The North Carolina congressman who filed the motion to remove Speaker John Boehner (R.-Ohio) told Breitbart News Monday that House conservatives met with Rep. Michael McCaul (R.-Texas), the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee Friday in the chairman’s office to strengthen The Homeland Safety and Security Act, H.R. 5611, and make sure the legislation targets terrorists, not law-abiding Americans.
“Not only did we appreciate the gesture, but we appreciated that the fact that he heard what the American people were expressing and his desire to make sure that we have a conservative bill that addresses the real enemy,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (R.-N.C.). Although its member list is private, Meadows is often assumed to be in the House Freedom Caucus, the conservative bloc inside the House GOP Conference.
Meadows said he was joined at the meeting by Rep. Scott Perry (R.-Pa.), Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R.-Ga.) and staff members. The fact that McCaul himself initiated the meeting and invited Meadows went a long way to building confidence with House conservatives because Meadows is not a member of the House Homeland Security Committee.
The congressman said inside the House conference there is a mood to get something done quickly that makes a real difference, rather than a show or politically-savvy bill, which is why other committees with possible overlapping jurisdiction are deferring to McCaul to manage the bill.
One of the significant improvements in the bill will direct the State Department to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization and if the State Department does not, it must explain in writing its reasoning, he said. “It is a huge win, there.”
The new language also blocks individuals and organizations from participating in Homeland Security grant programs, who were named in the 2007 prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, including those named as unindicted co-conspirators, he said. The foundation and its leadership were convicted of using their charity as a front for funding Islamic terrorists.
Two other innovations, Meadows said, are a program created in the bill that would have Homeland Security cross-reference terrorist activities with criminal activities and a program that would round up individuals found in the Terror Screening Database, who are not American citizens or permanent residents, and deport them from American soil.
The congressman said there are significant pieces of other bills being brought into the legislation that was filed July 1 by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R.-Calif.) to add other dimensions to fight against terrorists, but there are still great concerns about the provisions of the bill that fall under the rubric of No-Fly-No-Buy legislation. These NFNB proposals would block firearm purchases to individuals whose names have been entered in the Terror Screening Database, loosely referred to as the No-Fly list.
In the McCarthy language, the attorney general has the authority to suspend the gun rights of any American citizen or permanent resident, based on the attorney general’s probable cause to suspect that the purchaser is a terrorist and about to execute an act of terrorism. In current law, gun rights may only be suspended upon conviction for a crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
Meadows said House conservatives understand the gun rights side of the bill needs work, but their first focus is on the terror side of the bill.