Washington, D.C. -- The House Freedom Caucus released the following statement on the American Health Care Act:
"Over the past couple of months, House conservatives have worked tirelessly to improve the American Health Care Act (AHCA) to make it better for the American people. Due to improvements to the AHCA and the addition of Rep. Tom MacArthur’s proposed amendment, the House Freedom Caucus has taken an official position in support of the current proposal.
The MacArthur amendment will grant states the ability to repeal cost driving aspects of Obamacare left in place under the original AHCA. While the revised version still does not fully repeal Obamacare, we are prepared to support it to keep our promise to the American people to lower healthcare costs. We look forward to working with our Senate colleagues to improve the bill. Our work will continue until we fully repeal Obamacare.”
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.”
One of the major highlights of this week was the opportunity to join Western North Carolina Sheriffs and local law enforcement professionals for a roundtable discussion on the growing opioid problem in Western North Carolina.
Among the tragic facts behind the issue is that current studies show that an average of four North Carolinians die from a medication or drug overdose every day. Additionally, an April 2016 study notes that of the worst cities in America for opioid abuse, North Carolina contains 4 of the top 20 cities.
The opioid epidemic in our community is substantial, but I truly believe Western North Carolina has the best law enforcement officials in the country and we are committed to bringing the situation under control. Today’s meeting was a key step in the process.
I want to thank our Western NC law enforcement officers for their eager willingness to discuss the issue and for their steadfast leadership in our community. To read more, click here.
George Will: What the Freedom Caucus Stands For
Thank you, George Will, for taking a moment to write about the Freedom Caucus and what we stand for as a group. No matter what the cost, my priority will always be to serve my constituents first, whose voice I represent in Congress.
To read the full article, click here.
Visit to East Henderson High School Civics Class
As you might know by now, one of my favorite opportunities being back in Western North Carolina is visiting our schools. Special thanks to the East Henderson High School Civics Class for having me visit while I was home! As always, the students and teachers were incredible—we had a great discussion. The students also received their certificates for winning last year’s Christmas Ornament contest! Congratulations to them!
Also a huge thanks to the wonderful teachers and students of Happy Valley Elementary School for having me visit and speak! They were so attentive and asked fantastic questions. The parents and teachers of these young people have a lot to be proud of.
Visit to Western North Carolina
Western Carolina University was another great visit last week, and I had the opportunity to speak to the Political Science students. What a great discussion and solid group of young men and women--the students were very thoughtful and engaging. Thank you all for having me.
Live with WHKP
I really enjoyed the chance to speak to my friends at WHKP 1450 AM live in studio. Being with them is always a pleasure—they do a tremendous job and I appreciate their frequent willingness to have me on the show to give an update on what’s happening in DC and Congress and how it impacts people in Western NC.
First Responder’s Lunch
What an honor to join our Lenoir First Responders for a lunch while I was back home! These are some of Western North Carolina's finest--we have so much to be proud of in them.
Special thanks to Lenoir Mayor Joe Gibbons, NC Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey, and our first response teams that do so much for our community every day.
Visit to Kellex Seating
Thanks to the great folks at Kellex Seating--a leading furniture manufacturer in Valdese, NC--for having me tour their facilities! The numbers represent the hours in quality jobs they are bringing back to the US per piece of furniture—they are doing an incredible job.
Discussion with Mission Health Executives in Asheville
I had a fantastic discussion this week with Dr. Ron Paulus, President and CEO of Mission Health in Asheville, and other senior leadership members. Thanks to them for having me there to discuss solutions to our healthcare system!
Visiting AB Tech Community College
I had the opportunity to get a firsthand look at the allied health science program at AB Tech Community College. The resources and opportunities available to students through these facilities are incredibly exciting to witness. I look forward to seeing them grow in the future. I’m grateful to the incredible staff there for the tour!
Interview with Mark Starling
Thanks to my friend, Mark Starling, for having me live in studio for an interview! We had a great discussion, as usual. Be sure to tune in to his show every week day morning 6AM-9AM on AM 570 WWNC radio.
Interview with WTZQ
The dedicated people at WTZQ were also kind enough to have me for a live interview in downtown Hendersonville at Jongo Java--one of the best coffee and smoothie places around. Thanks to them for having me! I always appreciate our lively discussions on happenings in Congress and WNC.
Interviewing with WTZQ at Jongo Java in Hendersonville
With a mellifluous name suggesting bucolic tranquility, Rep. Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican, is an unlikely object of the caterwauling recently directed at him and the House Freedom Caucus he leads. The vituperation was occasioned by the HFC’s role rescuing Republicans from embracing an unpopular first draft of legislation to replace Obamacare.
A decisive blow against the bill was struck by the quintessential Republican moderate, New Jersey’s Rodney Frelinghuysen, chairman of the Appropriations Committee, whose family has included a member of the Continental Congress, four U.S. senators and, in 1844, a vice-presidential nominee: “Hurrah! Hurrah! The country’s risin’, for Henry Clay and Frelinghuysen.”
Although just a little over two years old, the HFC signals a revival of congressional resistance to the dangerous waxing of executive power under presidents of both parties. The caucus is a rarity, a heartening political development: people giving priority to their legislative craft and institution rather than to a president of their party barking at them.
The House Freedom Caucus’s 30-some members, and six others informally affiliated, are barely 8 percent of the House, but their cohesion is a force multiplier. The cohesion comes, Meadows says, from its members being “here for a purpose.” And, he adds dryly, from the fact that, for many, “This is not the best job they’ve ever had.” Among the never-more-than 537 people who are in Washington because they won elections, none are more threatening to tranquility than the few who are not desperate to be here. They do not respond to the usual incentives for maintaining discipline.
The caucus has rules, bylaws and weekly meetings, often featuring experts on particular issues. House Freedom Caucus members have, Meadows believes, “a competitive advantage” in the House because they hone their arguments together in what Meadows calls “the best debating club on Capitol Hill.” If 80 percent of the caucus agree on an issue, it votes as a bloc, although members can receive two exemptions per Congress.
Meadows was contented as a businessman for whom politics was an avocation. About 30 years ago, he was the only person to attend a precinct meeting, thereby becoming the precinct’s chair. He rose in Republican ranks until redistricting after the 2010 Census produced a congenial district, which he won in 2012.
In December 2014, he and a few others were disgusted by what was called “cromnibus.” This testimony to Congress’s normal dysfunction was a combination of a continuing resolution to keep the government running and an omnibus spending bill. Cromnibus was another of those “this is a binary choice, so you have no choice” moments. Meadows and eight other conservatives chose to form a group of kindred spirits.
Meadows came to the nation’s attention by doing something eccentric: He read the House rules. Therein he learned about a “motion to vacate the chair.” Such a motion requires a vote on the speaker. John A. Boehner resigned as speaker and from the House rather than rely on Democratic votes to make up for lost votes from the HFC, whose members had felt the sting of his disapproval of their insufficient docility.
In last month’s dispute about Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s health-care bill, the president thought it was wise to tweet a demand that the House Freedom Caucus “get on the team.” And for Stephen K. Bannon to summon caucus members to reportedly be instructed by him that “this is not a discussion. This is not a debate. You have no choice but to vote for this bill.” And for the White House director of social media — your tax dollars at work — to tweet that a HFC member, Michigan’s Justin Amash, “is a big liability” who should be defeated in a primary.
The 32nd president, a somewhat more accomplished politician than the 45th, tried to purge some members of his party’s congressional caucus. Franklin D. Roosevelt became angry when some conservative Southern Democrats helped to defeat his plan to break the Supreme Court to his saddle by enlarging it and filling the new seats with compliant liberals. He recruited and supported primary opponents against the offending Democrats.
All survived. One of them, Georgia’s Sen. Walter George, told that FDR was “his own worst enemy,” replied: “Not as long as I’m alive.” Republicans gained eight Senate seats in 1938 , and their House ranks almost doubled, from 88 to 169. FDR never again had a liberal legislating majority in Congress. Today’s president should have second, or perhaps first, thoughts about a purge.Read More
Washington, D.C. – On Wednesday, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) visited Kellex Seating--one of America’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of commercial upholstered furniture.
Kellex was founded in 1994, opening their first North Carolina plant in 2008 with only 50 employees. Over the next four years, their number of employees tripled to 150, and they have built more than 250,000 pieces of furniture in North Carolina since opening.
“Western North Carolina’s economy continues to thrive,” Rep. Meadows said. “Today I was thrilled to have the opportunity to visit Kellex Seating—a furniture manufacturing company in Valdese, NC that is at the forefront of the mission to bring quality jobs back to the US, including 29.73 hours of US labor per sofa.
“The team at Kellex is an incredible group of people and I want to thank them for welcoming me to their facility to get a first-hand look at their operation. They are a prime example of success in manufacturing for not just North Carolina, but the entire country.”
Burke Development Inc. released the following statement on the Congressman’s visit:
“It was an honor to have Congressman Meadows in Valdese, Burke County today visiting Kellex Seating. We take pride in local craftsmanship and it’s always a pleasure to share these qualities with others. We thank Congressman Meadows for his visit.”
Bryan Steen, Burke County Manager, also released a statement:
“We are always pleased to have an opportunity to showcase local companies that take pride in the American craftsmanship. Kellex Seating is one of America’s leading manufacturers of commercial upholstered furniture.”
Washington, D.C. – On Tuesday, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) joined NC11 Sheriffs and local law enforcement professionals for a roundtable to discuss the growing opioid problem in Western North Carolina.
Current studies show that an average of four North Carolinians die from a medication or drug overdose every day. Additionally, an April 2016 study notes that of the worst cities in America for opioid abuse, North Carolina contains 4 of the top 20 cities. The growing concern around these figures led Congressman Meadows and law enforcement officials to discuss solutions over a meeting in Western North Carolina.
“The professionals closest to the problem are often the most well equipped to lead the charge in fixing it,” Rep. Meadows said, “and I truly believe Western North Carolina has the best law enforcement officials in the country. The opioid epidemic in our community is substantial, but we are committed to bringing the situation under control and today’s meeting was a crucial step. I want to thank our NC11 law enforcement officers for their eager willingness to discuss the issue and for their always steadfast leadership in our community.”
Henderson County Sheriff Charles McDonald released the following statement after the meeting:
"I am heartened to see the willingness among the Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police within the 11th District to lay aside jurisdictional and organizational boundaries to address the opioid epidemic plaguing western North Carolina. It is this type of interoganizational cooperation that will be needed to win the fight we are in. We all would also like to thank Congressman Mark Meadows for his leadership and support for law enforcement across our region."
Meeting with Vice President Pence
This week, my colleagues in the House Freedom Caucus and I had a productive meeting with my friend Vice President Mike Pence, discussing a path forward on healthcare reform. He was very gracious and ready to share ideas. We are determined to get this done, repeal Obamacare, and pass reforms that will lower premium costs for all Americans.
I’m encouraged at the progress we are making, and I remain fully committed to working around the clock so that we can get healthcare reform done the right way.
Playbook Live Interview
This week I joined my friends and House Freedom Caucus colleagues, Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Justin Amash (R-MI), for an interview with Politico Playbook Live. We discussed the conservative approach to issues such as healthcare reform, budget items, and more! Watch the full interview here.
Interview with CBN News
This week I joined David Brody with CBN News to do an interview and give an update on negotiations surrounding healthcare. It was a great conversation!
You can watch the full interview here.
Billions Saved by Repeal of Regulations
The White House has announced $10 Billion saved by repeal of various federal regulations over President Trump’s first 100 days.
This is so critical--unnecessary regulation by bureaucrats in Washington has held our economy back and made life difficult for small businesses for years. Credit to President Trump for keeping his campaign promise!
Read the full article here.
Visit with NC-11 Fire Chiefs
It was great to see some familiar faces in DC this week--some of NC11's finest!
From left to right -- Chief Winfield Abee (Lovelady FD, Burke Co), Deputy Chief Ryan Cole (Skyland FD, Buncombe Co) Chief Ted Williams (Weaverville FD, Buncombe Co), Chief Joey Webb (Waynesville FD, Haywood Co), and Deputy Chief Eric Wiseman (Parkway FD, Mitchell Co).
Thanks to these men for their service and the incredible job they do for our communities.
Justice Neil Gorsuch Confirmed
I stood with President Trump many times on the campaign trail last year as he promised to nominate a Supreme Court Justice who would uphold our Constitution and the rule of law above all else.
President Trump absolutely followed through on that promise. I commend the President and the Senate on the confirmation of Justice Gorsuch--a man of deep principle and commitment to the law of the land. He is the right man for the job.
Congressional Art Competition
Announcing the 2017 Congressional Art Competition!
Your students are invited to participate in my annual Congressional Art Competition--now open to all high school students who reside in the 11th District. Entries can include paintings, drawings, prints, and more. We have had a blast with this competition in the past and are really looking forward to the entries this year!
Winners will be chosen by a panel of art professionals, and there will be a reception for all the students who enter--as well as their teachers and families--on April 29, 2017. The overall winner of our district's competition will receive two round-trip tickets to the National Reception in Washington, DC, a $3,000 scholarship to a prestigious Southeastern art college, and his or her art will be displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol!
You can find more information on my website below. Note that the DEADLINE to enter this year is Friday April 21, 2017. You can read more details on my website here.
Meeting with MOAA
I had a wonderful meeting this week with the Military Officers Association of America—a non-partisan group that advocates for a strong national defense and pours countless hours into supporting military service members and their families. Thanks to them for coming by!
Lt. Governor Dan Forest
It’s always a treat to see my good friend Lt. Governor Dan Forest in DC. North Carolina is lucky to have a man of his caliber in public office.
Talking with Lt. Governor Dan Forest
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) released the following statement on the announcement that Buncombe County Sheriff, Van Duncan, will not seek reelection and retire at the end of his term:
“Of all the people I’ve had the chance to work with and get to know over the years, I can honestly say that Sheriff Van Duncan is one of the finest. This is a man who has spent a career going above and beyond to serve his community, neighbors, and friends—and it shows in how successfully he has led the Buncombe County Sheriff’s office for over 10 years. Sheriff Duncan will be missed in Buncombe County law enforcement, but I commend him and wish him all the best in the future. Congratulations to him and his family on a job well done.”
Washington, D.C. – On Thursday, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) joined Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) to introduce a bill that would repeal America’s global tax law, which has caused U.S. citizens to renounce their citizenships in record numbers.
The bill would repeal provisions of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), included as part of the 2010 HIRE Act, that was originally designed to prevent tax evasion by increasing access to foreign bank accounts held by U.S. citizens.
As part of FATCA, foreign financial institutions are required to report on all account holdings and assets of U.S. taxpayers to the Internal Revenue Service. Failure for these institutions to do so could result in a penalty of up to 30 percent of their U.S. source income. Requiring institutions to disclose information such as this violates a U.S. citizen’s rights to privacy and harms taxpayers with burdensome regulations to abide by.
“Any time we deal with tax laws and the disclosure of information that’s required, it is critical to remember that the Fourth Amendment right to privacy is non-negotiable,” Rep. Meadows said. “Over time, it’s become clear that FATCA goes well beyond what is permissible under Fourth Amendment protections and places a serious burden on taxpayers. I’m proud to join my friend Senator Paul to support a repeal of FATCA and to demonstrate a serious commitment to upholding our Constitution as the law of the land.”
Senator Paul offered the following statement:
“FATCA disregards the Fourth Amendment and privacy rights by requiring the bulk collection of innocent Americans’ financial records. It discourages foreign investment and prevents Americans from accessing the financial system overseas. It is time to repeal this job- and privacy-killing law.”
Update on Healthcare Reform
As many of you know, we were not able to reach a deal on healthcare reform with the AHCA last week, and the bill was pulled from consideration.
While I remain steadfastly in support of President Trump and desperately wanted to get to a ‘yes’ on the bill last week, I could not do it in the end. I promised the people of North Carolina’s 11th District that I would fight for a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act and a replacement that brings down costs and provides more choices for the American people. Simply put: the AHCA would not do either of those things, and therefore, I could not support it.
My colleagues in the House Freedom Caucus and I have poured days and weeks into negotiations, but we have not gotten there yet. I’ve told the President, Vice-President, and House leadership that if we can get to a point where the bill will lower premiums and protect the most vulnerable, I will support it. I’m still hopeful we can achieve that goal, one way or the other.
Congress still has the responsibility to keep the promises we made to voters, and I will not give up on that commitment. I remain wholeheartedly committed to following through on the promises I made to you with repealing Obamacare and bringing down healthcare costs. I know President Trump is committed to the same, and I look forward to working with him to do just that.
Freedom Caucus’ Reasonable Demand on Obamacare Repeal
One of the main criticisms I’ve heard over the last several days is that conservatives in Congress shouldn’t stop a deal from happening just because we don’t “get everything we want.” I understand negotiations, and I agree.
However, at the same time, I want to be clear that negotiating a deal is exactly what my conservative colleagues and I have been doing all along. Be assured that no one wants to work with the President and moderates to get to a beneficial deal on healthcare more than me. Even though my ideal plan would look much closer to the Obamacare Replacement Act supported by the Freedom Caucus (read it here: http://bit.ly/2oqYKYc), I am very willing to work with the writers and supporters of the AHCA and begin from that starting point.
Ultimately, I have two main principles that I cannot compromise on: the bill must bring down premium costs, and it must protect the most vulnerable people. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and I laid out a path on how to get there in an interview with the Washington Examiner. You can read the full article here.
Be assured that it is always my intention to be reasonable and to negotiate in good faith toward a solution. I am still determined to work out a deal that accomplishes these principles so that we can reform healthcare for Americans.
Hannity Sides with Freedom Caucus
Thanks to my good friend, Sean Hannity, for the kind words of support this week.
“Now I don't know who's telling the White House to focus their anger on the Freedom Caucus, but I do think it's misplaced," Hannity said. "Because the Freedom Caucus, I've talked to them, they want to make a deal, and they want the win for the president and the country.”
To read the full article, click here.
Conservatives Vow to Keep Promises
Below is an article featured in the Daily Signal that explains more about my stance on the American Health Care Act. Conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus are committed to keeping our promise to you.
The Freedom Caucus’ job is simple: to do what we promised the American people we’d do. Our group has worked tirelessly to try to improve the American Health Care Act to ensure it will actually bring down costs for everyday Americans. We believe this is our job and our duty and not something we can let fall by the wayside. We’re open to working with any and everyone who is willing to work toward a solution.
To read the full article, click here.
The Recognizing Mayaguez Veterans Act
This week, in honor of National Vietnam Veterans Day, I was proud to join my colleague Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) in introducing the Recognizing Mayaguez Veterans Act—a bill that would extend the Vietnam Service Medal to veterans of the S.S. Mayaguez Incident.
The "S.S. Mayaguez Incident" is often referred to as the “Last Battle of Vietnam,” but veterans of this incident are currently ineligible to receive the Vietnam Service Medal. This bill rectifies that error and would allow veterans of the incident—both living and deceased—to receive the medal in appropriate recognition for their sacrifice to our nation.
When we were writing the bill, I was reminded of one of Western North Carolina's own! Captain Ric Hunter served 27 years in the U.S. Air Force and was awarded an Air Medal for his efforts as a pilot in the SS Mayaguez rescue operation. Heroes like Captain Hunter deserve to be recognized, and I'm hopeful that this bill will do just that. You can read more here.
Visiting the UPS Asheville Facility
I had a great visit this week to the UPS facility in Asheville!
Special congratulations to Randy Ledford and Mark Miller for being inducted into the "Circle of Honor" for their outstanding service and safety records. They are both tremendous examples of hard working Americans striving for excellence.
Visit to West Henderson High School Classes
West Henderson High School's Civics, Journalism, American History and AP U.S. History classes are some of the best! Thanks to the teachers and students for having me this week to visit!
Lunch with the Council of Independent Business Owners
Thanks to the Council of Independent Business Owners (CIBO) for having me today to give an update—and for all of your hard work in running your local businesses! You are truly the life-blood of our community. It was great to see so many familiar faces, as always.
News Clips of the week:
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) has announced his annual Congressional Art Competition for 2017.
The 2017 Artistic Discovery Contest is open to all high school students who reside in the 11th District. All entries must be original in design, concept, and execution, with open categories such as painting, drawing, print, and more. Winners will be chosen by a panel of art professionals and there will be a reception for all the students who enter, as well as their teachers and families, on April 29, 2017.
The over-all winner of our district's competition will receive two round-trip tickets to the National Reception in Washington, DC; a $3,000 scholarship to a prestigious Southeastern art college; and their art will be displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol!
The deadline to enter this year’s competition is Friday, April 21, 2017. Entries may be dropped off earlier, but all entries must be received by 5 p.m. on April 21st at Rep. Meadows’ main district office located at 200 North Grove Street, Suite 90, Hendersonville, NC.
For more information, visit Congressman Meadows’ website here.
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.