JOHN BOEHNER’S WORST NIGHTMARE: MARK MEADOWS LAUNCHES MISSION TO FIX BROKEN CONGRESS
Edited from Matthew Boyle’s column at Breitbart
MORGANTON, North Carolina — Speaker Rep. John Boehner’s worst nightmare is on the rise here in rural North Carolina. Rep. Mark Meadows is gaining steam as a clearly coordinated, highly orchestrated effort to remove Boehner as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives – and fix a broken Congress that no longer represents the wishes of the American people – comes into much clearer focus.
Meadows invited Breitbart News to accompany him on a district visit, and the concerns he discussed with his constituents offer a microcosm of the issues America wants Congress to address. Everyone here agrees: John Boehner needs to go as Speaker of the House, and Mark Meadows is doing something about that.
Meadows is calm, cool and collected. He doesn’t make headline-grabbing comments, and is a serious, well-connected and well-respected member of the conference. Despite clear efforts by leadership – Boehner’s office and its allies, including Chief Deputy Whip Rep. Patrick McHenry who represents the district bordering Meadows’ here – to isolate him, Meadows’ credibility in the House GOP conference only seems to grow by the minute thanks to his steady demeanor and well-intentioned aim to steer Congress back onto a track that more effectively represents America’s views in Washington.
Meadows, one of 24 members who at the beginning of this Congress voted for a Republican alternative to Boehner alongside one – Rep. Brian Babin who voted “present,” which was technically a meaningless vote – believes it’s safe to assume that that 25 members will vote once again to remove Boehner as Speaker of the House should he bring his motion to vacate the chair up as a privileged resolution in the fall. At least three more – Reps. Rep. Raul Labrador, Rep. Mick Mulvaney and Rep. Matt Salmon – have publicly pledged they will join him. Several more, including major power player conservatives, have behind the scenes promised they will not support Boehner’s re-election as Speaker.
Meadows is not putting himself forward as a candidate to challenge Boehner for the speakership, but he is spearheading the process to replace Boehner – serving as its public face. The process goes something like this: Meadows will, or anyone else might, offer as a privileged resolution a motion to vacate the chair of the House. That means there would be an automatic vote where Boehner would need to rally support to either get re-elected or lose re-election. If every member of the House is present and votes, then the benchmark for Boehner to lose re-election is that 29 Republicans must vote to get rid of him – assuming no Democrats vote for Boehner. With 28 now publicly opposed to his re-election, as many more are privately opposed to his re-election, it looks more and more likely that if such a vote came up – Meadows or any other member could force it within two days of offering the motion as a privileged resolution – Boehner would not be re-elected without help from the Democratic Party. If Boehner loses re-election, then the House will go into a briefly chaotic process of finding a new Speaker before more official business can be conducted. That person could be any citizen of the United States, but more likely than not will be a different member of the House than Boehner.
“It’s hard to tell exactly what will happen,” Meadows told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview in his campaign office in nearby Lenoir, North Carolina. “I’m a firm believer, based on just private conversations that I had, that if that vote [to remove Boehner as Speaker of the House] happened today that it would require Democrats to keep Speaker Boehner in as Speaker, meaning that there would be more than 30 Republicans that would find it very difficult to vote for the current Speaker. In order for that to be successful though – because obviously there will be some Democrats that will get released, we have seen it on some votes and other votes that the Speaker has been able to get Democrats to come across to support him on different position – this has to be something that grows across the country. This can’t be just Mark Meadows-driven, or Mick Mulvaney-driven, or any of the others. It has to continue to grow. Now I know that it is growing. I also know that there are a number of people that voted for the Speaker that still have to answer for that when they go back home.”
Meadows’ mission is not political. He’s not seeking more power for himself. He’s also not seeking to advance any special cause or interest, or seeking revenge against Boehner for some wrong the Speaker did him or some slight perceived. He’s trying to fix Congress, which is obviously in the minds of Americans broken right now, and he’s going for the jugular of the permanent political class with a reform mindset that isn’t a personal squabble with Boehner but an effort to restore Congress as the voice of the people in government.
“I think everybody starts out doing that because they’re real sensitive to the fact that they just got into office and say, ‘Golly, I want to be a voice for the people,’” Meadows said when asked if enough members of Congress come back to their districts enough to actually listen to their constituents.
The longer they’re there, the less likely you are to listen. For me, I’ve had to redouble my effort and not say, okay, pay attention to what are the priorities in Washington, D.C., but really try to listen to what are the priorities here? There are some of them that have been difficult for me. A prime example is on the Syrian invasion, where really they were bantering back and forth on should we invade Syria or not? I had my own personal view, the fact I believed that ISIS was going to continue to grow and that we had to go in and put an end to it right away really quickly. I was war weary, but I felt like we needed to do that. My district started calling the office and sending in surveys and other things as well—87 percent of the people that contacted us, or it could have been 82, 82 or 87 percent of the people said ‘we don’t want you to do that.’ We’re tired of wars. It shifted where we were to saying “just listen, the people back home…” and it wasn’t just Republicans it was Democrats, independents, everyone. For us, it’s just about trying to have an open ear then going to Washington, D.C., and voting the way the people here want you to vote. When you do that it sometimes puts you at odds with what is deemed pragmatic in Washington, D.C., or “the practical thing to do,” but I try to conduct at least a couple days of really listening every time I come back especially if it’s for a week or longer where I’m just listening to people. Both the good and the bad. We’re going to continue to try to get better.
Down here, he didn’t just tell Breitbart News about this in an interview. He showed us throughout a full listening tour day, where he went around to meet with scores of constituents. Meadows held several official congressional business meetings and activities throughout the day in his district here on Thursday, a full day of constituent work and discussions with key stakeholders on various issues on which Breitbart News accompanied him.
Here the article describes Meadows’ interaction with constituents. He went with a UPS driver on his route, dressed in a brown UPS uniform and delivered packages. After that, he shed the UPS uniform and visited other constituents. The article describes the anger constituents feel at being sold out by Boehner and the so-called leadership of the Republican party. There are photos of Meadows on the UPS route and photos of his visits with others in his District. This section concludes as follows:
Dr. John Thuss, another constituent who’s fairly active in calling Meadows’ office, told Breitbart News before the town hall that Meadows has represented the district “most undoubtedly well.”
“We voted for him to represent us, not to represent the Speaker of the House,” Thuss said.
Thuss’ home used to be in Rep. Patrick McHenry’s neighboring district before redistricting a few years ago, and he said he feels like McHenry has become part of the “Washington machine.”
“I was a county commissioner for 16 years, and you’re supposed to go out and seek out what people want you to do,” Thuss said. “That’s what leadership is, not what one person says in Washington, D.C. What these people say in this room means far more than that.”
Meadows fielded questions during the town hall about Planned Parenthood, the Iran deal, anchor babies, sanctuary cities, Benghazi and more before the topic turned to Boehner.
Keith Oxford, a local constituent, asked Meadows: “What is the best thing for us to do to help Representative Boehner vacate the chair?”
After repeating the question back for the audience, another person yelled out: “Let’s make you the Speaker of the House!”
“There are a lot of people who would be better Speakers than me, but thank you for your question,” Meadows said. “Here’s what I would encourage you to do: Do not let the voice of the American people go unanswered. For me, this was very, very difficult. I’m one of these guys who believes you represent the people who sent you to Washington, D.C., not matter what the cost. The cost could be very grave.”
The audience broke out into applause.
“But I also want to say your voice and the voice of so many others here tonight, it’s that Washington, D.C., needs to get the message,” Meadows continued. “They need to get the message that it’s We The People that govern not We The DC that govern. It’s time that we do that, and that message is starting to resonate. Here’s what you can do: Continue to be vocal. There’s times when you speak up that it may not be popular. We keep track of every call that comes in, pro and con, on every issue. I want to encourage you to always call my office, always register with an email, respond to surveys, make sure to let me know because we keep very close track of that. On this particular thing, with the Speaker, it was 99.4 percent that we needed a new direction. That surprised me. We had a few negative calls but most of them weren’t. We need to make sure our voices our heard.”
That’s why Meadows is so dangerous to Boehner: He’s channeling the voice of America on Capitol Hill, a decidedly pro-representative government, anti-Boehner voice, and he’s encouraging his colleagues to join him.
• • • •
• Share this with others. Ask them to contact Boehner and demand he step down as Speaker
• Contact Boehner yourself, demanding he step down as Speaker.
• Ask your Congresscritter to call for and support a motion to vacate the Speaker’s chair.
• Support J.D. Winteregg’s campaign for Congress against Boehner.
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(Hat tip: “B-Squared”)
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