Biggs to Replace Meadows as Freedom Caucus Chairman

September 11, 2019by Lindsey McPherson
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) speaks at a news conference on June 18, 2019, in Washington, D.C. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images/TNS) **FOR USE WITH THIS STORY ONLY**

WASHINGTON — Arizona Republican Rep. Andy Biggs will serve as the third chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, after the group of roughly three dozen hard-line conservatives elected him to take over its leadership effective Oct. 1.

The sophomore congressman will replace North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows next month — a fall leadership transition that Meadows had long been planning. Meadows has served as the group’s chairman for the past 2 1/2 years following the two-year tenure of Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, the founding chairman.

“I can’t think of a better person to pass the torch to than Andy Biggs,” Meadows said in a statement. “Rep. Biggs is an outstanding public servant, a strong conservative, and a steady voice with the right experience to build on the tremendous strides our caucus has made since 2015 in fighting for open, limited and accountable government. He’ll be a phenomenal leader for our group.”

Biggs in his own statement thanked Meadows, Jordan and his predecessor in Arizona’s 5th District, Republican Matt Salmon, who was a founding member of the Freedom Caucus.

“Freedom Caucus members have shown that they will stand for principle over politics — every time,” he said. “The House Freedom Caucus has created a national reputation by standing up for Americans who have felt that they didn’t have a voice in Congress.”

Formed in 2015 as an offshoot of the Republican Study Committee, the largest conservative caucus in the House, the Freedom Caucus sought to push the policies of the GOP majority at the time further to the right.

The group often clashed with Speaker John A. Boehner. In 2015, Meadows filed a motion to vacate that could have led to a floor vote on whether the Ohio Republican should continue to lead the House. The move instead prompted Boehner to opt for early retirement rather than rattle the institution.

The Freedom Caucus had a slightly better but still largely cool relationship with Boehner’s replacement, former Speaker Paul D. Ryan. And had Republicans held on to the majority this year, the caucus would have presented obstacles to Kevin McCarthy’s rise to GOP leader.

Jordan ran against McCarthy for the post this cycle, but because Republicans are in the minority, McCarthy only needed to be elected by a majority of the GOP conference instead of the 218 votes he would have needed in a speaker’s race.

In the minority, the Freedom Caucus has been able to cooperate with leadership more as the conference has largely presented a united front against Democrats’ policies and investigations into President Donald Trump.

Biggs, like Meadows and Jordan, is one of the Trump’s fiercest public defenders. With its leadership taking such positions, the Freedom Caucus has been criticized at times for following Trump on issues where they previously have put up more of a fight.

In his statement, Biggs made clear the group’s fighting spirit isn’t lost but suggested its targets have changed.

“We must fight against increased government spending and for a balanced budget. We must fight for border security and the elimination of all loopholes that incentivize illegal entry into this nation,” he said. “We must work to lower health care costs and improve access and quality for all Americans. We will stand with President Trump as he keeps his promises to the American people. And we will never forget the people who sent us to Congress to work on their behalf.”

Biggs will make leadership decisions for the caucus in consultation with its board, on which Meadows and Jordan will continue to serve. In February, the Freedom Caucus also created two new leadership positions, electing Ohio Rep. Warren Davidson to serve as policy chair and Georgia Rep. Jody Hice to serve as communications chair.

———

©2019 CQ-Roll Call, Inc., All Rights Reserved

Visit CQ Roll Call at www.rollcall.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Congress

Budget Deficit Poised to Break $1 Trillion Despite Strong Economy
Federal Budget
Budget Deficit Poised to Break $1 Trillion Despite Strong Economy
January 28, 2020
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - The federal budget deficit will likely top $1 trillion this year, despite the continued strength of the U.S. economy, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday. The report follows an increase in new spending last year and the repeal of several taxes that had... Read More

White House Violated the Law by Freezing Ukraine Aid, GAO Says
Impeachment
White House Violated the Law by Freezing Ukraine Aid, GAO Says
January 17, 2020
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - The White House violated federal law in withholding security assistance to Ukraine, one of the actions that set the stage for President Donald Trump's impending  impeachment trial in the Senate, a nonpartisan federal watchdog said Thursday. In a long-awaited report released mere moments before... Read More

Report Assails Coast Guard for Failing to Address Harassment, Bullying
Oversight
Report Assails Coast Guard for Failing to Address Harassment, Bullying
December 11, 2019
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - Officers at the U.S. Coast Guard’s New London facility failed to conduct prompt, thorough and impartial investigations of harassment and bullying allegations, according to a report issued by two congressional committees on Thursday. The report, called “Righting the Ship,” also found Coast Guard leaders... Read More

Heck, Graves, Dedicated Pragmatists, Will Not Seek Re-Election in 2020
Congress
Heck, Graves, Dedicated Pragmatists, Will Not Seek Re-Election in 2020
December 5, 2019
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - Rep. Tom Graves, the most senior Republican in Georgia's House delegation, announced Thursday that he will not stand for re-election in 2020. In a letter to constituents in Georgia's 14th Congressional District, northwest of Atlanta, Graves said, after some reflection over the Thanksgiving holiday,... Read More

Aides Bring Impeachment Inquiry Directly Into the White House
Impeachment
Aides Bring Impeachment Inquiry Directly Into the White House

WASHINGTON — White House aides who listened in on President Donald Trump’s controversial call with Ukraine’s president testified publicly for the first time Tuesday, bringing the impeachment inquiry directly into the White House and providing damaging new details about Trump’s efforts to press a foreign leader... Read More

Katie Hill’s Office Receives White Powder in Envelope, But it Tests Negative for Harmful Toxins
In The News
Katie Hill’s Office Receives White Powder in Envelope, But it Tests Negative for Harmful Toxins

LOS ANGELES — Following Democratic Rep. Katie Hill’s resignation over allegations of a sexual relationship with a staffer and a campaign aide, the freshman lawmaker’s Palmdale office received a suspicious envelope Monday containing a white powder that was determined to be harmless. A Los Angeles County... Read More

Straight From The Well
scroll top