Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., was elected the next chairman of the House Freedom Caucus on Monday. He has big plans for what he’ll accomplish in the role.
“From day one since our founding almost two years ago, the mission of the Freedom Caucus has been to give a voice to the countless Americans who feel that Washington does not represent them,” Meadows said.
The 57-year-old lawmaker from Jackson County in western North Carolina is perhaps best known for filing the House motion that ultimately led to the resignation of former Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.
Now, as the Freedom Caucus chairman, Meadows said he hopes to continue to unify the caucus and specifically focus on the issues of regulatory reform and Obamacare.
“We are trying to put a real emphasis on policy and regulatory reform going forward,” Meadows told The Daily Signal in a phone interview. “One of our renewed interests … would be to focus on trying to take more of a proactive approach on policy and take official positions that are supported by most if not all of our [Freedom Caucus] members and how we can make sure that we move that positive agenda going forward.”
Meadows said the specific committee skills of Freedom Caucus members could help them tackle regulatory reform.
“Additionally, on the regulatory reform side of things, [we will be] using each of the member’s expertise as well as their committee assignments to really dig deep into the types of regulation and specifics within the agencies that they authorize on how they can best change and streamline those regulations to create job growth,” Meadows said.
Repealing and replacing Obamacare is also high on the list for Meadows.
“We will have no higher priority than repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act,” Meadows said. “The Freedom Caucus will put a great emphasis on doing the tough work and getting the tough votes in the first 100 days for repealing it.”
According to Meadows, there are a number of conservative members who believe in having a Obamacare replacement plan “very quickly.” Meadows said the plan could include competition and personal accountability.
“We are optimistic that we can find some common ground with not only the conservative members, but also with health care providers and insurance providers that will allow there to be a real affordable and a real compassionate health care system in the years to come,” Meadows said.
Meadows was elected to Congress in 2012 and previously worked 27 years as a small business owner.
Meadows replaces Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who has served as the caucus chairman since its creation in January 2015. Jordan will become chairman emeritus and coalitions coordinator.
The caucus holds no official roster of its members and is well-known for its opposition to the Washington establishment.
This story was updated with news of Meadows’ election Monday.