs.
“It is not anything where we’ve taken a formal position against the border adjustment, even though I have one of my colleagues on the panel who will argue we are divided in the Freedom Caucus,” Meadows said. “We have some who believe it’s a great idea, some who believe it is not a great idea.”
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Meadows said the House Freedom Caucus could support much of the Brady plan, and believes Congress should move forward on common principles to pass a major package. But, he added, a corporate tax cut should help smaller businesses.
Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, said of tax reform, “We need to not tweak around the edges, we need to go big.” Davidson also said he could back the import tax, but thinks it’s a complicated sell.
“I’m the one guy up here that can live with a border adjustable tax,” Davidson said, but added, “How do you pull it off? I think it’s lost a lot of momentum.”
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, was most adamantly opposed to a border adjustment tax, also known as BAT.
“Two principles should guide our tax policy. One, let families keep more of their money. Two, design a code that is conducive to producing economic growth,” Jordan said. “What is not conducive to those principles is a whole new tax on the American economy, the BAT.”
Brady has argued the tax would “restores America as the best place on the planet to do business.”
Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., noted strong supply-side policies will create economic growth, which is the only way the country can dig out of a fiscal hole.
“You’ve got $20 trillion in debt and then $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities for … young people,” Brat said. “Medicare and Social Security are insolvent in 2034. And CBO [the Congressional Budget Office] … [said] in about 15 or 20 years, all federal revenues will go only to mandatory and entitlement programs—all federal revenues. So, that means there is nothing left for the military, education, transportation, etc…”
Jordan proposed a welfare reform bill for able-bodied Americans. He said House Freedom Caucus members might be willing to live with a higher budget number if Congress will agree to real welfare reform. He noted the conversation with his employer constituents.
“‘Hey Jordan, in spite of all the stupid things going on in Washington the last eight years, we are still creating jobs. We can’t find people to work,’” Jordan said, paraphrasing the conversations. “So this is where welfare reform is just good public policy. But I don’t think you achieve sustained growth if you don’t have a labor force to get you to the productivity number.”
Davidson also proposed a bill for a commission to consolidate the number of welfare programs, similar to the base realignment commission for the U.S. Defense Department. He said some Democrats could support the goal, since the 92 federal welfare programs are often duplicative.
“Some are more effective than others at promoting healthy families and some are more effective than others at actual education attainment that leads to employment,” Davidson said. “So you create a commission, sort of like the base realignment commission that’s called Welfare-BRAC, four Republicans, four Democrats, they pick their own chair, they get a year to work … We could be talking about a reform that would take us from 92 means-tested programs, I don’t if we can get to 12, but maybe we can get to 40 or 50 programs.”Read More
House Freedom Caucus members will push for changes to two major welfare programs — food stamps and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families — as part of tax reform legislation, the group's chairman told POLITICO.
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) also said the hardline conservative group's still-in-development bill wouldn't include a controversial tax on imports or immediate write-offs for business investments — known as full expensing — backed by House GOP leaders. The first is too unpopular and the second too expensive, he said.
Meadows and others in the caucus expect to unveil more information about their plan at a Heritage Foundation event Friday
Republican congressional leaders and Trump administration officials have stepped up their efforts to reach a consensus on tax reform, hoping to enact the legislation this year. The Freedom Caucus's plans are likely to add another hurdle to that effort.
Meadows said it helps the tax reform math to leave out full expensing if the tax on imports, known as a border adjustment, is also jettisoned. House GOP leaders are counting on border adjustment — which would also make exports tax-free in a bid to bolster domestic production — to generate more than $1 trillion over 10 years to help keep tax cuts from blowing a hole in the federal budget.
But the idea has split business leaders, with import-heavy companies like retailers fiercely opposing it and exporters pushing for it. It has also caused fissures within the congressional GOP — Meadows estimated 75-80 House Republicans oppose it, along with up to half of Senate Republicans.
Meadows said adding in changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, and TANF would provide another $400 billion over 10 years, Meadows said.
Such additions and subtractions are aimed at a Freedom Caucus package that includes a corporate tax rate of 20 percent and an equal or just slightly higher rate on unincorporated businesses known as pass-throughs, Meadows said.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has pushed for a 20 percent corporate rate and 25 percent for pass-throughs. President Donald Trump has proposed a single 15 percent tax on all business income.
“How do we get to a 20 percent corporate and make sure there’s a pass-through to LLCs and sole proprietorships and at the same time making sure that it’s not just a corporate tax cut but we actually make it fundamentally better for the person on Main Street?” Meadows said. “We believe it has to have both components.”
For similar reasons, Freedom Caucus members don’t want to alter the mortgage interest deduction, said Meadows. It could have too much impact on consumption in the U.S. economy, he said. (Congressional leaders and the Trump administration have also kept the mortgage deduction off limits.)
“We’re trying to look at how to make it better for consumers, not worse, so we really haven’t looked at that at all,” Meadows said.
The caucus is trying to push the envelope on tax reform sooner rather than later.
Time is of the essence, Meadows said, who in recent days called for canceling the annual August recess for Congress in order to advance tax reform. Tax writers need to drop the discussion of border adjustment, he said, adding that White House officials have drawn the same conclusion.
Ryan and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) have yet to back off the idea, though. While the Freedom Caucus hasn't taken an official position on border adjustments, Meadows said the entire GOP conference needs to arrive at some type of an agreement on what’s going to be included in a tax package and what’s going to fall by the wayside.
“It’s important that we start discussing principles and concepts that need to be in place so that we act in the next few weeks, not the next few months, at least on starting the ball rolling with legislative text where we can all start to review it,” Meadows said.
The Freedom Caucus had a hand in reshaping health care overhaul legislation that ultimately passed the House after weeks of fits and starts. The caucus, which Meadows said counts 36 members, wants to influence tax reform at an earlier stage in the debate, he has said.
To get tax reform, Republicans need to reach a budget agreement among various moderate and conservative factions on spending levels, Meadows said, pointing to a budget maneuver — known as reconciliation — that would let Republicans get around a Democratic filibuster in the Senate.
“We do have a seat at the table,” he said. “Probably the biggest leverage has nothing to do with tax reform. It has more to do with the budget and budget reconciliation.”Read More
Washington, D.C.— The House Freedom Caucus has taken an official position in support of the House staying in session through the August recess to continue working to accomplish the priorities of the American people.
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.”
The House Freedom Caucus on Tuesday night called on Republican leadership to cancel the August recess to continue work on tax reform and other GOP priorities.
The group of several dozen conservative hardliners during their weekly meeting took the official position to work through the break, which is quickly drawing near as Republicans scramble to pass President Donald Trump’s agenda.
“We need to work through August recess to get everything done,” said Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), coming out of the meeting. “We believe that we need to stay through August to get through tax reform… and get our appropriations done.”
The group's request ups the pressure on GOP leaders, who could face the same request from an impatient White House thirsty for legislative victories. Four months into Trump’s presidency, Republicans have accomplished very little. The Obamacare repeal effort, stalled in the House for weeks, is slowly working its way through the Senate. And the party is divided over how to overhaul the tax code.
Lawmakers only have seven weeks left before the break. And, once they return, much of the focus will be on funding the government before it expires Sept. 30, and raising the debt ceiling — two votes that will suck up a lot of time and energy. Lawmakers really only have until the end of 2017 to finalize their landmark pieces of legislation. Since 2018 is an election year, every vote becomes tougher.Read More
WASHINGTON, June 9 (Reuters) - The chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus on Friday called for the introduction of a tax reform proposal in the House of Representatives by the end of July, and for acknowledgement that there was no consensus for a border adjustment tax.
"We need to get tax reform done sooner (rather) than later and by that we should have a real proposal that we start debating before we leave at the end of July," Republican Representative Mark Meadows told a tax policy conference. He noted his group had proposed that the House stay in session in August to work on the issue.
"There is not consensus for the border adjustment tax. The sooner we acknowledge that and get on with a plan that actually works and actually can build consensus, the better off we will be," Meadows said. (Reporting by David Morgan; Writing by Eric Walsh; Editing by Tim Ahmann)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.
Retweeted by RepMarkMeadows
Retweeted by RepMarkMeadows
ICYMI: I joined Hallie Jackson this morning on MSNBC to discuss #healthcare reform. I'm reviewing the bill now and looking for a few specific
"This is the type of unequal justice that Americans despise. No special counsel in the IRS targeting investigation. No special counsel for the
Reading the Senate healthcare bill this morning--will have more updates once we review. I remain fully committed to repealing #Obamacare--this
Rep. Jim Jordan and I interviewed on Fox News with Sean Hannity last night to discuss canceling the August recess for #Congress. The proposal
We're getting down to the wire on healthcare reform--after talking about it for 7 years, it's about time 'promises made' start resulting in 'promises