Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), former House Freedom Caucus chairman and one of President Donald Trump’s closest allies in Congress, announced Thursday that he will retire from Congress at the end of his term.
“For everything there is a season. After prayerful consideration and discussion with family, today I’m announcing that my time serving Western North Carolina in Congress will come to a close at the end of this term,” Meadows said in a statement. “This was a decision I struggled with greatly.”
The North Carolina Republican praised President Trump for his numerous accomplishments over the last three years and said his work with the administration is “only beginning.’
“This President has accomplished incredible results for the country in just 3 years, and I’m fully committed to staying in the fight with him and his team to build on those successes and deliver on his promises for the years to come,” he added. “I’ve always said Congress is a temporary job, but the fight to return Washington, DC to its rightful owner, We The People, has only just begun.”
The lawmaker made the surprise announcement a day prior to North Carolina’s filing deadline.
Elected to Congress in 2013 with the support of the Tea Party movement, Meadows is one of the lower chamber’s most conservative members, having first made his mark by being part of an effort to strip then-House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) of his gavel. Later, serving as House Freedom Caucus chair from 2017-2019, Meadows played a prominent role in the effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
Meadows has been one of the Republicans’ loudest critics of the House Democrats’ partisan impeachment proceedings against the president. Appearing Wednesday on the Fox News Channel, he slammed the ongoing effort as bipartisan and unfair and added that House Democrats are “disconnected” from the priorities of everyday Americans.
“Ultimately, [House Speaker Nancy Pelosi] said this had to be a bipartisan effort — it’s not. They said that the whole process was going to be fair — it wasn’t. And at the end of the day, they said they would look at all the evidence and they have not,” he told America’s Newsroom.
On Wednesday, the congressman shot down plans to run for the U.S. Senate in the future. Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) is slated to retire from Congress in 2022. He has signaled openness to join the Trump administration, having previously been floated to replace Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.