Mark Meadows (North Carolina politician)

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Mark Meadows
Mark Meadows, Official Portrait, 113th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 11th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Heath Shuler
Personal details
Born Mark Randall Meadows
(1959-07-28) July 28, 1959 (age 59)
Verdun, France
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Debbie Meadows
Residence Cashiers, North Carolina
Alma mater Florida State University,

University of South Florida,
Religion Evangelicalism
Website Government website

Mark Randall Meadows (born July 28, 1959) is an American politician who has been the U.S. Representative for North Carolina's 11th congressional district since January 2013. He is a member of the Republican Party.

Early life, education, and business career

Meadows was born at a United States Army hospital in Verdun, France where his father was serving in the Army and his mother worked as a civilian nurse. His mother was from Sevierville, Tennessee, and his father from Pineville, Arkansas.

He grew up in Brandon, Florida and graduated from the University of South Florida in 1981 after briefly studying at Florida State University. During his collegiate years, Meadows joined Sigma Chi Fraternity.

In 1987, Meadows started "Aunt D's", a small restaurant in Highlands, North Carolina. He later sold it and used the proceeds to start a real estate development company in the Tampa, Florida area.[1]

While living in Highlands, Meadows served as chairman of the Republican Party in Macon County, and was a delegate to several state and national Republican conventions.[2]

Meadows previously served on North Carolina's Board for Economic Development in Western North Carolina.[3] In 2011 he moved to Cashiers, North Carolina, where he now lives. He is currently the owner of Highlands Properties, which specializes in construction and land development.[4]

U.S. House of Representatives

2012 election

In late 2011, Meadows announced he was running for Congress in North Carolina's 11th congressional district, for the seat being vacated by Democratic incumbent Heath Shuler. The district had been significantly altered in redistricting. New lines were drawn straight through the middle of Warren Wilson College. Notably, it lost most of Asheville to the 10th district, while picking up some heavily Republican territory in the foothills. The old 11th had a slight Republican lean, but the new 11th was on paper the most Republican district in the state.[citation needed] In 2011, the North Carolina state legislature re-drew the congressional districts in 2011 based on updated population information from the 2010 census.[5] As a result, the district is now 91.2% White, 3.0% Black, 1.4% Native American and 1.0% Asian.[5] District 11 now includes the counties of Buncombe (Asheville), Clay, Cherokee, Graham, Haywood (Waynesville), Henderson (Hendersonville), Jackson (Sylva), Macon (Franklin), McDowell (Marion), Madison, Polk, Swain, Transylvania (Brevard) and Yancey (Burnsville).[6][Notes 1]

He won the Republican primary runoff, in July 2012,[7] and in the general election in November, faced the Democratic candidate, Hayden Rogers, who had been Shuler's chief of staff. During the campaign, on August 28, 2012, Meadows spoke at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.[8] Meadows won the general election with approximately 57 percent of the vote[9] and took office, in January 2013.


Meadows has signed the Contract from America, a list of ten policies assembled by the Tea Party movement.[10][11]

Meadows voted against relief for Hurricane Sandy[12] along with a group of other Republicans who cited pork barrel spending in the relief bill that had nothing to do with hurricane relief.[13]

Meadows introduced the Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act of 2014, a bill that would impose sanctions on foreign financial institutions that facilitate transactions or money laundering on behalf of Hezbollah or its agents.[14] Hezbollah is designated a terrorist organization in the United States.[14] The bill passed in the House on July 22, 2014.[15] Meadows said that "we must pass this legislation to make sure that we can do is cripple their ability to finance and put people out of harm's way."[15]

On July 23, 2014, Meadows introduced the Federal Records Accountability Act of 2014, a bill that would change the record-keeping requirements about some types of communications to ensure that information is not lost.[16] The bill would make it easier to fire a person who willfully and unlawfully concealed, removed, mutilated, obliterated, falsified, or destroyed any record, book, or other thing in the custody of such employee.[17] It would also ban federal employees from using instant messaging for work purposes.[16]

Meadows served as Chair of the Subcommittee on Government Operations up until June 20, 2015, when fellow Republican congressman Jason Chaffetz removed him from the position. Rep. Chaffetz, a member of the House Republican leadership, removed Meadows due to Meadows' vote against a procedural motion presented by Republican leadership. Meadows was one of 34 Republicans that voted against the motion to allow for consideration of President Barack Obama's request for fast-track authority on trade agreements. Speaker John Boehner supported the measure, but many Republicans felt that the move gave too much power to Democrats and President Obama, specifically.[18] This action was seen as controversial with many prominent Republican politicians, including Texas Senator Ted Cruz, speaking out against the punishment.

On July 28, 2015, Meadows filed a motion to vacate the chair in order to force Speaker of the House John Boehner from his leadership position. The action was widely seen as an escalation of the feud between a faction of conservatives and the GOP leadership. Conservatives long have urged a coup against Mr. Boehner, who they view as too eager to make deals with Democrats and unwilling to go to the mat fighting for conservative principles.[19]


Meadows is a fiscal conservative and is part of a group that has advocated for a balanced budget amendment to the United States Constitution. In addition he opposed the recent federal stimulus spending and has expressed desire for the federal spending growth rate to be capped at the inflation rate. He supports a moratorium on all earmarks until the budget has been balanced. Meadows opposes any cuts to military spending levels.[20]


Meadows has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, and he opposes a raise in all taxes, including the income tax. Meadows supports a flat-rate income tax for all income-earners, and a repeal of the raise in the capital gains tax. He also supports the elimination of the estate tax.[20]


Meadows supports lowering corporate tax rates as a strategy to promote new employment and thus create more jobs. In addition he has called for free trade.[20]

Gun control

Meadows opposes any restrictions on gun purchases and opposes a national gun registry that would list detailed information about firearm ownership.[20]


Meadows has stated that cap-and-trade emission policies are ineffective and have minimal impact on the global environment. He has proposed that the United States should tap into oil and gas reserves to keep energy prices low, and to develop energy independence. He supports tapping into off-shore oil and gas supplies.[20]


Meadows opposes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"), and states that it should be replaced by private enterprise.[20]


Meadows is a pro-life supporter and has called abortion a 'tragedy'. He opposes any federal funding for abortion and believes parents should be notified of underage abortion procedures. He also opposes churches and other religious sites providing birth control options.[20]

Gay marriage

Meadows opposes same-sex marriage. In March 2013 he stated that if the Supreme Court allowed gay marriage, it would cause a constitutional crisis if the Federal government decided to dismiss state decisions and thus infringe on state's rights.[21]

Role in the 2013 federal government shutdown

Meadows has been described as playing an important part of the United States federal government shutdown of 2013.[22][23][24] On August 21, 2013 Meadows wrote an open letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor encouraging them to "affirmatively de-fund the implementation and enforcement of Obamacare in any relevant appropriations bills brought to the House floor in the 113th Congress, including any continuing appropriations bill."[25][26] The document was signed by 79 of Meadows' colleagues in the House.[22][26] Heritage Action (which opened operations in North Carolina in January 2011[27]), ran critical Internet advertisements in the districts of 100 Republican lawmakers who failed to sign the letter by Meadows.[28] The letter has been described as being controversial within the Republican Party.[22][29]

The New York Daily News said Meadows put the federal government on the road to shutdown, saying calls to defund "Obamacare" through spending bills languished until Meadows wrote his letter.[24] Meadows downplayed his influence, saying "I'm one of 435 members and a very small part of this."[24] CNN described Meadows as the "architect of the brink" for his letter suggesting that "Obamacare" be defunded in any continuing appropriations bill.[22] Meadows said that was sensationalizing his role.[23]

John Ostendorff of the Asheville Citizen-Times wrote Meadows "said it's best to close the government in the short term to win a delay on 'Obamacare', despite the potential negative impact on the economy."[23] Ostendorff wrote that Meadows said he was doing what Tea Party members in Western North Carolina wanted him to do.[23] Meadows said his constituents wanted him to fight against "Obamacare" "regardless of consequences."[22] Jane Bilello, head of the Asheville Tea Party and political action committee said Meadows "truly represents us" on the issue of "Obamacare".[22] Meadows reportedly holds conference calls with members of the Asheville Tea Party, telling them what's going on in Congress, and about challenges he faces promoting their agenda.[22]

In public comments, Meadows stated he was working on a compromise that involved passing appropriations bills that would fund only parts of the government, such as a bill to fund the National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, National Gallery of Art, and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and a bill to fund the National Institutes of Health. However, partial or "mini" funding bills were rejected by the Democratic majority in the United States Senate.[23]

Resolution to vote to remove Speaker Boehner

In July 2015, Meadows filed a resolution[30] to vote on whether to remove John Boehner as Speaker of the House.[31] If the resolution were successful, the House would then vote to elect a replacement Speaker of the House.[31]

Because Meadows filed it as a nonprivileged resolution, it was sent to the House Committee on Rules for a vote first, rather than the House floor.[31] The Committee on Rules is considered to have many members who are loyal to Speaker Boehner, so the resolution is seen as unlikely as moving forward.[31]

Meadows said he filed the resolution because Speaker Boehner has "endeavored to consolidate power, bypassing the majority" of Congress; "through inaction, caused the power of Congress to atrophy," "uses the power of the office to punish Members who vote according to their conscience"; "has intentionally provided for voice votes on consequential and controversial legislation to be taken without notice and with few Members present"; "uses the legislative calendar to create crises for the American People"; allows members less than three days to review legislation before voting; and limits meaningful debate on the House floor.[30][32]

The resolution received support from Congressman Walter B. Jones, Jr.[33][34]

Boehner responded, "Listen, you have a member here and a member there who are off the reservation. No big deal. ... Listen, this is one member. All right. I've got broad support amongst my colleagues. And frankly, it isn't even deserving of a vote."[35]

Despite this John Boehner subsequently announced that it was his intention to resign as Speaker.

Committee assignments


  1. District 10, with three counties, (Burke (Morganton), Mitchell and Rutherford) that border on District 11, also includes the counties of Avery, Caldwell, Catawba (Hickory and Newton), Cleveland (Shelby), Gaston (Gastonia) and Lincoln (Lincolnton).


  1. Parker, Brittney (October 18, 2012). "Candidate Profiles Continue as Election Looms: 11th Congressional District Seat; Mark Meadows". Macon County News. Franklin, NC.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Election 2012: Winner U.S. Representative NC-11; Mark Meadows". Wall Street Journal. New York, NY. November 7, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Meadows Officially Enters Race for Shuler's Seat". Hendersonville, NC. February 12, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Bowling, Caitlin (October 31, 2012). "Meadows Touts Rise as Self-Made Businessman". Smoky Mountain News. Waynesville, NC.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 North Carolina's 11th congressional district: Race
  6. NC11 Map
  7. Parker, Brittney (19 July 2012). "Mark Meadows sweeps 11th congressional GOP run-off". The Macon County News. Retrieved 31 August 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. NC State Board of Elections
  10. "Contract from America". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 9 October 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Mark Meadows on Government Reform". On the Issues. Retrieved 9 October 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Moss, Bill (7 January 2013). "Meadows votes no on Sandy relief". The Hendersonville Lightning. Retrieved 7 January 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13.[not in citation given]
  14. 14.0 14.1 "CBO - H.R. 4411". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 23 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. 15.0 15.1 Marcos, Cristina (22 July 2014). "House votes to toughen sanctions on Hezbollah". The Hill. Retrieved 23 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. 16.0 16.1 McElhatton, Jim (24 July 2014). "House federal records plan would prevent repeat of IRS email scandal". The Washington Times. Retrieved 18 September 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "H.R. 5170 - Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 18 September 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Sherman, Jake (20 June 2015). "Jason Chaffetz strips Meadows of subcommittee chairmanship". Politico. Retrieved 22 June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 20.5 20.6 "Mark Meadows : (Republican, district 11)". On the Issues.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "Rep. Mark Meadows Warns Of 'Constitutional Crisis' If SCOTUS Rules For Gay Marriage". On Top. Mar 29, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 22.5 22.6 Caldwell, Leigh Ann (1 October 2013). "Architect of the brink: Meet the man behind the government shutdown". CNN. Retrieved 8 October 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 Ostendorff, John (3 October 2013). "Meadows says constituents back his shutdown fight". Asheville Citizen-Times. Retrieved 8 October 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 Straw, Joseph (September 30, 2013). "Tea Party-backed Rep. Mark Meadows put government on road to shutdown". New York Daily News. Retrieved October 8, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. Meadows, Mark (21 August 2013). "Letter to Boehner and Cantor" (PDF). Retrieved 8 October 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. 26.0 26.1 "U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows Sends Letter to Boehner, Cantor Encouraging House Leadership to Defund Obamacare". High County Press. 22 August 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. Rob Christensen (January 11, 2011). "Heritage Foundation sinks its roots in N.C." The News & Observer. Retrieved October 11, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. Stolberg, Sheryl Gay; McIntyre, Mike (October 5, 2013). "A federal budget crisis months in the planning". The New York Times. Retrieved October 11, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. Omarzu, Tim (4 October 2013). "The letter behind the shutdown; GOP missive urges defunding of Obamacare". Times Free Press. Retrieved 8 October 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  30. 30.0 30.1 Meadows, Mark (July 28, 2015). "Resolution Declaring the office of Speaker of the House vacant" (PDF). Retrieved July 29, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 31.3 Neewhauser, Daniel (29 July 2015). "Mark Meadows Tries to Boot Boehner From Speakership". National Journal. Retrieved July 29, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  32. "BREAKING: John Boehner Faces GOP Effort to 'Vacate' Speaker's Chair". Blue Nation Review. Jul 28, 2015. Retrieved 29 July 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  33. "BOOM! NC Congressman stands with Mark Meadows, tells CNN Boehner is a bully who MUST GO". The Right Scoop. July 29, 2015. Retrieved July 29, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  34. Bresnahan, John (July 29, 2015). "John Boehner: Bid to boot him 'no big deal'". Politico. Retrieved 29 July 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  35. Fox, Lauren (July 29, 2015). "John Boehner's Not Giving Mark Meadows the Chance to Oust Him". National Journal. Retrieved July 29, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Heath Shuler
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 11th congressional district

United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Sean Patrick Maloney
D-New York
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Grace Meng
D-New York