President Trump is looking for a new chief of staff to replace John Kelly, and there’s a good chance he might pick hard-line conservative Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus.
Meadows would like the job; he said in a statement, according to Politico, “Serving as Chief of Staff would be an incredible honor. The President has a long list of qualified candidates and I know he’ll make the best selection for his administration and for the country.” Politico notes that Meadows and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), his closest friend in Congress, have championed Trump’s cause by initiating counter-investigations of the FBI and how the bureau has conducted the Russia investigation. Jordan said of Meadows, “I think he’d be great. Mark understands how Capitol Hill works. He’s a smart guy. This decision is between the president and Mark, but I think he’d do an outstanding job.”
One White House official told Politico, “He’d have a keen sense of what to do, what groups to engage with, what events to hold, going into a hyperpolitical time. He also knows oversight better than most. Going into a Democratic House takeover, he would know tools Republicans have at their disposal to push back on Democrats better than anyone.”
Meadows has his supporters in Congress, among them, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who stated, “Meadows understands the oversight process, the media and how to pick fights we can win,” adding he’s doing “all I can to encourage the president to pick him … I lobbied the president the best way I know how. I made the Meadows case on Fox News.” Gaetz said on Fox News, “It’s one of the reasons I think President Trump needs to pick Mark Meadows to be his chief of staff, because Mark fully understands the facts and the timeline and will make sure the White House is prepared to go toe-to-toe with a far more politically engaged James Comey,”
Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN), another member of the Freedom Caucus, told The Hill,“Mark Meadows has strong conservative principles; he’s dedicated to the agenda that helped to elect Donald Trump. He also sees the attacks against the president for what they are: entirely partisan and dangerous to our Constitution and democracy. Donald Trump deserves a chief of staff who can defend him in public and organize the White House effectively to achieve the American people’s goals, including safe and secure borders and a growing economy.”
Meadows was instrumental in helping President Trump’s tax reform bill get passed; in September, he joined Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) to introduce H.R. 6760, the Protecting Family and Small Business Tax Cuts Act, which would make the individual tax cuts included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act permanent. The original tax reform from November 2017 made the individual rates and deductions permanent but budget reconciliation rules forced them to be temporary.
Meadows is solidly pro-life, has championed a balanced budget amendment, supports school vouchers, is a very strong supporter of gun rights, wants to have a truly free-market health care system, and has fought to protect persecuted Christians overseas, and is a very strong supporter of Israel.