WASHINGTON — A North Carolina Tea Party Republican who tried to formally oust then-Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) from his leadership post will lead the conservative House Freedom Caucus in the 115th Congress.
Rep. Mark Meadows, who also said before the election that Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) should be ousted for not showing enough loyalty to Donald Trump, will take command of the caucus from Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).
Meadows said in a statement after the Monday vote that it’s “a position that I take very seriously, and as we look toward the coming year, I am tremendously excited about the opportunities we will have to make a difference for Americans on Main Street.”
“I want to thank my colleagues for entrusting me with their support – especially outgoing Chairman, Rep. Jim Jordan, for his outstanding leadership over our first two years,” he added.
“The voters of this country sent an abundantly clear message on Nov. 8 that they feel as though Washington does not represent them,” Meadows continued. “Now, it’s time for Washington to do what it has failed to do for decades – listen. With a new administration coming in, the Freedom Caucus is ready to go to work on day one to help lead the fight to give Americans a voice in their government.”
The smaller Freedom Caucus was formed in January 2015 in part because the most conservative members of the House felt the Republican Study Committee, which has about four times the membership of the Freedom Caucus, wasn’t conservative enough. Some lawmakers are members of both caucuses.
Another North Carolina Republican, Rep. Mark Walker, was picked to be the incoming RSC chairman.
At an American Enterprise Institute event last week, Walker said the RSC is focused on “effective conservatism.”
“What do I mean by ‘effective conservatism’? However long we’re privileged to serve here, whether it’s two years or 20 years, can you look back and say was it simply about winning the argument? Or was it about making a difference?” he said. “Are there measured marks of success where you’ve moved the needle forward? Now I think that consists of three things: 1) the right policy 2) the right approach, and 3) the right voice.”