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Meadows steps down as Freedom Caucus chair

U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows

U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, the fourth-term Western North Carolina congressman who rose quickly in Congress to become leader of an influential conservative faction, is giving up his chairmanship of the group, the Freedom Caucus.


Multiple media sources reported this week that Meadows will step down from the leadership on Oct. 1 and hand the reins to Rep. Andy Biggs, an Arizona Republican. Meadows burnished his conservative bona fides in 2015 when he led a bid to unseat then-Speaker John Boehner, whom the Tea Party oriented represenataives regarded as insufficiently devoted to conservative goals. The following year, Meadows was elected to chair the caucus, "a position he leveraged to push for a repeal the Affordable Care Act and to enact tax reform, according to GOP Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, the group’s first chairman," N.C. Policy Watch reported.

Meadows expanded the Freedom Caucus's influence, especially with President Trump, and softened the caucus’ confrontational edge, one supporter told Policy Watch.

“Mark has done just an outstanding job leading the Freedom Caucus,” the group's first chairman, Jim Jordan, told Policy Watch. “He’s just a tireless worker and a great leader.”

Biggs, the new leader, praised the faction's first two chairs.

"The first Chairman of the Freedom Caucus was the iconoclastic Jim Jordan (R-OH), and he was followed by the inimitable Mark Meadows (R-NC)," he said in an op-ed column published by "Their dynamic leadership, coupled with their intelligent and dedicated members, helped this caucus become a force in Congress and gain national notoriety."





Freedom Caucus came together in 2015 and kept its membership secret out of fear of retaliation from party leaders, according to Matthew Green, a political science professor at Catholic University of America and author of a book about the caucus.

The group has no official website and does not publicize its membership, though it has a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and a new podcast.