Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), a top ally in Congress to President Donald Trump, is finished with the circus that is the House of Representatives. The leader of the House Freedom Caucus announced Thursday that he will not be running for re-election in 2020.
It is unclear exactly what Meadows, who is currently serving his fourth term in Congress after first being elected in 2012, will do following his exit, but he made it clear that he isn’t quitting politics entirely. In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising if he ends up working with the Trump White House.
High praise for Trump
In an official statement released by his office, Meadows noted the “prayerful consideration” that went into the difficult decision to retire from Congress at the end of the current term, and he expressed his gratitude at how “blessed” he had been to serve his constituents in North Carolina.
“Since serving alongside President Trump, I have been a witness to historic economic prosperity, unemployment levels I only dreamed of when I took office, tax and regulatory reforms that are putting the American worker first, our Israeli embassy moved to Jerusalem, and trade deals that were once thought impossible,” Meadows said.
He went on: “I have seen our law enforcement and first responders receive the support they deserve and our military once again put on a path to maintain its superiority. Through it all, I am so thankful to have been able to serve and give back to the great country I call home.”
Hinting at what might come next, Meadows said: “My work with President Trump and his 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.
“I’ve always said Congress is a temporary job, but the fight to return Washington, D.C. to its rightful owner, We The People, has only just begun,” he added.
A new role
The Politico Playbook reported on Thursday that Meadows had not ruled out the possibility that he might step down early if an opportunity to better serve the people of North Carolina and America as a whole were presented.
“At this point, I plan to serve the people of western North Carolina until it’s decided that I can best serve the president and the American people in a different capacity. And so while there’s no immediate plans, there’s certainly discussions that have occurred and potentially could occur in the future,” Meadows said. “Probably the hardest thing for me was the timing of this, because the president has accomplished so much. I’m not only an ally, but will continue to be an ally.”
He went on: “And we’ve had discussions on how we can work more closely together in the future and I felt like filing and then potentially resigning at some point in the future would not serve my constituents in North Carolina best.”
One way Meadows may join the Trump administration is as a replacement for acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Politico reported separately, noting: “Meadows has been spotted around the West Wing in recent weeks and has been one of Trump’s key advisers throughout the House impeachment process.”
Meadows already has an ally in the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who told Politico in a statement, “Congressman Meadows has been a warrior for the president and a champion of his agenda. We have greatly valued his guidance for the last three years in the administration, and I have no doubt that Mark will play an important role going into 2020,” he said.
While there is no doubt that Meadows’ presence will be missed in the House, particularly among his Freedom Caucus allies, it certainly looks like the congressman is simply preparing to take on a new role and won’t be going away any time soon.