As Congress begins to negotiate several must-pass bills with President Obama, there is a sense of rebellion afoot in the House Republican conference.
Mark Meadows — a soft-spoken, well-liked Republican congressman from North Carolina — foresees in this exclusive video interview for The Daily Caller that “there’s a real battle coming” this fall witin the Republican House conference.
With regard to the government spending bill, the debt limit increase and transportation bill President Obama wants Congress to pass, Meadows says Republican leaders “need to read ‘The Art of the Deal’ by Donald Trump” as Republicans have routinely come up short in similar negotiations thus far — admitting they will not shut down the government over anything.
Many of the Republican presidential candidates are adding new, outside pressure against unpopular congressional GOP leaders who, to a growing number of anxious Americans, are showing excessive timidity. “It is political malpractice if you don’t address the issues that are important to the American people,” Meadows says in response to a question on taxpayers subsidizing Planned Parenthood, sanctuary cities and the negative consequences of Obamacare without their consent.
Since January, poor leadership strategy and messaging have left President Obama virtually unopposed. Meadows sees Congress as becoming impotent and irrelevant — a sign of eroding self-government.
He blames this primarily on a culture of enforced “timidity.”
“You are not rewarded for fighting in Washington, D.C.,” Meadows says. Republicans have various means by which to enforce their non-confrontational culture that helps liberals and the mainstream media. In this interview, the congressman provides examples of the phrases Republicans often hear. They include: “are you part of the team?” “we need to show we can govern,” and “don’t make waves.”
However, partisan Democrats seem not to have gotten this memo.
When Meadows voted his conscience against a rule vote to consider the Obama trade legislation, Meadows was punished by getting stripping of his sub-chairmanship, starting him on a path of being a public and likable rebel against Speaker Boehner. When a national backlash against Boehner started, Meadows was allowed to return. Now a growing number of dissenters are finding momentum this fall in challenging the House Speaker again.
In July, Meadows offered a motion to vacate the chair, a procedural vote of no-confidence for Boehner.
“Washington, D.C. is not working for the average citizen,” Meadows says.
Will there be more consequences for Meadows violating the cultural norms on behalf of the citizens he represents? While there are reputational and social or political consequences to being a rebel against Speaker Boehner these days, Meadows says with tears welling up in his eyes, “it pales by comparison” to what our military sacrifices all the time for this nation.
He added, “I don’t have to worry about being be-headed tomorrow for standing up for my faith.”
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